Future ISO 9001

In October 2010, the ISO technical committee that developed the ISO 9000 series of standards launched a major survey of existing and potential users of ISO 9001 in 122 countries. The survey objective was to better understand user needs, identify opportunities for improvement, and guide the long-term strategic direction for quality management.

The worldwide survey was conducted in 11 languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) and received 11,722 responses. Although the full survey had 58 individual questions, the following is a summary of 10 key questions and answers.

Q1. Are you responding on behalf of your organization, or giving an individual response?

  • Individual 53%
  • Organization 47%

Q2. What is the size of your organization in number of employees?

  • Small 37%
  • Medium 39%
  • Large 24%

Q3. What is your generic product category?

  • Services 43%
  • Hardware 31%
  • Processed materials 19%
  • Software 7%

Q4. Describe your current use of ISO 9001.

  • Certified user 76%
  • Non-certified user 13%
  • Previously certified user 6%
  • Not a current user 5%

Q5. Which of these factors influence your organization in ISO 9001 certification?
(Multiple response question)

  • Customer satisfaction, 36%
  • Market need, 31%
  • Mandated customer requirement, 28%
  • Self-declared conformity, 19%
  • Other, 5%

Q6. What are the most important benefits of applying ISO 9001 to your organization?
(Multiple response question)

  • Improved customer satisfaction, 50%
  • Standard business processes, 50%
  • Increased management commitment, 35%
  • Effective use of data as a business management tool, 35%
  • More effective management reviews, 34%
  • Improved customer communication, 31%
  • Increased supplier performance, 20%
  • It is a customer requirement, 19%
  • Improved supplier communication, 19%
  • Improved financial performance, 11%
  • Other, 3%
  • No benefit at all, 1%

Q7. Ability to integrate an ISO 9001 based QMS with other management system standards or models.
(Multiple response question)

  • Environmental management systems (ISO 14001), 27%
  • Occupational Health & Safety Management (OHSAS 18001), 18%
  • Not attempted, 16%
  • Other models and standards (e.g., Malcolm Baldrige), 8%
  • Automotive QMS (ISO/TS 16949), 7%
  • Information security management systems (ISO 27001), 4%
  • Aerospace QMS (AS 9100 or EN 9100), 4%
  • Medical devices QMS (ISO 13485), 3%
  • Food safety management systems (ISO 22000), 3%
  • Conformity assessment (ISO 17000 family of standards), 1%
  • Energy management (draft ISO 50001 – since published), 1%
  • Telecommunications QMS (TL 9000), 1%
  • Security management systems for the supply chain (ISO 28000), 1%
  • European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), 1%
  • Petroleum, petrochemical, and natural gas industries QMS (ISO/TS 29001), 1%

Q8. How would you describe the ongoing relevance of ISO 9001:2008?

  • Relevant with enhancements, 64%
  • Fine as is, 27%
  • No longer relevant, 5%
  • Other, 4%

Q9. Which of the following options would you prefer for the future of ISO 9001?

Option A – Leave ISO 9001 unchanged, i.e., re-confirm “as is” for a further five years.

  • Positive : 43%
  • Negative : 48%
  • Neutral : 9%

Option B – Revise ISO 9001 based on the suggestions for change arising from this survey, and produce one revised ISO 9001 standard where all requirements remain equally mandatory.

  • Positive : 53%
  • Negative : 35%
  • Neutral : 12%

Option C – Leave ISO 9001:2008 unchanged, but also develop another standard with an enhanced (higher level) set of QMS requirements for sustained success that could be used for certification.

  • Positive : 25%
  • Negative : 65%
  • Neutral : 10%

Option D – Leave ISO 9001:2008 unchanged, but also develop another standard with a reduced (lighter version) set of requirements that could be used for certification of organizations providing low-risk products.

  • Positive : 24%
  • Negative : 67%
  • Neutral : 9%

Option E – Replace ISO 9001:2008 with a series of three documents (QMS 1, QMS 2, QMS 3) with higher, middle, and lower sets of requirements that could be used for certification depending on the risk and criticality associated with the organization’s products.

  • Positive : 26%
  • Negative : 66%
  • Neutral : 8%

Option F – Replace ISO 9001:2008 with a single standard to include a much broader range of higher and lower sets of requirements, allowing organizations a greater choice depending on risk and criticality associated with the organization’s products.

  • Positive : 41%
  • Negative : 49%
  • Neutral : 10%

Option G – Replace ISO 9001:2008 with a single standard to include a full range of higher, middle, and lower sets of requirements, with points-based maturity assessment.

  • Positive : 44%
  • Negative : 47%
  • Neutral : 9%

Of the seven options relating to future ISO 9001 standards, the most popular in order of priority were B, G, A, and F, all involving a single ISO 9001 requirement standard. Options C, E, and D were the least popular options, and involved multiple requirements documents.

Q10. How important is it to incorporate the following concepts into ISO 9001?
(Multiple response question)

  • Resource management, 75%
  • Voice of customers, 74%
  • Measures (e.g., performance, satisfaction, return on investment), 72%
  • Knowledge management, 72%
  • Integration of risk management, 73%
  • Systematic problem solving and learning, 73%
  • Self-assessment tool, 71%
  • Strategic planning, 68%
  • Innovation, 65%
  • Use of technology to develop and implement requirements, 63%
  • Life cycle management, 62%
  • Use of technology to run your business, 61%
  • Financial resources of the organization, 55%
  • Supporting quality tools (e.g., Six Sigma), 55%

Conclusions

Users believe ISO 9001 is an effective quality management standard and with enhancements will remain relevant in the future. Users provided over 8,000 comments related to enhancements.

Many respondents suggested that, while major changes were not required, improvements could be made to address the ever changing global and business requirements to ensure ISO 9001 remained the most important standard for QMS implementation. A number of respondents also criticized the way in which ISO 9001 was implemented and recommended better application guidance.

The survey results will provide significant input to the ISO committee’s review process and help determine where improvements to ISO 9001 may be needed.