On 3rd August 2023 the ISO Technical Committee (TC) 176 Sub-Committee (SC) 2 published results of the recent ballot on initiating a revision of ISO 9001.

ISO/TC 176/SC2 is the ISO Subcommittee responsible for the development of ‘ISO 9001 Quality management systems – Requirements’, the most widely used International Standard in the world.


The results of voting indicate a simple majority in favour of option a) “Start a revision with the scope aligned to the attached draft design specification”.

The next steps are:

  1. Establish a new WG group for the revision of ISO 9001 and appoint a Convenor/project leader. A call for nominations for the Convenor/project leader role will be initiated on the ISO balloting portal in the next few days.
  2. Circulate the draft design specification to SC 2 members for comments. The received comments will be passed on to a new WG for the revision of ISO 9001 for discussion at its first meeting.

In advance of this vote ISO TC 176/SC2 established a task group TG05 (December 2022) to oversee the preparation of a design specification for the next edition of ISO 9001 so that when this vote confirmed the requirement to commence revising the standard, the project can now be expedited as quickly as possible.

Having Category A liaison status with ISO TC176, The CQI (Chartered Quality Institute) conducted a member survey to examine the fitness for purpose of ISO 9001:2015, as well as the priority areas for inclusion in any future revision, as identified by both the CQI Standards Coordination Committee (SCC) and ISO/TC 176/SC 2/TG5. There were 820 responses and whilst not conclusive, 50% called for change or remained uncertain whilst 50% of respondents expressed agreement that the standard is fit for purpose. The Survey results support the need for revision activity to commence.

SCS SMT would align with the ‘affirm’ vote as the 2015 version appears to be an effective framework for Quality Management with no major flaws, and capacity within the requirements to reflect on and assess in line with new and emerging technologies, and accommodate remote working, and global moves toward more virtual and global platforms etc.

45,572 individual ISO9001 certificates were issued to end of 2022 (ISO Survey data) within the UK & Ireland, and all changes have a cost impact on the certification bodies, the certified entities and all the related sector specific schemes and related standards.

Comments in support of the revision appear to be regarding being more prescriptive around risk and clarifying other areas such as leadership etc so they can be more effective. The effectiveness of implementation may not be because of the standard, but perhaps reflects more on understanding and the impact of accredited certification auditing.

However, with ISO9001 remaining the most popular management system standard around the world and over 1m certificates registered, we recognise that regular revisions and updates help the standard remain current and enhance its relevance, continuing to add value to businesses, commerce, and the wider society. Previous comments suggest there may be a desire to include criteria such as sustainability and climate change within any new requirements, recognizing the impact of global changes since 2020.

Despite TG5 producing a design specification for the next edition of ISO 9001 in March 2023 and ISO/TC 176/SC2 confirming in early August, it is not clear that the Working Group has been established (Oct 2023) as there is currently no formal standards development projects on the ISO/TC 176/SC2 website. No doubt however that work is beginning behind the scenes to appoint a convenor.

As always, we will embrace the change and look forward to providing input to the development of the standard through our membership of ABCB and engagement as members of the CQI.