Members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee 176, Sub-Committee 2 (TC176/SC2) have taken the surprising decision not to proceed with the much-anticipated update of ISO 9001:2015.  TC176/SC2 conducted a systematic review of ISO 9001:2015 requirements. By the narrowest of margins, they agreed that ISO 9001:2015 should be unchanged.

As you may know, the standard is to be updated every five years. The standard is also the basis for numerous industry standards that define the requirements for management systems in sectors including automotive, aircraft, and medical device manufacturing. Tens of millions of people around the world are involved in the development and use of quality management systems based on the ISO 9001 standard.


The review resulted in a majority vote to leave ISO 9001:2015 unchanged. This may mean that, following a further systematic review starting in 5 years, plus time for the review, and then allowing for 3 years of development time, a new edition of ISO 9001 may not be published until 2030.

Many users wish to see the standard revised to improve clarity and to give greater value to users. The business environment is changing so quickly, with factors being accelerated both by the Covid-19 pandemic and by the continued pace of digital transformation.

If the revision of ISO 9001 is delayed, the standard risks becoming out-of-date with industry best practice and of diminishing value to all stakeholders. 

So why no new revision?

Is it possible that the current standard embraces all the current best practices?  I believe not! What about benchmarking and conducting a SWAT analysis in aiding to developing the organization’s strategic direction.  The use of FMEAs and PFMEA to assess and mitigate risks.  What about continuity plans to address potential disasters. What about provisions for cyber security. I could go on and on but the bottom line is that the Technical Committee 176, Sub-Committee 2 (TC176/SC2) has dropped the ball!

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