- New Format. Reformatting will align this standard to be more like other standards, in order to follow a Plan-Do-Check-Act structure. Headings of this new and improved format will be more structured and organised, which will not affect implementation hugely but will make things simpler for external audits. Simply put, this change focuses more on consistency across various ISO standards in specific regards to formatting style. An example of the new format would look like this: Plan (Section 4 – Context of the organisation, Section 5 – Leadership, Section 6 – Planning, Section 7 – Support), Do (Section 8 – Operation), Check (Section 9 – Performance Evaluation) and Act (Section 10 – Improvement).
- No more ‘Continual’ in Improvement. There has long been disagreement about the wording of continual versus continuous, and this change aims to put the argument to rest for good. The reason for this is not only to clarify language, but also to focus the attention on the main aspect, which of course, is improvement. Whether you prefer continual or continuous, the main thing is that improvement is used in its context. This is one of the smaller tweaks that do not require too much effort to implement but should still be considered just as a matter of course.
- Risk Assessment. Then we come to the most important or the biggest change in the standard, which is risk assessment. This is something that many companies consider as it is, but by including it into the standard, it becomes par for the course rather than optional. This focuses on determining risks in decisions, and appears in process approach, leadership as well as the action part of planning. It is also in operations management, monitoring and internal auditing. One interesting aspect of this addition is that it will replace Preventative Action, which was previously relating to Risk Assessment and corrections.
There will no doubt be additional things that will undergo change within this standard revision, but these are worth considering until the final revision of the 9001 quality management standard.