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No need for transition trepidation

Ease your mind with this information on ISO 9001:2015 from SQMC.

While the next editions of the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 International Standards are expected to hit the printing presses by the end of the year, it remains vitally important to learn to audit to the version of the Standard that is current, valid and familiar to you. Only the 2008 and 2004 versions, respectively, are in use worldwide today; and that is not going to change overnight!

What we have learned from past transtions

Whenever ISO release an update to an international Standard, it is actually the Certification Bodies (such as BSi, Lloyds, Intertek, etc.) that set the pace and agenda for their client organisations to transition their management systems. Traditionally, Certification Bodies have allowed a 3 year period following the release of a new ISO edition during which Registered organisations must gradulally implement the changes to their System. Their commitment to change over is measured during their routine surveillance audits, during which the visiting 3rd party auditor assesses the efforts made to update on a procedure by procedure basis. It would be unreasonable and unrealistic to expect an instant and complete transition - hence the 3 year grace period. Therefore, we expect that organisations working to ISO 9001 will have until the end of 2018 to sytematically update their Quality Management System procedures in compliance to ISO 9001:2015 and meet their Certification Body's requirements. During much of this grace period, most Quality Systems will continue to run and be certified to ISO 9001:2008.  The importance of personnel trained to maintain and audit in line with the 2008 version is therefore self-explanitory.

Transition training courses

At a suitable and convenient occasion, trained auditors should attend an additional 'Transition' course to update their qualification, and learn of the practical changes being introduced in 9001:2015. You'll be in good company, as thousands of auditors who trained to the 2008 version over the past 7 years will require to undertake this updater as a matter of Continual Professional Development.

The International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) will recognise approved Transition training certificates for events run to the Final Draft of the Standards (FDIS), with BSI advising that the FDIS 9001 will not now be ready until June, while FDIS 14001 has been put back from February to July.  That's good news for those eager to update their CV as quickly as possible, because it avoids the need to wait for the full fat "ISO" to emerge.  You can update with SQMC on the 17th June in Dunfermline.

It's also worth noting that all SQMC Auditor courses teach solid principles and techniques of practical auditing that are not limited to one particular Standard or version thereof; further future-proofing your personal skillset.