News & Commentary on ISO Management System Standards

    Open Letter to ISO/TC 176 regarding the ISO 9001 Revision


    Ladies & Gentlemen of ISO/TC 176,

    With renewed dismay, I read of the contents of ISO/CD 9001:2024 (albeit a leaked copy from a usually reliable source).  It seems we have another revision that will do nothing to restore the esteem in which the ISO 9001 Standard was once held and nothing to provide tangible benefits to certified organizations and their customers.

    So, I challenge you to make some straightforward changes to the Standard and to the HLS Document that sets out the ‘playing field’ for dozens of other management system standards, all of which would benefit, in time, from my five proposed changes.

    1.  Sustainability

    Forget about climate change, which is largely about posturing, and introduce sustainability in operations and the supply chain.  One step up and down the supply chain would be sufficient.

    2.  Risk Management

    Forget about risk-based thinking and require risk management for all processes.  Many organizations do this anyway as they struggle to understand what risk-based thinking actually means in practice.

    3.  Documents and Records

    Roll back on the concept of documentation; it is not useful.  Users of the Standard want the restoration of documents and records and the stipulation of some mandatory documents and records (the six mandated documents of previous versions of ISO 9001 commend themselves here).

    4.  Preventive Action

    Bring it back!  Clause 10.2.1 b) of the 2015 Standard contains the words ‘or occurs elsewhere,’ which is essentially what preventive action is about.  So, let us see it in ‘the full light of day’ so that we all can benefit from lessons learned.

    5.  Mandate Training

    Make training with objective evidence of evaluation mandatory and require records to prove it.  The prevalence of certified organizations with no evidence of training staff in their procedures, work instruction, test methods, etc., or training audit programme managers and internal auditors in the applicable auditing skills and knowledge of the Standard is an embarrassment.  Learning by ‘osmosis’ or inattentively watching videos does not create a basis for deeming people competent.

    So, there you have it: five simple changes to revolutionize ISO 9001 and restore its former glory.  But have you got the guts to do it?


    deGRANDSON Global is an ISO Certified Educational Organization

    In October 2021, we secured certification to three education-related ISO Standards.  We now have a university-grade management system in place conforming to the requirements of  …

    • ISO 21001, Educational Organizational Management System,
    • ISO 29993, Learning Services outside formal Education,  and
    • ISO 29994, Learning Services – additional requirements for Distance Learning.

    We have chosen ISO 21001 certification because it is based on independent third-party assessment, unlike IRCA and Exemplar badges (which we believe are commercially compromised).  It is a ‘university grade’ standard used globally by schools, colleges, and universities to demonstrate competence.


    Written by Dr John FitzGerald

    Director & Founder of deGRANDSON Global. Spent 15 years in the manufacturing industry and 25 years training, consulting & auditing management systems
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