ISO 9001:2015 – The Global Gold Standard for Quality Management Systems

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ISO 9001 is the globally accepted quality management framework with which high-performing organisations in all sectors and of all sizes choose to build their quality management systems and attain excellence. Operational excellence leads to better performance, more efficient use of resources and continuous improvement. ISO 9001:2015 has a positive impact on quality, innovation and overall performance by providing organisations with the discipline to consistently surpass industry standards for quality.

ISO 9001 was first published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the latest update to the standard was released in September 2015 to meet business needs of today. Used by millions of organisations worldwide, ISO 9001 is the only standard in the ISO 9000 series to which organisations can certify, although certification is not a requirement. ISO 9001:2015 lays out the criteria organisations must meet to ensure their offerings consistently satisfy customer and regulatory needs.

To learn how to manage your business more effectively and improve performance on an ongoing basis, through ISO 9001:2015, download our FREE Downloadable Guide: THE 3 KEY STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING THE ISO 9001:2015 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM & REAPING THE REWARDS

What is a Quality Management System?

A QMS is a collection of management arrangements to control business processes, part of which may include procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. It helps organisations to coordinate and direct activities to meet customer satisfaction and regulatory requirements and to improve their effectiveness and efficiency on a continual basis.

What benefits will ISO 9001:2015 bring to my organisation?

An article in the international magazine shows that 85% of ISO 9001 certified firms report external benefits, such as higher perceived quality, greater customer demand, better market differentiation, greater employee awareness of quality issues, and increased operational efficiency. Results like a reduction in customer claims, improvements in delivery time, fewer defects, improvements in product cycle time, and on-time delivery are achievable after correct implementation of an ISO 9001:2015 based quality management system.

Implementing ISO 9001:2015 will help your organisation to:

  • Assess the organisation’s context to define who is affected by your work and what they expect from you. This will help to clearly state your objectives and identify new business opportunities.
  • Identify and address risks associated with your organisation.
  • Put customers first and ensure your organisation consistently meets customer needs and expectations, which can lead to repeat business, new clients and increased sales volume.
  • Work more efficiently as processes will be aligned and understood by everyone, which will improve productivity and efficiency and bring down costs.
  • Meet the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements.

Additional benefits of ISO 9001:2015:

  • Provides senior management with an efficient management process.
  • Sets out areas of responsibility across the organisation.
  • Identifies and encourages more efficient and time-saving processes.
  • Promotes evidence-based decision-making, which improves efficiencies and cost savings.
  • Creates a culture of continual improvement. ISO experts agree that the most important aspect to ISO improvements are attitudes within the organisation.

Benefits to customers:

  • Improved quality and service.
  • Delivery on time.
  • Fewer returned products and complaints.
  • Cost reductions.

Should my organisation certify?

ISO certification requires hands-on senior management involvement and resources, which may include the use of consultants. Third-party certification signals that an organisation has implemented the standard correctly, and for some organisations certification is necessary as certain government or public entities only contract suppliers that have been certified.


Learn more about ISO 9001:2015 and what it takes to successfully implement a Quality Management System by downloading this FREE guide: THE 3 KEY STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING THE ISO 9001:2015 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM & REAPING THE REWARDS


Success with the ISO 9001:2015 QMS can take many forms: for some organisations, it is all about attracting new clients, while others see it as the blueprint for internal efficiency. The Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) was awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2017. The company responsible for the Quality Audit, noted that VWSA has a functioning and effective management system, adhered to by employees.

Chairman and MD, Thomas Schaefer said: “VWSA’s QMS is based on ISO 9001 and automotive specific requirements. Top management supports development of the management system, and certification means that VWSA can live up to the high levels required to provide our customers with quality products.” 

Certification guarantees that VWSA has the management systems in place as a prerequisite for export to international customers; it also ensures continuation of their export programme and provides assurance to customers, suppliers and employees that they are compliant with international standards. 

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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