The head of Inmesol’s Quality Department, Jose Galarzo, recently attended the ‘Updates to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Standards’ training day in Murcia, organised by Bureau Veritas in collaboration with FREMM. The aim of the session was to learn about the modifications which both standards will include from next year onwards.
The integrated management system for Quality and Environment, which our company has implemented for many years, is based on the ISO 9001 and 14001 standards respectively. The former certifies that we comply with the requirements which guarantee the quality of the products and services we provide to our clients; the latter systemises all the environmental aspects related with the organisation’s processes and prevents any contamination which these might produce.
Since its creation, the International Organisation for Standardisation, ISO, has worked on the development of standards which help to improve quality management in companies and which can be adopted internationally.
In order to maintain their effectiveness and usefulness, their technical committees revise them approximately every five years. The current version of the standards, ISO 9001:2008 and 14001:2008, have been revised and updated in a draft which is expected to be published in September 2015.
Novelties in the Draft: From Product Quality to Company Excellence
Up until 2000, the priority of ISO 9001 focused mainly on the quality of the products produced by companies. This endeavour was very useful but proved to be limited, as the quality of a company is also measured by other parameters. The 2000 revision broadened its scope to include, amongst other modifications, eight principles which define quality management. Now, after several years without significant changes to the two ISO standards, the new draft presents substantial modifications. Here we outline some of them:
- Risk management is oriented more towards prevention: it encourages organisations to perform permanent analyses to identify internal and external risks in order to plan appropriate action.
- They advise organisations not to restrict their efforts during audits and corrective actions, and to be more proactive in making decisions which redound in continuous quality improvement.
- There is an emphasis on planning and change control.
- ‘Interested parties’ are not limited to the internal organisation (employees, managers and owners), but are extended to include external stakeholders (suppliers, clients, shareholders, etc.), whose requirements must be identified and met.
- The standards are more intelligible to service companies (common terminology and definitions) and the requirements are easier to implement and audit.
- All the management system standards adopt a common structure, which is compiled in 10 sections.
- Company directors are encouraged to support the different people responsible for the quality management system with the objective of facilitating the development and implementation process.
- They increase the trust in organisations which join the standard requirements.
- They introduce a greater and better use of the environmental improvement indicators. The company is also their context and therefore has a social and environmental responsibility.
- They are more adapted to the technological reality and to the current management systems in companies.
In summary, the ISO has listened to the demands of many companies and has thoroughly revised the standards with the aim of promoting a general change towards excellence within organisations.