The Quality Team


About Revision to Standards

Our company’s longevity provides us with some experience and insight: Continuous improvement applies to more than just your QMS or EMS; it also applies to the standards themselves. Technical Advisory Groups (TAG) are formed by the International Organization for Standardization (governing body for ISO standards) for each respective standard. The intent is to assess the effectiveness of each standard and to identify improvements and needed revisions. These evaluations are not unlike the management reviews performed by your company to determine the effectiveness of your QMS or EMS.

Continual improvement is a primary objective. Typically, and by design, updates to standards occur every 6 to 8 years. One trend has emerged from these updates; a reduction of required documented procedures. To illustrate:

  • The ISO 9001: 1994 edition required 15 or more “documented procedures” regardless of the size of your company. The only exceptions that could be made were for acceptable exclusions of selected clauses (such as design).
  • The ISO 9001: 2000 revision, when released, required only 6 “documented procedures.” The formatting of this release was met with much resistance because the formatting, numbering, and the thrust of the standard was new to everyone. People felt as though they were slammed yet again and in need of a new learning process. To make matters worse, the numbering no longer was aligned with QS-9000 (the automotive standard of that time). NOTE: QS-9000 was modeled after ISO 9001 but was otherwise NOT under the control of the International Organization for Standardization. This and other updates to the ISO 9001 standard would impact the changes made by the automotive industry (now IATF 16949).
  • The ISO 9001: 2008 revision maintained the 6 required “documented procedures” just as the 2000 revision did. In part, due to the resistance surrounding the changes to the 2000 revision, the 2008 release reflected very few and minor changes.
  • The ISO 9001: 2015 revision was again a significant change (compared with 2000, 2008) in terms of numbering (formatting) as well as requirements, such as (risk assessment, internal and external interests, other). Significantly, the number of required “documented procedures” was again lowered. This time there were “NO” required procedures. It was determined that documented procedures frequently sat on a shelf until the next audit and presented little value. The absence of procedures, however, does NOT excuse you from audit requirements. Audits must still reflect proof that each process is effective and meets the intent of the standard. An emphasis is placed on effective processes.

Ask The Quality Team for further details. Respectfully, JJ Bartz
ISO Auditor


The Quality Team of Kalamazoo LLC

8379 Swan St. Kalamazoo MI 49009 Phone: Email:

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