LRQA ISO Standards Update; Quality Progress in Porto

The 39th meeting of ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC 176/SC 2 was held in Porto, Portugal between 4th and 8th November 2013 and has made good progress in the on-going revision of international quality management system standard ISO 9001.

ISO 9001 is the world’s most widely-implemented standard, with over one million certificates in issuance.  Given that the total number of certificates in circulation for all management system standards totals 1,504,203, ISO 9001’s scale and global implementation is clear[1]. 

The large numbers continued during the week in Porto with over 3000 comments being reviewed and actioned over the five days. The timeline for the revision of ISO 9001 remains on track with the forecast publication of the revised standard being September 2015.  To achieve this, most of the work over the next few months will be within the committee structure which means progress is being made towards the publication of the Draft International Standard (DIS) around the end of Q1 2014.

“This will be a significant milestone for the million-plus certified users of ISO 9001 worldwide as it will be at this point that the market at large will get the first real glimpse of the much awaited public document,” said David Lawson, LRQA Technical Director.

As has already been communicated, ISO 9001 will encompass Annex SL - the high level structure and common text for all management system standards.   In addition, ‘Risk Thinking’ will be embedded through this revised version along with enhanced requirements for planning and performance evaluation.
ISO TC 176 SC2, has indicated that there are a number of changes to the current version and some of these are considered ‘significant’.   As a result, and to aid the global community of users, there are likely to be supporting documents to help with the understanding of the new requirements and the transition to the new version.   As a result, a transition planning guide and a guidance document to the understanding and use of the new version of ISO 9001 are two such documents that are being considered.

For those for whom ISO 9001 is significant, then now is a good time to think about how to be involved in reviewing the DIS version when published early next year.   Within today’s digital arena, there are plenty of channels available to ensure that individuals’ and organisations’ voices can be heard; there are many industry groups on social networking sites such as LinkedIn and commentary on Twitter and Google Hangout[2].
With industry groups and national standard body mirror groups also reviewing and discussing the content in detail, it has never been easier to have a share of voice in the development of ISO 9001, which LRQA’s Managing Director & Chair of the IIOC - Mike James - called “business management literature’s most influential work.”

Further information about the ISO Standard Revisions - to include blogs and round table discussions - will appear on  Alternatively, please email

[2] A Google hangout is like an informal online panel or webinar, broadcasted live for anyone to see.