The Hidden Requirements of ISO9001:2015 – An Introduction

The origins of this series were long in the making – An in-depth report on what it is and how to deal with it. It started back in 2010 while researching trends in Standard development. I noticed a correlation between updates in ISO 9004 which later found their way into ISO 9001. Granted the current revision of ISO 9004 was released in 2009 so I was a little slow on the uptake. But in my defense, I was managing a consulting business at the time, traveling and serving many clients along the way.

What I noticed was the progression of topics of current interest in the UK, finding their way into BS (British Standards) documents and migrating into ISO Standards or vice versa. Sometimes with the same identifier (number) sometimes different. But sometimes with only a ‘hat tip’ to the original, inserted into ISO 9004 only to be incorporated into the next revision of ISO 9001..

The tracking of these Hidden Requirements, as I like to call them, has become a game for me and identifying and implementing the ‘next best thing’ is what has kept me ahead of the competition for quite a while. When I say ‘competition’ I’m really referring to CB auditors. I know something today that they don’t and I’ve ‘beaten them to the punch.’

Take Risk, for instance, and call it what you like – I began implementing Enterprise Risk Management Frameworks (ERM) for clients back in 2011. For some, a four-year history of both formal and informal risk assessments is more than enough ‘objective evidence’ to convince any CB auditor that the requirements of ‘Risk Based Thinking’ are being met.

The relationship between BSI and ISO is common knowledge (as bed-fellows usually are) and so it makes sense that ISO would want to ‘cash in’ on the spoils, making the ideas contained therein an International Standard instead of just a National Standard. ISO 45001 is a good example – replacing the National Standard BS / OHSAS 18001: 2007 with an International version and of course usurping the copy rights.

But I digress… So, here’s the hype

Annex SL: Origins

Annex SL grew out of what was previously known as ISO Guide 83. ISO claimed that Most organizations have more than one management system, and many expressed frustrations at the extra time and resources that it took to implement and certify their various management systems with differing structures, definitions, and requirements. ISO Guide 83, which was adopted in 2011, was the first formal effort to create consistency in structure and terminology across ISO management systems standards.

Annex SL: A common structure

Annex SL is a high-level structure created by ISO to provide a universal high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and definitions for all management system standards. It was designed to make it easier for organizations that have to comply with more than one management system standard.

What I’m seeing today in ISO 9004 pertaining to implementation of multiple management systems, specifically, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001, which I suspect, at least some aspects may become mandatory requirements in some later revision of ISO 9001 and made possible by this new HLS. In 2027 I don’t want to hear any whining that I didn’t tell you so!

So on to Hidden Requirements. One thing you will note is by the time these make it into ISO 9001, a Technical Committee (TC) is, or soon will be, formed along with sub-committees whose responsibilities it is (will be) to develop standards which in turn will generate revenue.

First on the list is Human Factors (TC-159,) if you read my last post “What a Good Question,” you may have noticed I mentioned that, “It begins with environment: ergonomics, light, temperature, noise level (safety guy stuff) as conducive to productivity (things like the ‘Hawthorn Effect’) and moves to stressors and eventually the cause for nonconformance (and its opposite: Poka-Yoke.) ISO 9001 is presently only interested in the former, AS 9100 the latter. As I see it, eventually, both AS & ISO will be interested in both and you’ll need to be ready for it!”

ISO/TC 159 Ergonomics
Creation date: 1974

ISO/TC 159/SC 1 General ergonomics principles
ISO/TC 159/SC 3 Anthropometry and biomechanics
ISO/TC 159/SC 4 Ergonomics of human-system interaction
ISO/TC 159/SC 5 Ergonomics of the physical environment

Standardization in the field of ergonomics, in particular, general ergonomics principles, anthropometry and biomechanics, ergonomics of human system interaction and ergonomics of the physical environment, addressing human characteristics and performance, and methods for specifying, designing and evaluating products, systems, services, environments and facilities

ISO/TC 159/SC 1 General ergonomics principles
ISO/TC 159/SC 3 Anthropometry and biomechanics
ISO/TC 159/SC 4 Ergonomics of human-system interaction
ISO/TC 159/SC 5 Ergonomics of the physical environment

Total number of published ISO standards related to the TC and its SCs (number includes updates) 128

Really! 128 Standards already? Yep – Get ready to open the pocketbook! Now on to what it is and what we need to do about it.

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