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The 2015 ISO 9001 Survey & Infographic

These are definitely interesting times for ISO 9001, as the new version is here and there is a lot of debate on how the new ISO 9001:2015 requirements should be implemented. A number of questions have been raised, mostly among consultants and auditors, but also illustrating the end users’ thoughts regarding the changes, and the role of the standard itself in their organizations and for their own careers.

Here at Advisera, we decided to conduct a survey among our subscribers and find out what companies think about the standard. More than 200 companies responded to our survey, and some of them didn’t even implement the standard. The companies responding to our survey are from production or service provision backgrounds, or both, and also from a variety of sizes, from fewer than 50 to more than 500 employees. So, the list is very colorful and representative of industry as a whole. And now, check out the results.


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Do you think companies benefit from implementing ISO 9001?

Very often you may hear that the ISO 9001 standard is a bureaucratic burden to the company, so the answer to this question was eagerly anticipated and the results were quite surprising. Only 2.91% responded that ISO 9001 doesn’t bring any benefits to the company, while 69.77% deem that it profoundly improves the company operations. You get a completely different impression by looking on the internet and forums, but it appears that the unsatisfied users of the standard are the loudest ones.

What benefits did ISO 9001 bring to your company?

The natural follow-up question was about the areas where ISO 9001 brings improvements to the organizations. The leading answers are internal improvements with 62.62%, and competitive advantage with 56.36%, but also the ability to qualify for tenders (42.23%) and reassured clients (38.06%) took some glory. See also Six Key Benefits of ISO 9001 Implementation.

Can involvement in ISO 9001 bring benefits to your personal career?

Another important issue is how working for an ISO 9001-certified company reflects on the personal careers of the employees, and the vast majority responded that it benefits their careers. The interesting thing is that the top-level management professionals are more optimistic regarding this fact; 72.41% expect ISO 9001 to bring them better career opportunities, while 62.22% of the middle-level management personnel gave the same answer.

Changing trends over the years in using consultants’ help

Another thing we were curious about is how the implementation process evolved over time. The biggest portion of companies that implemented the standard more than 10 years ago (45%) stated that they did so completely by themselves. The trend of using consultants’ help began to rise, and more than half (51.72%) of the companies that implemented the standard between five and 10 years ago declared that they used the help of consultants during implementation. Use of consultant services continued to increase, and almost two-thirds (63.33%) of the companies that implemented the standard fewer than five years ago admitted to hiring consultants for the implementation. This is understandable, considering the development of the consultancy market and having more and more people encouraged to seek career opportunities in this field.

How does the new version reflect on the organizations?

Now let’s see what the companies think about the new 2015 version of ISO 9001, and the upcoming transition to the new version. A third of the examined (33.14%) stated they are not familiar with the changes, but 72% of the ones that consider themselves familiar with the new version think that the changes are significant and the QMS must be thoroughly changed.

The proof that a competitive advantage is considered to be a significant benefit of the ISO 9001 certification is that the 48.26% of the companies are planning to transition to the new version by the end of 2016, and only 9.88% will wait for the last train in 2018. See also ISO 9001:2015 – The benefits of early implementation.

So, how will these companies approach the transition? Around a quarter of companies (25.58%) decided to do it without any help, and approximately the same amount (26.16%) stated that they will hire a consultant to help them, while almost half of the companies (48.26%) will do it by themselves using only documentation templates.

Great confidence and freedom in seeking new solutions

The biggest surprise was the amount of confidence that people have in ISO 9001, and the results are really amazing: 97.09% believe that ISO 9001 will bring benefit to their organization, and also 90.7% think that their involvement in ISO 9001 will bring opportunities to their own careers. This casts a completely new light on ISO 9001, and ensures the bright future of the standard.

It was quite refreshing to hear the opinion of the companies that practice ISO 9001, since their voices are rarely heard. Once you see how the average company perceives the standard, it becomes obvious why more than one million companies implemented ISO 9001 worldwide.

The positive side of these results is that the companies are encouraged to seek different solutions and abandon the traditional ways to approaching the transition. Bigger engagement of the employees in the transition will definitely provide better results, compared to hiring a high-quality consultant to work with unmotivated employees with no enthusiasm regarding the standard. Making the transition by yourself with maybe some benchmarking and using different tools can provide you great results that would primarily arise from the bigger engagement of the employees.

Use this free ISO 9001:2015 vs. ISO 9001:2008 matrix to see how to compare ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 9001:2015.

Advisera Strahinja Stojanovic
Strahinja Stojanovic

Strahinja Stojanovic is certified as a lead auditor for the ISO 13485, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 standards by RABQSA. He participated in the implementation of these standards in more than 100 SMEs, through the creation of documentation and performing in-house training for maintaining management systems, internal audits, and management reviews.