With key ISO Management System Standards including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 currently being revised, LRQA(LRQA) has developed a series of training courses to help Quality Managers, Internal Auditors and senior management better understand the impact of the coming changes on their organisation and on their management systems. Following one of the ISO 9001:2015 revision courses, we talked to Cheryl Savage, LRQA's Training Business Development Manager who is also personally delivering a part of the LRQA ISO 9001:2015 Revision courses.
Interviewer: Firstly Cheryl could you tell us about the interest that you are seeing in the marketplace for information on the new ISO 9001 revision?
Cheryl Savage (CS): There’s always a lot of interest when a new standard is coming out or a revision is due and for those organisations that have got an effective management system already they’re always keen to look and learn what the proposed changes are going to be.
So clients started to approach us and ask us what training was going to be on offer about six months ago, and that led us as an organisation to make the decision to put on a series of workshops across the UK. And these workshops were planned from Aberdeen right down to London and across to Cardiff.
Our Marketing team gauged the response and I am delighted to say up to now we have run four events with at least fifty delegates on each event, and we have seventeen more events booked between now and September all of which are pretty full to bursting with our Customer Services team actually taking between four and six new bookings every day. So I think I can sum that up into saying a big interest in wanting to find out what the changes are.
Interviewer: Cheryl with so much of the information on the revisions already available online, what do you see is delivering the most value for clients in receiving a face to face training session?
CS: So these events obviously give the clients opportunity not to only quiz us as trainers and practising assessors and their certification body or their training provider, it also gives them the chance to work with other organisations to find out what their take is on the changes, whether they think it’s a major problem or a major re-write or whether they think actually it’s going to be business as usual. So face to face with the trainer, tutor led sessions, interactive workshops with other organisations. That is something you don’t get just by reading some documentation on the website.
Interviewer: Now that you’ve already started delivering the ISO 9001 training, revision training courses, what are the areas Cheryl that are of most interest to delegates?
CS: It’s been varied from event to event, but delegates are keen to understand clearly the one thing is how does this affect their system and what is it that they need to do. And once we explain the new format of all the standards, because the structure and the format is going to be different, a lot of concentration seems to be around that and its interesting them from taking for 9001 from being five sections previously to sections one to ten now of which section four to ten are going to auditable. So that’s probably stirred a lot of interest. There are some key bits and key areas that we can talk about later that have also instigated a lot of discussion around the workshops.
Interviewer: Are you seeing similar interest in the ISO 14001 revisions?
CS: Absolutely, and because we’ve already had the interest in 9001 we made a decision from the Training Department to be more proactive in the 14001. So we created a ‘join our 14001 club’ campaign through our Marketing Manager, our Marketing team to gauge the interest. And we were overwhelmed with the responses, within about two weeks 200 clients shown an interest to learn about what the changes were. This resulted again in us planning some 14001 Update Workshops that are available from June onwards. Again right across the UK and already we have 150 delegates booked on to those workshops and daily calls for more people to book on to them.
For the clients that have already attended the 9001 they’re asking me if they also look after 14001, should I come along to that workshops and my advice is absolutely because you will have some specific environmental changes that you need to be aware of.
Interviewer: What is your feeling Cheryl on the acceptance of the revisions particularly the introduction of Annex SL?
CS: I think they’re keen to understand what Annex SL means and how it might affect them. They’re generally accepting of the changes. It’s interesting to see from those organisations that are really taking on-board a management system as business as usual anyway, don’t see a huge amount of change. For those organisations that use us to certify them and our Business Assurance process then they’re saying there’s not a lot of change. At the end of the event we’ve done a kind of a summary and asked delegates on a percentage level how much do you think, work do they think they need to do to get their existing management system to be in conformance with the changes. And that’s ranged from 50% of delegates but only for a small amount of those said they’ve got 50% work still to do. To quite a large number of them are saying they think that 90 to 95% of their existing system already meets the requirements of the changes.
Interviewer: Are you seeing Quality Manager’s as embracing the new ISO 9001 revisions or is there a lot of scepticism?
CS: I think more positive because a lot of them have increasingly become integrated management system managers over the last sort of five to ten years, and they’re embracing the changes in a really positive manner because they can see that the alignment of all the standards going forward and how they’re going to be written and the format of them will reduce the duplication, so fits better with their systems anyway. Furthermore the requirements surrounding top managements demonstration and leadership have been very well received.
Interviewer: Now Cheryl what is your advice to delegates on next steps after the training session?
CS: At the minute we’re still working to the committee draft and we’re letting delegates know at the workshop that as soon as we have a date for the draft international standard and the final draft international standard when they’re going to be published, then we will keep them up-to-date via webinars or emails, again with any further changes or clarification that the changes that we’ve trained them to already are the ones that are going to be implemented.
We are also in the process developing further training that includes auditor transition for internal and lead auditors, top management briefings, risk management and auditing for risk. Our Training Manager is also putting together a project plan that’s considering specific elements of the new standard that may result in some more bespoke modular training. For example, focus leadership training as a result of the new requirement from section five for leadership.
Interviewer: As a trainer yourself what area of the ISO 9001 revision are you finding yourself spending the most time on?
CS: So I obviously need to be well versed in what the proposed changes to the 2015 standard are, and we’re delivering that and giving an overview of what they are. But delegates are definitely taking it in a way that they want to know and focus on risk management which is very prominent now in ISO 9001, already prominent in 14000 and 18000 which is a risk based management system, but now it’s very, very clear in section six of 9001 so they want to concentrate on that.
Interviewer: And finally Cheryl what is the question or questions that you are getting asked most about the ISO revisions?
CS: The first question we are asked when we go into the open forum, it’s always been the same, is how long do they have to do the transition and we reply with that it’s proposed at the minute as a three year transition period.
The next one is when will be the best time to switch over from their 2008 standard to the 2015 standard. And again we talk them through some of the possibilities of doing it at their certification renewal but always reassuring them that we will work with them from a training division and with their assessors to make sure we keep them informed of what the plans are with LRQA once we know the firm date for the transition period.
And another interesting one was clause 8.6.1 control of production of goods and provision of service, sub section (i), states prevention of nonconformity due to human error. This question was raised at the last few events but this actually if you go back and read it, it says ‘as applicable’. This should clarify things but we have also sent this back to our Technical team to get further clarification on this question.
Interviewer: Cheryl Savage thank you very much.