ISO 9001:2015 – Shifting Gears in the New Quality Management Standard

Moving from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015

ISO 9001 is a standard designed for organizations looking to optimize their operational excellence. It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. A new version of the standard, ISO 9001:2015, has just been launched, taking over the previous version.


ISO standards are reviewed every five years and revised if needed to ensure that it maintains its significance in today’s market place. This revision will also serve to bring ISO 9001 up to relevancy with regard to both challenges and opportunities that arise from changing technologies, globalization, and a reinforcement of a risk based approach, as well as structuring the standard to deal with future changes.

What are the Major Differences?

The new ISO 9001 standard aligns with high-level organizational structure, requiring all new ISO management system standards to be aligned on a high-level structure with a set of common requirements. Additionally, there is a greater emphasis on risk-based thinking as a basis for the management system, more focus on achieving value for the company and its customers, increased flexibility regarding use of documentation, and a more approachable structure for service businesses.

There are 10 clauses within the standard and here are the changes clause by clause:

Clause 1 is very similar to the 2008 version covering the scope of the standard and there has been very little change to this clause.

Clauses 2 and 3 cover normative references and term and definitions, both these clauses reference ISO 9000, Quality Management System – Fundamental and vocabulary which provides valuable guidance.

The remainder of the clauses includes some new key elements which need to be considered when implementing the new standard.

Clause 4: Context of the Organization

This is a new clause that in part addresses the depreciated concept of preventive action and in part establishes the context for the QMS.

Clause 5: Leadership

This clause places requirements on top management to demonstrate commitment to the QMS through taking accountability for the effectiveness of the QMS, establishing policies, objectives and promotion of continual improvement.

Clause 6: Planning

When planning the QMS, the organization will need to consider the external and internal issues along with needs and expectations of interested parties.

Clause 7: Support

The organization shall determine and provide the necessary resources to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve the QMS.

Clause 8:  Operation

This clause deals with the execution of the plans and processes that enables organization to meet their quality policy and quality objectives.

Clause 9:  Performance Evaluation

This clause sublimates all requirements for monitoring and measurement related to quality performance and effectiveness of their QMS.

Clause 10:  Improvement

The organization must determine the opportunities for improvement to continually improve the organization’s QMS.


Impact of the New Standard

ISO 9001:2015 is now taking off to replace ISO 9001:2008. Organizations who are already ISO 9001 certified should begin tracking their progress of the revision process and familiarize themselves with the various changes made. To maintain your certification to ISO 9001, you will need to upgrade your quality management system to the new edition of the standard and seek certification to it. You have a three-year transition period from the date of publication (September 2015) to move to the 2015 version. This means that, after the end of September 2018, a certificate to ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

According to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), there are a number of recommended actions that organizations can take to successfully transition to the new requirements of ISO 9001:2015. These include:

  • Conduct a gap analysis

Identifying the gaps between current practices and the new requirements is the most effective way to evaluate the changes that are required in your current QMS.

  • Develop an implementation plan and timetable

A formal implementation plan and schedule will help your organization address the required changes within the anticipated three-year transition period.

  • Provide appropriate training for all parties

Ongoing education and training for all relevant personnel are critical to achieving the goals of your transition plan. More important, educated stakeholders are vital in ensuring ongoing compliance once the transition is complete.

  • Update existing QMS documentation

Clear and thorough documentation is essential to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the revised standard and to help reduce the risk of nonconformities.

  • Involve your certification partner early in the process

An experienced certification body can provide invaluable assistance in the process of transitioning to the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Its early involvement can help your organization save time and money.


In a nutshell, there are new areas that organization need contemplate in the implementation of the new standard, but it provides opportunity to review your current approach and modify it if necessary. This can help your business to grow, increase profitability and increase customer satisfaction. It is now a powerful business improvement tool for all sizes and types of organizations to help them remain irrepressible and achieve sustainable growth.



ECCI becomes AA 1000AS (AccountAbility) licensed assurance services provider

Logo-AA100 Logo

In its continuing growth as the leading sustainability solutions provider across Southeast Asia (covering Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia), ECC International (ECCI) has been accredited and awarded the status of licensed AA 1000AS assurance service provider in the region by AccountAbility, UK – a leading global organisation providing innovative solutions to the most critical challenges in corporate responsibility and sustainable development.

 AccountAbility’s AA1000 series of standards have become the gold standard in the industry for performing assurance of non-financial reports, more popularly developed into sustainability reporting. The AA 1000 series are principles-based standards to help organisations become more accountable, responsible and sustainable. They address issues affecting governance, business models and organizational strategy, as well as providing operational guidance on sustainability assurance and stakeholder engagement. The AA1000 standards are designed for the integrated thinking required by the low carbon and green economy, and support integrated reporting and assurance.

 Having become a licensed assurance services provider, ECCI is now vested with the responsibility and privilege to carry our external third party assurance of sustainability reports (commonly called CSR reports and ESG reports) for organisations that are interested to get a credible statement as well as global recognition of their sustainability commitment.

 “With the unprecedented growth that the ASEAN market is experiencing there is an increasing interest among stakeholders (investment community, public sector, top management and consumers) for responsible profit and strong risk management in private sector. Practicing sustainability reporting to communicate one’s sustainability commitment and pursuing a credible third party to accredit this is seen as a good way to address such stakeholder needs. We are happy to be able to provide sustainability assurance services for companies in the region. Our 15 years of experience in this domain and geography will give us the right advantage of global expertise coupled with local knowledge!” said Karthik Subburaman, Country Manager, ECC International.

 ECCI is the leading sustainability solutions provider spanning assessment, strategy, training and assurance services with over 1000 customers in the last 15 years. Under the domain of Corporate Sustainability & Governance, ECCI works closely with its customers in the following areas – Energy Management, Sustainability Reporting, Corporate Responsibility & Governance, Carbon Neutrality & Climate Change. Some of the key management systems and best practices that ECCI helps its customers implement include ISO 14001, OHSAS 18000, ISO 26000, SA 8000, GRI G4, UNGC, ISO 50001, PAS 2050 and PAS 2060 amongst others.

ISO 25639 for clarity

Greater transparency for worldwide exhibition industry

An ISO standard brings greater transparency and consistency to the exhibition industry worldwide by providing internationally agreed terminology and statistical methods, thus reducing the potential for misunderstanding and disappointments between organizers and

ISO 25639:2008 is the first International Standard for exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions. It consists of two parts, respectively addressing exhibition terminology and statistical methods.

Industry best practice
Lee Mong Ni, Secretary of the ISO project committee that developed the standard, comments: “ISO 25639 helps minimize ambiguity, confusion and misunderstanding of
terms used in the exhibition industry. It also provides a basis for objective comparisons
and evaluations across exhibitions around the world, and helps prospective exhibitors
to better gauge the quality of the exhibitions. This, in turn, helps them to decide in which
exhibitions they should participate.”

ISO 25639-1:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Part 1 : Vocabulary,
includes terms and definitions often used in the exhibition industry. It facilitates
a common and universal interpretation of this terminology, facilitating understanding
between industry players. It also helps improve professionalism and raise standards for the exhibition industry. The standard serves as a guideline for industry players to be more discerning with regard to the various statistical data released on exhibitions. ISO 25639-1 groups terms into four categories :

• Individual and entity, which lists and classifies the various types of people involved in the exhibition industry
• Type of event
• Physical item, which describes the various components such as size of the exhibition, type of facility, associated print material, etc. and
• Miscellaneous.

ISO 25639-2:2008, Exhibitions, shows, fairs and conventions – Part 2 : Measurement procedures for statistical purposes, provides standard measurement procedures
to increase confidence in statistics related to exhibitions. Stephen Tan, Chair of the ISO project committee that developed the standard, commented : “ International consensus on
the set of terminologies of ISO 25639:2008 provides the common reference that enables a high level of transparency and professionalism in an increasingly global exhibition arena. Industry players, which include exhibition organizers, contractors, venue operators, freight forwarders and auditing firms, are able to communicate consistently to all companies and corporations. This facilitates the evaluation of statistical information and thereafter, the
decision-making process.”

Since its publication, ISO 25639 has been used by many national exhibition industry associations and has gained international recognition and acceptance. The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI), a leading worldwide association for exhibition organizations, has aligned its terminology and measurement procedures according to ISO 25639.

UFI, which represents 587 member organizations in 85 countries, said the ISO standard is a very useful reference for clarifying definitions with its stakeholders, especially those from outside the exhibitions industry.

ISO 25639 has been adopted either through direct use or adoption as a national standard by countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Republic of Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

Ms. Dilys Yong, Chairperson of the Singapore National Mirror Committee, commented: “Since ISO 25639 was published in 2008, the standard has been implemented by more than 90 % of the trade exhibition organizers in Singapore.”

After a systematic review, ISO 25639 was recently confirmed, without amendment, for another five years.

This article originally appeared in the ISO Focus magazine.


ECCI takes part in the 49th PMAP Annual Conference in Cebu City

ECCI participated in the recently concluded 49th PMAP Annual Conference.  The three-day conference was held at the Waterfront Hotel, Lahug Cebu City last September 12-14, 2012. Mr. Karthik Subburaman, ECCI Philippines Country Manager, was invited as one of the guest speakers with the featured topic Revolutionizing People Productivity: New Approaches to Measuring Employee Productivity. This is in line with this year’s conference theme, “Revolutionizing People Management: Great Minds. Bold Changes. Unparalleled Results.” It is a reflection of the wave of revolutions on the political front and how businesses and organizations share the same challenge of not only changing our leaders but also changing the way we lead people.

ECCI takes part in the 49th PMAP Annual Conference in Cebu CityPMAP Conferences being the most prestigious and well-attended in the country drew together over 1,300 delegates from all industries across the nation. First and second days of the conference featured plenary sessions by CEOs and organizational leaders from various industries including who tackled the changing business environment and strategic role of HR in leading and executing HR programs to transform and support business goals. Focus areas for days one and two are: Deepening Leadership Bench, Driving Innovation, and Accelerating Talent Development.

The final day of the conference featured breakout sessions and workshops with topics on Talent Acquisition, Organizational Change, People Productivity and People Engagement. Delegates also had the opportunity to participate in creating and managing their own agenda around the central theme of the conference through Open Space Technology.

The conference also featured dozens of exhibit booths greatly supported by local companies. ECCI had the opportunity to showcase its e-Learning and Learning on Demand products including the HR and Standards and Compliance toolkits.


On The Road to Sustainability

ISO’s current portfolio of nearly 19,000 standards provides solutions in all three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, economic and societal.

Here are some examples of achievements by the international community, represented at Rio+20, working within the ISO system. The examples illustrate how ISO standards serve as tools in the three dimensions of sustainable development.


Environmental Management

One of the concrete results following on from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992, was the development by ISO of the ISO 14000 family of standards for environmental management which translates into action ISO’s commitment to support the objective of sustainable development discussed at the first Earth Summit. In essence, the ISO 14000 family provides a framework for organizations large and small, in manufacturing and services, in public and private sectors, in industrialized, developing and transition economies, to : Minimize harmful effects on the environment caused by their activities:

Meet regulatory requirements

Achieve continual improvement of their environmental performance

Improve business performance through more efficient use of resources.

Has the ISO 14000 family actually made a difference?

The increasing number of users is an important element in the answer. At the end of December 2010, 14 years after publication of the first edition of ISO 14001, which gives the requirements for environmental management systems, the standard was being implemented by users in 155 countries and economies. These include both public and private sector organizations, large and small, in manufacturing and services, in developed and developing economies. In addition to ISO 14001, the ISO 14000 family includes 25 other standards addressing specific challenges such as lifecycle analysis, environmental labelling and greenhouse gases (see next section).

Climate change

The ISO 14064:2006 series and the ISO 14065:2007 standard provide an internationally agreed framework for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and verifying claims made about them so that “ a tonne of

carbon is always a tonne of carbon ”. They support programmes to reduce GHG emissions as well as emissions trading programmes. Beyond their welcome by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, they are now being implemented on a day-today basis by users as varied as a New Zealand printer, a Norwegian shipping company, an Indian construction company and the Spanish organization that is one of the world’s largest transport infrastructure providers.

ISO and the Environment

The ISO 14000 family is the most visible part of ISO’s work for the environment. In naddition, however, ISO offers a wide-ranging portfolio of standardized sampling, testing and analytical methods to deal with specific environmental challenges. It has developed more than 650 International Standards for the monitoring of aspects such as the quality of air, water, soil and nuclear radiation. These standards are tools for providing business and government with scientifically valid data on the environmental effects of economic activity. They may also be used as the technical basis for environmental regulations. Other environment related work includes standards for designing buildings, or retrofitting existing ones, for improved energy efficiency.


ISO standards provide solutions and achieve benefits for almost all sectors of activity, including agriculture, construction, mechanical engineering, manufacturing, distribution, transport, healthcare, information and communication technologies, food, water, the environment, energy, quality management, conformity assessment and services.

Efficiency, Effectiveness, Innovation

These standards contribute to sustainable economic development by increasing efficiency, effectiveness and, therefore, conserving resources. They keep the wheels of industry turning by providing specifications, dimensions, requirements and testing and maintenance regimes for engineering, construction, production and distribution.

They ensure compatibility and interoperability of the information and communications technologies that have become the backbone of almost every sector. They speed up the time to market and diffusion of products and services derived from innovation, such as nanotechnologies and vehicles powered by electrical batteries or hydrogen. They facilitate trade, providing a basis for agreement between business partners and the technical support for regulation.

Economic Benefits

Several studies have found that the economic benefits of standardization represent about 1 % of gross domestic product. This shows that standards make an annual contribution of GBP 2.5 billion to the economy, and attribute 13 % of the growth in labour productivity. Standards and related conformity assessment (checking that products and services measure up to standards) have an impact on 80 % of the world’s trade in commodities.

Management Standards

ISO 14001, referred to above, is a management system standard like the pioneer in this field, ISO 9001 for quality management. These are among ISO’s best-known 14001 has since been followed by other standards for the needs of specific sectors, or to address specific issues.

They include:

Information security (ISO/IEC 27001)

Food safety (ISO 22000)

Supply chain security (ISO 28000)

Energy management (ISO 50001)

Road traffic safety management

(ISO 39001 – under development).

Although the ISO 31000 standard for risk management is not a management system standard, it shares with this category the attribute of being generic, providing benefits for any organization in the public or private sector.

 These benefits may be economic, environmental or societal, making it an important tool for sustainability.

Social Responsibility

1 November 2010 saw the publication of ISO 26000 which gives organizations guidance on social responsibility, with the objective of sustainability. The standard was eagerly awaited, as shown by the fact that a mere four months after its publication, a Google search resulted in nearly five million references to the standard. This indicates there is a global expectation for organizations in both public and private sectors to be responsible for their actions, to be transparent, and behave in an ethical manner. ISO 26000, developed with the engagement of experts from 99 countries, the majority from developing economies, and more than 40 international organizations, will help move from good intentions about social responsibility to effective action.


ISO offers more than 1 400 standards for facilitating and improving healthcare. These are developed within 19 ISO technical committees addressing specific aspects of healthcare that bring together health practitioners and experts from government, industry and other stakeholder categories. Some of the topics addressed include health informatics, laboratory equipment and testing, medical devices and their evaluation, dentistry, sterilization of healthcare products, implants for surgery, biological evaluation, mechanical contraceptives, prosthetics and orthotics, quality management and protecting patient data. They provide benefits for researchers, manufacturers, regulators, healthcare professionals, and, most important of all, for patients. The World Health Organization is a major stakeholder in this work, holding liaison status with 61 of ISO’s health related technical committees (TCs) or subcommittees (SCs).


There are some 1 000 ISO food-related standards benefitting producers and manufacturers, regulators and testing laboratories, packaging and transport companies, merchants and retailers, and the end consumer. In recent years, there has been strong emphasis on standards to ensure safe food supply chains. At the end of 2010, five years after the publication of ISO 22000, the standard was being implemented by users in 138 countries. At least 18 630 certificates of conformity attesting that food safety management systems were being implemented according to the requirements of the standard, had been issued by the end of 2010, an increase of 34 % over the previous year. The level of inter-governmental interest in ISO’s food standards is shown by the fact that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organizations has liaison status with 41 ISO TCs or SCs.


The goals of safe water and improved sanitation are ingrained in the UN Millennium Development Goals. ISO is contributing through the development of standards for both drinking water and wastewater services and for water quality. Related areas addressed by ISO include irrigation systems and plastic piping through which water flows. In all, ISO has developed more than 550 water-related standards. A major partner in standards for water quality is the United Nations Environment Programme.

*This article was originally published in ISO Focus Magazine. The text is based on the brochure, Rio+20 – Forging action from agreement – How ISO standards translate good intentions about sustainability into concrete results.


London 2012 Olympics closes with a legacy of ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management

With sustainability as the key agenda for most of the organizations, organizations can now conduct sustainable events based on the international standard recently launched by ISO. As the impact of an event is most significant on the environment, organizers can follow implement this best practice and achieve sustainability. ISO 20121 – Event Sustainability Management System has been designed to help organizations improve the sustainability of their event related activities, products & services.

Before becoming an ISO standard, it was BS 8901 under the British Standard which was first launched in 2007 in the UK. Soon after its launch, the standard became so popular and of great interest for the event industries that it was decided to turn it into an international standard acceptable by universally.

One example of a sustainable event is the recently held London 2012 Olympics. London’s plans for organizing the Olympic Games this year came with a promise of legacy and sustainability. This commitment is made evident in all aspects of the games from the construction of game venues, waste and carbon management, promotion of sustainable transport to food sourcing. In fact, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is the first organizing committee certified to BS 8901 and their sustainability approach is built around five themes of Climate Change, Waste, Biodiversity, Inclusion, and Healthy Living.

Similarly, ISO 20121 will benefit organizations to be more financially successful and socially responsible, reducing their environmental footprint during the events. The standard is a collection of processes but not a checklist which needs to be implemented across the business for an event to be a sustainable. It does not set any performance requirement making it highly adaptable for organizations. ISO 20121 is applicable for all types of industries ranging from caterers, hoteliers, stage building, event organizing and other industries in event management.


Top Marks!

Bringing high-quality education and training to the learner

For the more than one million learning service providers (LSP) worldwide, ensuring consistently  high quality will remain an issue. A year ago, ISO technical committee ISO/TC 232, Learning services for non formal education and training, started to address this with the publication of ISO 29990, an International Standard that is gaining much awareness and interest, particularly among LSPs.

ISO/TC 232 is intended to create a suit­able framework for preparing standards in education and training. The term “ learning services ” is used instead of “ educational services ” to encourage a focus on the learner and the results of the process, and to emphasize the full range of options available for delivering learning services. This includes the learning service provider (LSP) enabling and facilitating learning beyond teaching.

ISO/TC 232 is open to standards propos­als from other areas of learning that share the concern of encouraging cooperation in quality assurance. Here, there is emphasis on exchanging models and methods and establishing common criteria and principles.

The core elements are : ensuring the quality and effectiveness of the educa­tion or training; improving knowledge transfer ; and increasing the transparency and comparability of the range of learning services provided.  Standards are designed to help LSPs improve their ability to consistently provide quality services, improve organi­zational effectiveness and reduce costs. For stakeholders, the benefits are world­wide comparability, enhanced transpar­ency of learning services offered and higher quality. The standards will help to overcome the huge variety of national service and management standards in learning services.

ISO/TC 232 is focused on the following main objectives and priorities :

  • Enhancing service quality in the field of learning
  • Enhancing the comparability and transparency of learning services
  • Optimizing LSPs’ business processes
  • Maximizing LSPs’ organizational effectiveness
  • Protecting learners’ rights
  • Reducing the possibility of discrimi­nation and technical trade barriers in transnational learning services caused by using national standards.

Introducing ISO 29990

ISO/TC 232’s main achievement is ISO 29990:2010, Learning services for non-formal education and training – Basic requirements for service providers, published in September 2010. ISO 29990 specifies basic requirements for education and train­ing, including learning, learning results and improvement, the learning service and the competence of the LSP.

This International Standard aims to cre­ate a general quality model for learning services. It also acts as a common reference for LSPs and their customers for planning, developing and implementing education and further education, as well as promoting development.

The standard follows a linear structure to ensure its implementation leads to continual improvement.  The standard’s ultimate aim is assuring the implementation of high-quality tutorial programs and processes. The starting point for the development of educational offers is determining individual and company-specific learning needs.

When designing learning services, suit­able methods and instruments have to be found and the specific responsibilities of the learner and teacher must be defined. It is also important to identify instruments for the support and supervision of the learning transfer. The curriculum must take into account modern learning ideas, methods for the promotion of individual learning processes and flexible learning forms.

When rendering learning services, the inclusion of learners, their information and orientation is important for learning success. Learning resources and the learn­ing environment must be adequate to meet learning objectives.

Monitoring is used to compare clearly defined success factors, learning results and the feedback of the learner and other interested parties. It is the basis for the evaluation and improvement of the learn­ing service.

Language learning

ISO/TC 232 has started to develop a series of standards with special requirements related to ISO 29990. The first standard in this series will be ISO 29991-1, Language learning services for non-formal education and training – Specific requirements for service providers.

CNIS, the China National Institute of Standardization, proposed this standard. Its objective is to specify in each paragraph of ISO 29990 the particular requirements for providers of language learning services. ISO 29990 provides a good foundation for language specification. Developing and implementing such a language-related standard will help to improve the quality of language training, promote the rapid, healthy and orderly development of the international language training industry, and protect learners’ interests.

This article originally appeared in ISO Focus Magazine written by Dr. Thomas Rau,
Chair of ISO/TC 232.