Changes to ISO 9001 are coming.

ISO 9001 is a International Standards Quality Management System, part of the list of standards run by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).  Anyone holding this standard in their organisation is essentially indicating that they have a structured way of managing any procedures related to their products or services offered that is independently verified to specified standards.

The ISO renews its standards every 5 years to ensure that they are still current and relevant to the marketplace.  ISO 9001 has had a number of criticisms in the past, mainly related to the focusing of efforts on completing the documentation as opposed to focusing on customer satisfaction and achieving company goals.  Therefore, the focus of the new changes is more on achieving value for the company than mindlessly obeying documentation procedures.

The changes proposed are as follows:

  •  greater emphasis in risk-based thinking as a business management system
  •  focus on effective management of procedures pertaining to quality
  •  geared towards helping fulfil business objectives
  •  less requirement of documentation
  •  increasing flexibility regarding the use of documents
  •  simplification of wording
  •  updating of phrases to incorporate technological and practical changes
  •  more business focused approach by emphasising the importance of considering the strategic direction of a business when designing the quality management system

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training. She is based in the United Kingdom. If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on or to access other articles on International Trade matters please do check out our website at

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