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ISO 9001: 2015 Status and Transition Planning

ISO 9001 is currently under revision and it is expected that the new version will be published later this year. You may also be aware that IAF has allocated a 3-year transition period (from date of publication of the standard) for certification bodies to transfer their clients from the 2008 version to the 2015 version of the standard. Following this transition period ISO 9001:2008 will cease to be valid.

UKAS, along with other accreditation bodies, has been preparing its approach to managing this transition. One of UKAS’ main aims is to try to ensure that accredited certification bodies are given a fair and equitable chance to obtain ISO/IEC 17021 accreditation for the delivery of ISO 9001 certification to the 2015 version of the standard in a timeframe that suits their business.

In planning this transition UKAS has consulted with relevant stakeholder bodies (ABCB, FCB, IIOC) and taken due consideration of “IAF ID 9: 2015 – Transition Planning Guidance for ISO 9001: 2015” http://www.iaf.nu/upFiles/IAFID9Transition9001PublicationVersion.pdf

The above guidance document was published on the 12th January 2015 and provides useful information to all parties affected by the transition from ISO 9001: 2008 to ISO 9001: 2015. The document also strongly emphasises the need for early activity to ensure a smooth transition process.

UKAS Approach to the Transition

Based on current information regarding expected publication dates of the ISO FDIS 9001:2015 and the finalised standard, this communication outlines UKAS’ intended approach to the transition.

UKAS is currently undertaking actions to prepare and train its assessment resource to begin assessment of certification bodies’ competence to audit to ISO FDIS 9001: 2015 from around July 2015. UKAS assessment at the FDIS stage is not mandatory and is only relevant to those certification bodies that wish to gain accreditation shortly after publication of the final standard and who are already well prepared for the introduction of the new ISO 9001 standard. It should be noted that whilst ISO process would dictate that there will be no major changes from FDIS to the finalised international standard, UKAS and any certification bodies that were assessed at the FDIS stage will need to perform a gap analysis once the finalised standard is available to ensure this is the case. Accreditation cannot be granted until this has been completed.

The transition process will include the following assessment stages: –

  • Review of transition gap analysis and related documentation (this will be required whether the CB is assessed during the FDIS stage or once the standard is published);
  • Head Office Assessment;
  • Witnessed Assessment (to be conducted after the head office visit).

UKAS normally conducts transition assessments at the time of an organisation’s annual surveillance or reassessment visit. In these cases much of the transition assessment can be incorporated into existing assessment time, however extra time will be needed to cover additional activities, such as the review of gap analysis documentation.

However where a certification body requests an earlier assessment this will be considered and, subject to suitable resource availability, will be progressed. In these cases additional costs over and above those for the annual assessment will apply: UKAS expects these to be in the region of 3-5 days (not including witnessed assessment) depending on the size and scope of the certification body’s accreditation.

In both cases the witnessed assessment activity will form part of the certification body’s annual witnessed assessment programme and therefore should not present any additional effort.

Information Requirements

At the time of arranging the transition assessment, certification bodies will be asked to submit a gap analysis (detailing what changes and enhancements have been necessary to the CB’s systems and processes) and details of transition arrangements, including communications with certified customers, training materials, and process for confirming competence; this will be reviewed and used to help formulate the transition programme. A specific email address has been set up for receipt of the above information; this information should be sent to [email protected] .

Audits selected for witnessing must be of a client that has implemented ISO 9001: 2015. They will need to be sufficient to demonstrate the certification body’s competence and process to audit in terms of the new standard, covering items such as the approach to risk management and organisational context, as well as the necessary audit planning and reporting activities. Should the witnessed assessment not be deemed suitable to demonstrate the above then UKAS may require further witnessing to take place; such additional assessment is likely incur additional cost.


We anticipate that there may be reasonable demand for early adoption of ISO 9001:2015 and therefore in order for UKAS to effectively plan resources, and to gauge levels of readiness and demand, each certification body is requested to provide the following information by 31 March 2015; if this information is not provided UKAS will assume that you wish for your transition assessment to take place at your next annual assessment in 2016/2017: –

• When you wish your transition assessment to be conducted:

  • As early as possible during the FDIS stage
  • At your first annual assessment following publication of the finalised standard
  • Later on in the transition period (e.g. 2017)

• If you wish for assessment during the FDIS stage we will also need the following information:

  • Whether you have any customers who are preparing for early adoption
  • Current status of preparations for training of auditing and other related (e.g. decision making) resources.
  • Current status of preparations for amendments to your auditing procedures and relevant management system information.
  • What communication have you had with your client base?

The above information will be requested through an online survey, which will be issued shortly after this communication. To help UKAS effectively manage resources for this transition any certification body wishing for assessment against the FDIS will be required to confirm dates for the head office and witnessed assessment shortly after the publication of the FDIS (i.e. within one month).

Please note that ISO 9001: 2015 certificates cannot be issued until the standard has been formally published, and that these certificates cannot be issued as UKAS accredited until the certification body has ISO 9001: 2015 listed on its scope of accreditation.

Certification bodies must also ensure that expiry dates on certificates issued following initial certification or recertification referencing ISO 9001:2008 do not exceed the published end of transition date: At this point any remaining certificates to the 2008 standard shall become invalid. Any organisation wishing to be certified to ISO 9001: 2015 after the cut-off date will be subject to a full initial audit.

Combined Audits

It is recognised that publication of ISO 14001: 2015 is expected during 2015, and that some certification bodies may wish UKAS to carry out a combined ISO/IEC 17021 assessment covering the certification body’s ability to audit and certify using the new versions of both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001; UKAS is developing processes to accommodate such requests.

Projected Timescales

The following timetable is based on current knowledge with regard to the issue status of ISO 9001: 2015, please note that at the time of drafting this letter information was received that the dates may change; UKAS will keep CBs updated of this.

Mar 2015: Expected publication of ISO FDIS 9001

Mar to Sept 2015: UKAS internal preparation activities

July 2015: UKAS ready to carry out accreditation assessment activities to ISO 17021 for certification to ISO 9001: 2015, based on the FDIS.

July 2015: Expected publication of ISO 14001:2015

Sept 2015: Expected publication of ISO 9001: 2015 (to be confirmed)

September 2018: End of ISO 9001 transition (based on ISO 9001:2015 being published in September 2015)

ISO 9001: 2008 ceases to be valid (based on ISO 9001: 2015 being published in September 2015)

Any queries should be directed to Kevin Belson – UKAS Technical Manager [email protected]