Proposed Revision of ISO Standards
"Not again," I hear you groan. But rest assured, these revisions are set to not only be very beneficial for your organisation , but also involve only minor alterations to your existing procedures. Essentially the ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015 (along with other standards such as ISO 2700), are predicted to 'align' with Annex SL's structure. Currently, in spite of these standards sharing relatively common requirements, they have different definitions for many of their common terms. This can lead to confusion and inconsistencies when implementing the standards. The proposed alignment will ensure that each standard has roughly the same structure and format as the other, utilise the same definitions for common phrases, and match each other on core requirements. It is also likely that there will be a few content changes to the ISO14001:2015 standard as well, particularly with respect to the context of the organisation, leadership, environmental objectives, policy commitments, performance, and communication. For example: environmental objectives will likely include an expansion of a company's conservation procedures, such as the use of sustainable resources. Meanwhile, the ISO 9001:2015 will likely conform to a more generic format so that it can better cater to a variety of different organisations. And, much like IS0 14001:2015, the main aims and objectives of the standard are stipulated to stay the same as the 2008 version. There is also suggestion that the international Occupational Health and Safety standards (OHSAS 18001 and ANSI) will be modified into a new ISO standard (note: the Australian version of this is AS/N2S 4801). This change would make much sense, given that the OHSAS standard is often implemented alongside the ISO 9001. Michael McLean, a member of Certex's advisory board, has been involved in the consultation process during these changes. We expect a public draft to be published at the end of this year, a finalised draft in mid 2014, and the amended standard itself to be released early 2015. So at this stage? Sit tight and rest easy - there is a generous transition period being awarded to those companies that have already implemented ISO 14001, and we will assist you with any further changes when we all know more about what needs to be done.