The first important question to ask is why would you change to the ISO9001:2015 version. Apart from the fact that it is obligatory if you want to stay certified, it has other advantages.

Integrated system

Quite a lot of companies are certified for multiple standards. The new High Level Structure (HLS) of the ISO9001:2015 makes it easier to combine several of these standards. The HLS is embedded within more standards such as the ISO14001:2015, ISO27001:2008 and many more. This new approach makes it easier to create a single integrated management system to support all the standards that apply to your company.

Risk based thinking

The new version has risk based thinking at the center of the company. It requires companies to understand their risks and take actions accordingly. Understanding the context of the company and which opportunities and risks there are in the market. And last it should give a clear overview of the stakeholders and the power they have. All this information isn’t required to be documented but in order to properly manage all the information it is a good practice to create a specific document for it.

Opportunity to reduce complexity

The new version is less strict and gives a lot of room to reduce complexity. There are no obligatory procedures any longer and there is more freedom on how companies describe their activities. Although in practice many companies do not change or delete procedures, they could in theory. The reduction of complexity does make it easier to manage the entire management system since some documents can be delete or combined. This reduces the time of document control and redistribution of new versions, which leads to less mistakes in using old versions by the team.


In the end, switching to the new ISO9001:2015 standard is a requirement, but the implications for your company will not be all that significant. We see many companies first performing the minimal changes to get certified for this new version before they start to really make the system more efficient. This is a pretty standard practice because it reduces the risk of losing the certificate. On the other hand, updating the management system to the ISO9001:2015 version is a good opportunity to completely update the management system. We would love to hear which approach you prefer, put it in the comments or drop an email!


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