ISO 9001:2015 brings forward a new way of thinking about quality, it’s been said before but this time there’s a huge step into proactive thinking, holistic approaches and a driving towards even more improvement.
One of the main changes that came from the 1994 to the 2000 standard was that of continual improvement, not just consistency. Then from 2000 to 2008 it was the introduction of the process approach. This time around with the 2015 standard risk-based thinking and a heavier focus on the process approach take the driving seat.
Yes, ISO 9001:2008 had preventative and corrective actions that were designed to root out issues and potential problems, but these seemed to be more re-active than proactive. The approach was to gradually improve your systems through running the management system and learning from your mistakes, this of course was helpful but fell short in the true sense of business improvement. Enter ISO 9001:2015 and risk-based thinking, some will think of filling out and paying lip service to a risk register but that’s missing the point, risk based thinking can SAVE YOUR BUSINESS.
It's always good to learn from your mistakes, it’s better to spot potential risks and try to stop them happening in the first place. Conducting a risk assessment via a risk register (or similar) will help highlight the key areas of your business and outline potential risks to the organisation. It will also help focus on the major items preventing you being caught up in a paper trail of trying to stop running out of hand soap while you have no holiday cover for that major project, no backups for your customer database or that single supplier you have been using goes bust.
Using a process approach during your risk assessments can help you think outside of a single procedure and see where key areas of your business are affected, sometimes these things are overlooked as they are a step back or two from the process. To help with a process approach ISO 9001:2015 focuses on auditing in this way too, meaning that there are extra chances to catch those potential problems and if something does go wrong you have a system in place to investigate why it happened.
Does your business need ISO 9001:2015? The real question is can you risk not to? If you don’t have ISO 9001:2015 it can seem a daunting task, why not let CQS help with their streamlined approach and team of experienced auditors. It could help save your business one day.