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International standards provide essential baseline requirements to ensure that businesses can trade with ensured quality, safety and efficiency, both nationally and internationally. The International Organisation for Standards (ISO), an independent organisation composed of representatives from various national standards organisations, is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards to facilitate world trade of a known high standard.

In order to make sure that the requirements are still relevant to the marketplace and cover essential business developments, all ISO standards are reviewed periodically.

Two key standards have been updated this year:

  • ISO14001:2015 – Environmental Management System (EMS) standard
  • ISO9001:2015 – Quality Management System (QMS) standard

To help businesses meet these standards and become one of the first to embrace the benefit of complying with these new revisions, the BRE Academy has developed transition courses, detailing changes between the 2008 revisions and this year’s updates. We have put together a list of 5 expected main revisions to these standards to help start your transition.

1. Calling for increased responsibility of top management

The role of top management is key in the ISO14001 updates, the implementation of an EMS will be the full responsibility of top management and there will be an expectation to determine the quantitative data required for the strategic planning of core business in relation to the environment.

2. Making a positive impact on the environment

In the ISO14001 update there is a greater focus on aspiring to create a positive impact, rather than simply reducing the negative impacts on the environment. A successful EMS works to actively improve environmental conditions; this is where transitioning to the 2015 update is highly significant in demonstrating your environmental credentials to your customers.

3. Demonstrating improved customer satisfaction

In the ISO9001:2015 update there is a greater emphasis on improving customer satisfaction through meeting and exceeding expectations. Complying with this updated standard therefore demonstrates to your customers a clarity in the management of quality of products they purchase.

4. Highlighting the significance of a risk based approach

An explicit requirement for risk-based thinking to support and improve the understanding and application of the process approach will now be included in the standard. This means that, for example, risk management processes may need to be developed to determine the level and extent of control for “external provision of goods and services”. This will affect for your organisations procurement and outsourcing activities and therefore has implications for suppliers.

5. General updates to the layout and aesthetics of the standard documents

A benefit to you, as a user of the ISO standards, is that in both documents an update of terms and definitions will offer greater clarity on requirements from the standards. Additionally, there has been work on improved readability of the standards to make the implementation of the criteria as user-friendly as possible.

We have only highlighted a couple of updates from each of the new standards in this blog; there are several more, which will affect all businesses working to the ISO standards.

Find out more about our ISO transition training courses to help you keep on top of what these changes will mean for you and your business.

 

Jo Goodwin
About the Author
Marketing Manager for BRE SMARTWaste and BRE YellowJacket. Writing about construction waste and waste management, as well as health, safety and wellbeing for the built environment and beyond.

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