Quality: come and write the new ISO 9001

After the 2015 version, there will be the 2026 version of ISO 9001! The star standard governing quality management systems is undergoing revision. It's up to you, industrialists and other economic players, to build the French position that AFNOR will take to the international stage.

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Iso 9001 revision

1987,1994, 2000, 2008, 2015… and soon 2025 or 2026. ISO 9001, the most popular of international voluntary standards, is up for revision. Whether you operate in industry, the service sector or elsewhere, you’ll be familiar with it: it provides guidelines for implementing a quality policy. The term QMS stands for “quality management system”. And the concept of quality has come a long way in thirty-six years! Customer relations, sector-based quality, global performance, including climatic and extra-financial performance in the sense of CSR… Quality has been enriched by new angles of attack, and needs an updated frame of reference, as we recently discussed here from the point of view of certifications.

The conclusion of the last systematic review, in 2021, was that there was no need to revise the text, but invited us to review the issue in the medium term. “The 2015 version had brought many changes, which required certified companies to modify the way they manage quality. It was necessary to take some time. But today, we’re gearing up to keep up with the international momentum”, says Xavier Petit, consultant with CPC Premium and leader of the group of experts working on the revision within the French standardization committee, hosted by AFNOR.


ISO 9001: linking quality with climate change

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in which AFNOR represents France, is holding its first working meeting from 4 to 8 December 2023. AFNOR will pass on the work carried out in France, and needs your help in proposing improvements to the 2015 text. Suitable areas include: challenges, risks and opportunities; supply chain; documented information. Xavier Petit explains the expectations for the part dealing with documented information: “The new challenges of cybersecurity are invading quality, because a quality approach implies documenting information in order to provide proof and leave traces. Now we need to describe how to do it with integrity, availability and confidentiality”, he says.

The new version will also have to take into account the challenges of climate change, like all the major management standards embracing the ‘harmonized structure’ (ISO 9001, 14001, 27001, 56001, 45001, etc.)“, adds Pauline Joris, who is coordinating the work in France for AFNOR. Chaired by Renault representative Cédric Meunier, you can access the French standardization committee here (fill form in French).


ISO 9001: maintaining the PDCA approach

It is understood that this harmonized structure will remain unchanged, as will the objective, title and scope of the standard, as well as the fundamentals of the PDCA (plan, do, check, act) approach. According to specialists, therefore, we’re not heading for an in-depth overhaul. Really? “Among the long list of international ideas for revision is an extension of the scope of ISO 9001 to include sustainable development. Is it about sustainability of performance – in which case, ISO 9004 deals with the subject – or sustainability of human and planetary development? In other words, is ISO 9001 becoming a global performance standard: economic, social and environmental?” , asks Gérard Capelli, consultant-trainer and member of the AFNOR commission, on the Parcours Croisés platform, specific to the QSE community.

In his view, the answer is no: quality is intrinsically a matter of products and services conforming to customer requirements. Cédric Meunier takes a similar view, retaining ISO 9001’s notion of aptitude for conformity. “However, users of the standard will be asked to take an interest in climate and environmental change, which is a concern of the international community and a commitment of the ISO. These new dimensions will be addressed through their impact on compliance management”, explains the chairman of the AFNOR commission. This will have an impact on the risks and opportunities approach.

You probably have an opinion! AFNOR will be setting up a series of events designed to mobilize French players around this project. A first date has already been set: 15 December 2023 at the AFNOR delegation in Hauts-de-France (info here, in French).

o mobilize French players around this project. A first date has already been set: 15 December 2023 at the AFNOR delegation in Hauts-de-France (info here, in French).