LRQA ISO Standards Revisions; Industry Stakeholder Viewpoints Gather Momentum

With the ISO Standards Revisions well underway, it is interesting to see what some of the major stakeholders within the assessment industry are saying about the updates - currently scheduled for 2015/16 - and what they believe the changes will deliver in terms of user experience and organisational benefits.

The International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) is the world’s original and largest international auditor certification body.  In a recent interview, Peter Lomas, IRCA’s Executive Director, presented IRCA’s standpoint on the ISO 9001 (quality management) standard revision and gives his advice on how auditors should prepare in advance of the changes.  “Many of the significant changes that will be in ISO 9001:2015 originate from Annex SL - the common text and structure being incorporated into all ISO standards.   All IRCA auditors must familiarise themselves with this document,” says Lomas.  IRCA has a useful resource section on ISO 9001:2015 on their website.

The CQI is the chartered body for quality management professionals and another major industry stakeholder, whose monthly flagship publication QW is read by quality professionals worldwide.  Established in 1919, they were awarded a Royal Charter in 2006 and became the CQI shortly afterwards.  As a holder of Category A liaison status with ISO Technical Committee 176, the CQI is playing a major role in shaping the direction of the revision process. Recently, more than 1,400 CQI members responded to the CQI Standards Panel ISO 9001:2015 survey, aimed to gauge members’ views on key sections of the Committee Draft (CD).

“The major overhaul, due to be published in 2015, will have significant influence on certification bodies, training organisations and businesses using ISO 9001. We conducted an online survey of CQI members over the summer to understand more about which elements of the draft they liked, and which were a cause for concern or did not find agreement,” said Mark Braham, leader of the CQI Standards Panel ISO 9001 Team. 

The CQI’s research showed that the majority of members agreed that ‘exclusions’ could be removed from the standard. Interestingly, there was some confusion between exclusions and scope of the certificated management systems. An overwhelming 93% of respondents fully supported the change from product to ‘goods and services’, almost 60% of respondents were classed as a service organisation.

“The debate on removing the term ‘continual’ and instead leaving ‘improvement’ in the standards had more comments than any other question. Only 58% of members support the change, but, more importantly, 37% specified they do not support this amendment, clearly the strongest level of objection in our survey,” said Braham.  A full report of the search can be found here

Another key viewpoint comes from IEMA, the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment, this time on the planned revisions to environmental management system standard ISO 14001.  The revised edition - used by over 285,800 organisations worldwide - has moved a step closer to completion, with an agreement reached on the draft text for the next round of consultation.  IEMA has worked with members throughout the revision process and will continue to provide support to the working group as the revision progresses.

 “The proposed changes will mean organisations need to focus on building environment into their core business.  We’ll be working with IEMA members to ensure that environment and sustainability professionals are able to implement the changes in their organisations and add maximum business value” said IEMA’s Executive Director, Martin Baxter.

LRQA is no stranger to the current revision process being driven by ISO and is a major contributor to the development and improvement of standards and associated guidance in the fields of management systems and conformity assessment worldwide. As recognised voices in the industry - driven through our membership and Mike James’ chairmanship of the IIOC (Independent International Organisation for Certification), the global certification trade body - our experts are actively involved in the international technical committees for all three of the world’s leading Management System Standards, specifically ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001/OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety).

Further information about the ISO Standard Revisions - to include blogs and round table discussions - will appear on  Alternatively, please email