To revise or not to revise ISO 9001?

A ballot has been established in March 2021 on the ISO Committee Internal Ballot (CIB) portal to decide if ISO/TC 176/SC2 P-members will accept the recommendations:

  • to “confirm” ISO 9001:2015 at this time, and
  • to establish a project at the Preliminary stage to examine if an early revision of ISO 9001 should be started.

The results of the ballot are now available:

  • “Confirm”: 63 approve, 14 disapprove, 11 abstain;
  • “Preliminary project”: 61 approve, 0 disapprove, 17 abstain;

As the result of a Committee Internal Ballot is usually determined by a simple majority, this indicates that there is agreement for both the “confirmation” of ISO 9001:2015 and for the establishment of a project at the “Preliminary” stage to consider the need for an early revision of ISO 9001.

This situation might be seen as contradictory (i.e. simultaneous “go” and “no go”), but it clearly underlines the current dilemma which ISO TC 176 SC 2 is currently facing.

Most probably, no decision will be met prior the next meeting, around October 2021.

The main arguments put forward for supporting initiating a revision without delaying are:

  • Inconsistency with the revised Annex SL (just published, May 2021),
  • Delayed response to the user needs regarding clarification and improvement of ISO 9001:2015,
  • Deviation between ISO 9001 and the reality due to delays in responding to rapid changes in the business environment especially under the circumstance such as COVID-19.

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Dr Didier BLANC, ISO TC 176 SC 2 member & ViaSyst Director