Tuesday, 28 May 2013


In accordance with ISO directives, the members of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 176 initiated a systematic review of ISO 9001 in October 2011. The ballot choices for a systematic review are: withdraw, revise/amend, or confirm. The output of the global survey and of the task group meetings provided essential feedback to the participating members as they cast their votes. When the ballot closed in March 2012, the results were announced. The members of TC 176 had voted to revise/amend. 

Having made the decision to revise ISO 9001, SC 2 began laying the foundation for the work ahead. This kind of revision project generally takes several years. A working group (WG 24) was established, requests went out to nominate experts to participate, and the new work item proposal was developed. 

In subsequent meetings the task group moved forward with a project plan, design specification, and working draft. Inputs into the design review process included the results of customer surveys, white papers generated from the task group on the future of ISO 9001, and ideas tabled during the previous revision that had been deemed inappropriate for a minor revision. 

There are two other factors that are having an influence on the revision. The first is the impending revision to the Quality Management Principles. This fundamental document lays the foundation for any quality management system and can be found in the linked document above as well as in ISO 9000:2005 and ISO 9004:2009. The principles relate to, among other things, leadership, the customer, involvement of people, and the process approach. The principles have remained unchanged for more than two decades. Although this revision will not be dramatic, it is important. It may result in a slight shift in focus for organizations implementing quality management systems. 

The second factor is the development of a high-level structure by the Joint Technical Coordination Group for all ISO management system standards. The structure has been published in the ISO directives and is known as Annex SL. Although the intent is to bring greater homogeneity to the systems of organizations charged with adoption of multiple management system standards, it remains to be determined what effect it will have on the revision of ISO 9001. 

In the coming months, the output of the most recent meeting of the WG 24 will be released. The Committee Draft (CD) is expected to be for sale some time in June. At that time, comments will be solicited to ensure that this revision perpetuates the high standard that has been the hallmark of ISO 9001 for more than a quarter of a century. 

Current TC 176 projects

For those of you not familiar with TC 176, it is the technical committee within ISO whose scope is the “standardization in the field of quality management (generic quality management systems and supporting technologies), as well as quality management standardization in specific sectors at the request of the affected sector and the ISO Technical Management Board.” 

Along with ISO 9001, TC 176 is responsible for a variety of other standards. Here is a list of the work currently going on within TC 176. 

TC 176 standards being revised:
  • ISO 9000 — “Quality management systems—Fundamentals and vocabulary” 
  • ISO 9001 — “Quality management systems—Requirements” 

TC 176 new standards being developed (all at various stages in development process):
  • ISO 17582 — “Quality management systems—Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2008 for electoral organizations at all levels of government” 
  • ISO 18091 — “Quality management systems—Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001:2008 in local government” 
  • ISO 18420 — “Quality management systems—Requirements for the application of ISO 9001:2008 educational organizations” 
  • ISO 10008 — “Quality management—Customer satisfaction—Guidelines for business-to-consumer electronic commerce transactions” 

— Sources: QualityDigest, International Organisation For Standarisation


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