ISO 9001:2015 – Transition Timelines and Plans

Transitioning to ISO 9001:2015

The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) issued the Transition Planning Guidance on January 12, 2015.  In late February, the American National Accreditation Body (ANAB) issued a formal notice accepting the IAF’s guidance as the official plan for transition.

The IAF and the ISO Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) have agreed to a three- year transition period from the publication date of the final version of ISO 9001:2015, expected to be in September 2015.

Here’s the Spin – What Does This Mean for Certified Organizations?

At the Draft International Standard (DIS) stage, technical changes may — and most likely will — still occur. In light of this,  it is recommended that, while preparation can be carried out at the DIS stage, significant changes in your management system should not be implemented until the FDIS is issued and the technical content is finalized.

If your organization is currently certified to ISO 9001:2008, then you must transition before the 9001:2008 Standard expires in September 2018 (this will occur exactly three years from the date of 9001:2015’s official publication, projected to be September 2015).

It is important to understand that the ANAB is urging Certification Bodies like Platinum to begin the transition process early, so you should be planning on your transition within the first year or two following publication.

Creating Your Road Map Using an Impact Analysis/Gap Assessment

You should perform an impact analysis/gap assessment to identify realistic resource and time implications as you prepare your management system to satisfy the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.

To do this, your organization should:

1) Identify organizational gaps which need to be addressed to meet new requirements;

2) Develop an implementation plan;

3) Provide appropriate training and awareness for all parties that have an impact on the effectiveness of the organization;

4) Update your existing quality management system (QMS) to meet the revised requirements and provide verification of effectiveness;

5) Communicate your transition plan to Platinum.

We will be contacting you in advance of publication of the FDIS with a questionnaire to determine your plan for transition so that we can schedule your upgrade assessment according to your implementation schedule.

 Preparatory Assessments for Early Adopters

If you would like to be audited to the FDIS Standard, we are preparing to be qualified to perform audits to the FDIS once it is released in September 2015.

After ANAB has approved our approach, we will perform these preparatory assessments either as part of your Surveillance or Recertification Assessment or as a Special Assessment performed in between your normal scheduled assessment cycle, depending upon your needs and current assessment schedule.  We will record these audits in the same manner as for our 9001:2008 assessments.

Once the Standard is published as a final document, we can schedule another assessment to audit the changes that have occurred since the FDIS version.

 When Can You Receive a Certificate?

Once your organization has demonstrated conformance to all of the requirements of the final version, we can make a recommendation for certification to the 2015 Standard and issue accredited certifications at that time.  We are prohibited from issuing accredited certifications against the FDIS; however, we can issue unaccredited certificates to the FDIS once we have confirmed your conformance to that Standard’s requirements.

Certification Assessments Against the ISO 9001:2015

Platinum will offer multiple approaches for upgrading to the new Standard.  The most cost-efficient way to plan to upgrade is at re-certification.  Obviously timing for re-certifications will become a factor in the decision on when to transition.  If you need recertification in August, we cannot wait for the Standard to be released because we need to maintain the existing certification and rules do not allow us to extend certificate expiration dates.  If you re-certify in 2016 or 2018, you will be a good candidate for easy re-certification to the new Standard.

For organizations where the timing just isn’t ideal for re-certification to the 2015 Standard (like those who expire late in 2018 (too close to the withdrawal of 9001:2008), then, we would encourage to you to consider an early re-certification.

It’s All About You

There will be many ways that clients will want to transition and we will be prepared to do assessments in a manner that best meets your organizational needs.  We will solidify the approach and plans in future communications once the mandatory documents and accreditation standards have been published.

For updated information on scheduling your transition to ISO 9001:2015, please read our article, Transition to ISO 9001:2015 – New Client Requirements.

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