Training Catalogue

    What is ISO 9001:2015 and how does an QMS work?

    In today’s competitive business landscape, ensuring quality management is not just a choice but a necessity for organisations striving for success and sustainability. ISO 9001:2015, the internationally recognized standard for quality management systems, provides a framework for organisations to enhance customer satisfaction, improve processes, and achieve overall excellence.

    Importance of a Quality Management System

    A robust quality management system (QMS) ensures that every time a process is performed, the same information, methods, skills, and controls are used and applied consistently. Ultimately, the purpose of a QMS is to ensure customer satisfaction. A QMS enables an organisation to protect its reputation, accelerate change, and meet each customer’s needs. It enables you to demonstrate governance, risk, and conformance best practices. The right QMS also protects the face of litigation. A single view of decisions, records, and audit trails reduces legal risk.

    Understanding ISO 9001:2015

    ISO 9001:2015 stands as a hallmark of quality management systems, offering a framework for organisations to streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, and drive continual improvement. Delving into the core principles and structure of ISO 9001:2015 is essential for organisations aiming to improve their quality management practices.

    Key Principles of ISO 9001:2015

    At the heart of ISO 9001:2015 lies a steadfast commitment to meeting customer requirements and enhancing satisfaction. Organisations are urged to understand and fulfil the needs of their customers, paving the way for long-term relationships and loyalty.

    Strong leadership is pivotal in steering an organisation towards quality excellence. An QMS emphasises the importance of top management’s involvement, accountability, and commitment to the quality management system.

    Recognizing that employees are key assets in driving organisational success, ISO 9001:2015 promotes the engagement of personnel at all levels. Empowering employees to contribute their expertise and insights fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation.

    Adopting a systematic approach to managing processes is integral to achieving consistent outcomes and continual improvement. ISO 9001:2015 QMS encourages organisations to identify, understand, and optimise their processes to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

    Continuous improvement is a cornerstone of quality management systems, urging organisations to relentlessly pursue better ways of doing things. By embracing a culture of innovation and learning, organisations can stay ahead of the curve and adapt to evolving market demands.

    Informed decision-making relies on data, facts, and analysis rather than intuition or guesswork. ISO 9001:2015 emphasises the importance of gathering and analysing relevant information to drive strategic decisions and improvements.

    Building and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders, including suppliers and partners, is essential for organisational success. ISO 9001:2015 underscores the significance of effective communication, collaboration, and cooperation across the supply chain.

    The Clauses of a ISO 9001:2015 QMS

    ISO 9001:2015 follows a structured framework designed to provide clarity, consistency, and compatibility with other management system standards. Understanding the layout of the standard is essential for organisations embarking on the journey of implementing a quality management system.

    Here’s an overview of the ten main clauses of the standard:


    This section defines the scope of the standard, outlining the boundaries and applicability of the quality management system within an organisation. It clarifies which processes and activities are covered by ISO 9001:2015 and which are excluded.

    Normative References

    Here, you can find the lists of relevant documents that are referenced within the standard. These references may include other ISO standards or external documents that provide additional guidance or requirements for quality management systems.

    Terms and Definitions

    ISO 9001:2015 provides a comprehensive list of terms and definitions to ensure a common understanding of key concepts throughout the standard. This section helps to eliminate ambiguity and confusion by defining terminology specific to quality management systems.

    Context of the Organization

    Organisations are required to analyse their internal and external context to determine factors that may affect their ability to achieve the intended outcomes of their quality management system. This section emphasises the importance of understanding the organisation’s environment, stakeholders, and strategic direction.


    Leadership commitment is essential for the successful implementation of an QMS. This section outlines the responsibilities of top management in establishing and maintaining a quality policy, defining quality objectives, and ensuring the effectiveness of the quality management system.


    Effective planning is critical for achieving quality objectives and addressing risks and opportunities. This section of the standard requires organisations to plan actions to address both risks and opportunities, set quality objectives, and plan for changes that may affect the quality management system.


    Adequate support is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the quality management system. This section covers requirements related to resources, competence, awareness, communication, and documented information needed to support the operation of the quality management system.


    The operation section of ISO 9001:2015 addresses the planning and control of processes related to the provision of products and services. It includes requirements for determining and reviewing customer requirements, designing and developing products and services, and controlling production and service provision processes.

    Performance Evaluation

    Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation are essential for determining the effectiveness of the quality management system and identifying areas for improvement. This section outlines requirements for monitoring customer satisfaction, internal audit processes, and performance indicators.


    This section requires organisations to take corrective action when necessary, implement preventive measures to address potential nonconformities, and continually improve the effectiveness of the quality management system.

    Understanding the structure of ISO 9001:2015 is crucial for any organisation seeking to implement a quality management system that meets the requirements of the standard and drives consistent improvement in quality performance.

    Implementing an ISO 9001:2015 QMS

    Implementing an QMS is a strategic endeavour that requires careful planning, dedication, and commitment from all levels of an organisation. By following a structured approach and addressing common challenges proactively. Organisations can successfully implement an QMS and reap its benefits. In this section, we’ll explore the steps for implementation, common challenges, and best practices for successful adoption:

    The steps for implementing ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems

    1. Commitment from Top Management:

    Obtain buy-in and commitment from top management to support the implementation of an quality management system. Leadership involvement is crucial for driving organisational change and fostering a culture of quality.

    1. Gap Analysis

    Conduct a comprehensive gap analysis to assess your organisation’s current practices and processes against the requirements of ISO 9001:2015. Identify areas that need improvement or alignment to meet the standard’s requirements.

    1. Develop a Quality Management System (QMS)

    Develop and document policies, procedures, and processes that align with the requirements of the QMS. Ensure that the QMS is tailored to your organisation’s needs, objectives, and context.

    1. Training and Awareness

    Provide training and awareness programs to employees at all levels to ensure they understand their roles, responsibilities, and the importance of quality management. Foster a culture of quality consciousness and continuous improvement.

    1. Implementation of QMS

    Implement the developed QMS throughout the organisation, ensuring that all processes are followed consistently and effectively. Monitor and measure the performance of the QMS to identify areas for improvement.

    1. Internal Audits

    Conduct internal audits of the QMS to assess compliance with ISO 9001:2015 requirements and identify areas for improvement. Internal audits help organisations identify non-conformities and take corrective actions to address them.

    1. Management Review

    Hold regular management reviews to evaluate the performance of the QMS, identify opportunities for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to achieve organisational objectives.

    1. Certification Audit

    Select an accredited certification body to conduct an independent certification audit of your QMS. Prepare for the certification audit by addressing any non-conformities identified during internal audits and ensuring readiness for the external assessment.

    1. Continuous Improvement

    Embrace a culture of continuous improvement by regularly reviewing and refining your QMS processes, addressing feedback from customers and stakeholders, and implementing corrective and preventive actions to enhance performance.

    How to avoid common challenges when implementing ISO 9001:2015

    The first priority should be to ensure that top management is involved and committed to the implementation of an QMS. If top management is not involved or being held accountable, then no real long term change will happen.

    To avoid internal resistance to your new QMS, involve employees in the implementation process, provide training, support, and foster open communication channels to address concerns before concerns snowball.

    Allocate adequate resources including time, budget, and personnel, to support the implementation of ISO 9001:2015. Prioritise activities and focus on areas that will have the greatest impact on achieving certification.

    Streamline documentation processes by adopting a risk-based approach, focusing on documenting essential processes and controls. Ensure that your documentation is clear, concise, and easily accessible to all relevant managers and stakeholders.

    Benefits your organisation can expect then implementing ISO 9001:2015

    Implementing ISO 9001:2015 brings forth a multitude of advantages for any organisation across every industry. From improving customer satisfaction to enhancing operational efficiency, ISO 9001:2015 certification offers a range of benefits that contribute to organisational excellence. Let’s delve into the key advantages:

    • Enhanced customer satisfaction with a customer-centric approach, leading to improved product quality, timely delivery, and better customer service, which fosters long-term relationships and loyalty.
    • Improved product and service quality through consistency, conformity, and continuous improvement.
    • Increased operational efficiency by optimising workflows, reducing errors, and enhancing resource utilisation.
    • Improved efficiency translates into cost savings, shorter lead times, and better overall performance.
    • an QMS requires organisations to identify, assess, and address risks that may impact the quality management system which allows organisations to mitigate potential threats.
    • Enhanced credibility and reputation
    • Cost savings through improving quality and efficiency by reducing rework, waste, and defects, organisations can optimise resource utilisation and minimise operational costs.
    • ISO 9001:2015 certification is recognized globally and is often a requirement for participating in certain markets or industries.
    • ISO 9001:2015 fosters a culture of continuous improvement within organisations through the principles of Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA).

    ISO 9001:2015 certification can drive various improvements in quality, efficiency, customer satisfaction, and overall performance. This positions an organisation for sustained success in today’s competitive marketplace.


    What are the main changes in ISO 9001:2015 compared to previous versions?

    ISO 9001:2015 Introduced five significant changes compared to previous versions, including:

    • Adoption of the High-Level Structure

    The standard now follows the same structure as other ISO management system standards, making it easier for organisations to integrate multiple management systems.

    • Emphasis on risk-based thinking

    ISO 9001:2015 emphasises the identification and management of risks throughout the quality management system to ensure its long term effectiveness.

    • Increased focus on leadership

    The role of top management in driving the effectiveness of the quality management system is emphasised in ISO 9001:2015, with requirements for more leadership engagement and accountability.

    • Flexibility in documentation

    ISO 9001:2015 allows organisations greater flexibility in documenting their processes, enabling them to tailor documentation to the needs and complexity of their operations.

    • Enhanced emphasis on achieving desired outcomes

    ISO 9001:2015 emphasises achieving desired outcomes through effective planning, operation, and performance evaluation, rather than focusing solely on compliance with procedures.

    How does ISO 9001:2015 benefit organisations in terms of quality management systems?

    ISO 9001:2015 offers five main benefits to any organisations in terms of quality management, including:

    • Improved customer satisfaction which enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty.
    • Streamlines processes, reduces waste, and optimises resources. This increases efficiency and productivity.
    • Risk-based thinking in an QMS enables organisations to identify, assess, and mitigate risks effectively, minimising any threats to quality and overall performance.
    • Certification demonstrates an organisation’s commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
    • Long-term process for improvement encourages organisations to identify opportunities for enhancement and implement corrective actions to ensure innovation.

    Every organisation implementing ISO 9001:2015 will also reap many more unique benefits. Although setting an QMS up can be a long road, long term it is one of the best decisions your organisation can make.

    How can WWISE help you with ISO 9001:2015 QMS?

    At WWISE, we specialise in training, maintaining and helping organisations through the process of getting certified in ISO 9001:2015. We understand the daunting task of becoming certified and our expert auditors will be able to help you every step of the way.

    The ISO 9001:2015 certification not only validates your organisation’s commitment to quality but also opens doors to new opportunities, markets, and partnerships. In today’s dynamic and competitive business environment, ISO 9001:2015 is more than just a standard—it’s a pathway to sustainable growth, success, and customer trust.

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