Silliness in the ISO9001:2015 quality management standard

Silliness is a subjective thing. Maybe you won’t find this silly, but I do.

In the new ISO9001:2015 quality management standard, the writers have, in my opinion, gone too far. I have worked with dozens of small companies, helping them to get certified to the ISO9001 standard. The ISO9001:2000 version was very good. In fact, the writers must have thought it was pretty good too. For the ISO9001:2008 revision, the writers changed virtually nothing.

The ISO9001:2015 version has some requirements that are going to be difficult for small companies to implement, and will add zero value to their quality management system. And then there are a couple of things that are just plain silly.

Section 7.1.4 of the ISO9001:2015 standard requires certified companies to provide an environment suitable for its processes. Then they go on to suggest that a suitable environment could be calm, non-confrontational, stress-reducing, burnout preventing, and, my favorite, emotionally protective. I kid you not. Emotionally protective. I expect that in the next version of the standard, there will be a requirement for company meetings to start off with everyone singing “Kumbaya”.

Two weeks ago an auditor told me that, while he expects companies to do internal audits of every section of the ISO9001:2015 standard, he will not hold us to auditing things such as being calm and emotionally protective. I don’t know how anyone could audit those things, anyway.

Good luck implementing your ISO9001:2015 quality management system. If you haven’t started the process to transition to the new standard, I suggest starting immediately. Time is running out.

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