Notes on AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 Australian/New Zealand standard transitioning
AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 Quality Management System standards have now been published (26 February 2016) and are a major revision to the previous edition issued in 2008. This revision introduces many new concepts, terminology and current thinking, drawing on the collective resources of many other Standards that have been developed over the past decade of quality management, users and national bodies.

This Standard is identical with, and has been reproduced from ISO 9001:2015, Quality management systems - Requirements international standards.

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 is much less prescriptive than previous versions, and incorporates more business management terminology and concepts. Documentation requirements are left more to the organisation to judge its own needs.

A key change introduced in the revised Standard is in the area of risk-based thinking which, although this may have been inferred in ISO 9001:2008, is now more explicitly stated. This requirement that can be found in multiple clauses of the Standard is likely to be an implementation challenge to organisations and an even greater challenge to auditors in its interpretation.

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 was published on February 26, 2016 and supersedes AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 (which was published in December 2008).

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 will remain valid during the 3-year transition period until September 2018.

Existing ISO 9001:2008 certifications will remain valid until September 2018. Organisations that have been certified to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 can upgrade to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 after a successful re-certification (or an surveillance audit to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016).

Organisations that are planning on ISO 9001 certification should implement AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016; Ensafe group has updated its quality management systems to the new standards and is now available at:

Organisations that are in the middle of ISO 9001:2008 implementation should continue with the 2008 version and only later (in late 2017 or early 2018) transition to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016.

Only those organisations that cannot start their ISO 9001 implementation now may later start with AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016.

Organisations with existing AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 certification should plan on transitioning to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 towards the end of the 3-year transition period.

All our customers purchasing our 9001 products from January 2016 and onwards will receive updated documents free of charge once our updated documents become available.

How will AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 affect me?

In general, AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 will have a positive impact as it is clearer and better than the previous standard. Ensafe Group customers, who have always had the benefit of an efficient and lean ISO 9001 quality system, will see fewer changes in operations and documentation.

Don't rush into AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016!

Organisations that haven't started their ISO 9001 implementation yet may wonder if they should implement AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 or AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016. The first thought may be to "go with the newest" but there are actually many reasons to implement AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 first and transition to AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 later during the 3-year transition period.

AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 hasn't had much chance yet to be used and applied in real business life and a significant number of AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 audits have yet to be performed. This means that there aren't yet any commonly accepted interpretations of the requirements and how they are to be applied to business operations.

Similarly, there hasn't developed anything near to a common understanding among auditors of what should or should not be a non-conformance during an audit. With this much uncertainty, it is recommended to go with the well-established AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008 for now.

Auditing guidelines need to be established and auditors need to be trained in AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 auditing, while registrars need to update their systems for the updated AS/NZS ISO 9001:2016 standards.