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Key Management System Standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 revised

10/19/2015

​​New editions of key Management System Standards, ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015, were published on 23 September and 15 September 2015 respectively. Certified companies have three years (from the publication date) to align their systems with the new standards.


As part of the revision, the Management Systems Standards have been given a new, harmonised structure. This will facilitate the integration of several management systems into one.

There is also increased freedom with regard to documentation – for example, a Quality Manual is no longer required. A company's ERPs may now fulfil this requirement instead. A 'process approach' is now mandatory and 'risk-based thinking' has also become a core concept. This brings business planning and routine management closer together.

What's new in ISO 9001?


The key perspectives of the ISO 9001 quality standard are leadership, the operating environment and risk-based thinking.

ISO 9001:2015 contains the following changes: new terms and a new high-level structure, including the introduction of the Annex SL framework. The Annex SL framework must be used for all new and revised ISO Management System Standards. 

ISO 9001:2008 ISO 9001:2015
"Products""Products and services"
"Documentation" "Records""Documented information"
"Work environment""Environment for the operation of processes"
"Purchased product""Externally provided products and services"
"Supplier""External provider"


The organisation's quality management system is now considered in a wider internal and external context (Clauses 4 and 6).

When an organisation introduces a quality management system, a risk-based approach is taken to the organisation's operating environment. By identifying risks and opportunities, the management system will help the organisation to achieve its desired results. The organisation must plan actions to address these risks and opportunities, and then integrate and implement the actions into its QMS processes. The effectiveness of these actions must also be assessed.

A process approach is now mandatory. ISO 9001 requires organisations to design, introduce and develop a process-based QMS system. 


The company's operations should be understood as a single process consisting of a collection of subprocesses. Source information is used to produce something that leads to a result – this is the basic premise of a process-based approach. Each operation will always have some kind of source information/input that the company uses in some way. The result of this work becomes the input for the next process.

What's new in ISO 14001?


The revised ISO 14001 has a stronger focus on environmental management, communications and lifecycle-thinking.

The latest version of ISO 14001 contains the following changes:

  • Annex SL framework introduced
    The latest edition of ISO 14001 uses the Annex SL framework, which is now mandatory for all new and revised ISO Management System Standards (MSS).
  • Greater protection for the environment by linking environmental issues to the organisation's strategic management through the company's own operations
  • Internal and external communications
  • Continual improvements in environmental protection


These changes have arisen from ISO's research. ISO has been trying to determine what changes are required in the way environmental issues are considered in the various aspects of an organisation's management. A need for change was identified in strategic environmental management, leadership, environmental protection, defining/assessing environmental performance, lifecycle-thinking, communications, and the standard/volume of documented information.

The goal is to create balance between financial benefit, the community, and environmental protection. 

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