Many organisations in Scotland have successfully transitioned their Quality Management System to ISO 9001:2015 - well ahead of next years deadline.
However, a leading Certification expert last week updated SQMC on the levels of transition. Rather concerningly, it is not what was anticipated; with a surprising number of organisations to have even begun the process, yet. This could have grave ramifications for their business.
While the formal deadline to complete the change-up is 14th September 2018, the practicalities of the Certification industry suggest a maximum timescale of just 10 months now remains. A last minute rush is inevitable, despite the best efforts of certification bodies to encourage their clients to tackle the transition in a more timely and relaxed manner.
The fact that not one, but two, major Standards expire next September (ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004) has only compounded the issue.
With a finite amount of 3rd party auditors, any organisation that doesn't complete the transition within the next 10 months run the risk of being 'last in the queue', and unable to secure a surveillance audit in time.
Ultimately, organisations caught napping could be left without a valid ISO 9001 certificate -- especially as the certifcation bodies have not as yet clarified the options and mechanisms, if any, for re-certification at this stage. Best not to go down that route - this would be far more time-consuming than transitioning, and would add the expense of Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits.
How to safeguard your Registered status
Our advice to those left in this unfortunate position is simple: get stuck in ASAP!
It's not too late to achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification through the 'transition' route. If handled correctly, registration to the new Standard can be gained under normal surveillance audits; or if your 3 year cycle is due, as part of the routine re-certification audit.
And remember -- if you are already registered to the 2008 version, it shouldn't be a particularly daunting task to transition to "2015". Admittedly, smaller organisations with limited human resources may find the logistics more strenuous. If that sounds depressingly familiar, don't forget that SQMC have Chartered Professional consultants on hand, ready to roll up their sleeves and help! So please don't hesitate to reach out if we can be of any assistance.