Time is fast ticking away and come September 2018 you will have had no choice but to either transition to ISO9001:2015 or lose your certification. If you’ve left it to the last minute it is not too late – here’s what you need to do.
First things first – you need to start taking action immediately as there is no set timescale for how long it takes to go through the transition. There could be follow up actions that need to be resolved for example that need resolution prior to being awarded certification to the new standard.
Now, the amount of work required will depend on the nature of the organisation, the make up of your quality management system and how well it is integrated in to your organisation. Your first step should be to carry out an assessment of where you are against the new standard and, more importantly, what you need to do. Try using our GAP analysis template to help you do this.
Once you have done this you need to contact your auditing supplier and set a date as soon as possible. Consider switching if they do not have suitable dates available. You must appreciate that they too are feeling the strain from those who have left it until the last minute and some are struggling to fix dates prior to the deadline. Do not be afraid to shop around – have you considered some of the smaller organisations that can audit your system? These smaller auditors can often be more flexible and more willing to go the extra mile to help you out when you need it.
Once you have completed the GAP analysis you will need to engage with your management team and ensure that you get the buy in and commitment from them to achieve what is necessary. This could mean additional resources but, at the very least, they need to be clear what is required to achieve a successful transition. Without help from others within your organisation and a commitment to what is necessary it will be very difficult to reach your goal.
Once you start to get move you quality management system to the new standard it will be important to re-visit your GAP analysis and check that you are moving in the right direction. Periodically re-visit this and identify where you are lacking so that you can intervene. It is better do this little and often than to find out at the end that you have missed key steps or stages.
Lastly, it is important to ensure that you can evidence what you have done during your transition process. Our advice is to reference this evidence in your project planner so that you can easily show your auditor the relevant documents or provide a quick explanation on what you have done to achieve a particular clause.
In summary, you are leaving it very late but all is not lost. Act now and you will stand a chance of achieving a successful transition.
Good luck form us.