ISO 9001:2015 for Small Business

November 21st, 2016

ISO’s essential guide for small enterprises wishing to implement a quality management system (QMS) has just been updated, providing practical advice and concrete examples tailored specifically for small businesses.

The handbook was written by a group of experts from ISO/TC 176/SC 2, the technical subcommittee that developed ISO 9001:2015, and features useful information on everything from how to get started right through to guidance for those who choose to seek certification. It includes practical advice on the different ways of approaching a quality management system (QMS) as well as detailed guidance on each element of the ISO 9001:2015 Standard. This handbook offers tailored advice to help them implement a quality management system that can truly be useful, and can help organizations improve their overall business performance.

ISO 9001 is one of the world’s most widely used quality management system standards, with over one million organizations certified to it in over 170 countries around the world.

ISO 9001:2015 for Small Businesses  What to do? is available for purchase from the ISO Store.


ISO management system standards continue global growth trend

October 22nd, 2016



The 2015 results of the ISO Survey have just been released, showing the number of certifications to ISO management system standards continues to rise worldwide.   According to the results of the survey, a total of 1,519,952 valid certificates were reported worldwide in 2015 across nine management system standards, compared to 1, 476, 504 the previous year – an increase of 3 %.

ISO’s most widely used management system standards, ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management, remain popular with  1, 033, 936 and 319,324 certificates respectively.  

The ISO Survey is an annual survey of valid certifications to our management system standards issued by accredited certification bodies worldwide. It is the most comprehensive overview of certifications to these standards currently available. ISO does not perform certification, therefore these results rely on the responses of some of the world’s largest certification bodies.

View the executive summary and full results on the ISO Survey page.

Engaging Employees: Big Companies Need the Most Improvement

September 20th, 2016


When it comes to how engaged employees are with their companies, organization size matters. Employees who work for larger companies with more than 1,000 workers report lower levels of engagement than those who work for smaller firms with fewer than 1,000 employees. The engagement gap widens for employees who work for companies with more than 5,000 workers, as these individuals report lower average results on nearly all of Gallup’s engagement items than in firms with fewer than 1,000 employees.

Gallup analysis shows that the 1,000-employee mark seems to be the tipping point for declining engagement with a company. When an organization reaches this size, a smaller percentage of employees strongly agree that they have the opportunity to do  what they do best every day and that their organization’s mission or purpose makes them feel their job is important. A smaller percentage also strongly agree that they have the materials and equipment to do their job right and that they have opportunities at work to learn and grow.

Here are some steps larger companies can take to boost engagement in their workforce:

  • Establish effective feedback systems
  • Create opportunities for employees to learn and grow
  • Take advantage of regular check-ins

Visit the Gallup Website for more detailed information on this important study.  Well worth the Look!


Arizona Ranked #1 in Aerospace Manufacturing

August 8th, 2016

Arizona our home state, is home to more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies, according to the Arizona Commerce Authority, and the industry’s growth in the state has put it in the top ranking for aerospace manufacturing. PricewaterhouseCoopers released a ranking of the top places for aerospace manufacturing, and Arizona came in at No. 1, beating out Florida, Utah and Georgia, among others. According to the study, Arizona ranked high thanks to property and unemployment taxes, as well as operating costs and employment.

Arizona’s aerospace and defense total exports rose by almost 22 percent from 2011 to 2014, reaching a $3.47 billion total, primarily due to a near $400 million increase in aircraft, engines and parts exports, according to a 2015 study by the International Trade Administration.

Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon are some of Arizona’s biggest hitters in the aerospace industry. PwC’s study highlights Bombardier Aerospace and its almost 14 percent increased workforce at the Tucson International Airport.

ISO 9001:2015 Documentation Requirements

July 17th, 2016

Management SystemsISO 9001:2015 clause 4.4 Quality management systems and its processes requires an organization to “maintain documented information to the extent necessary to support the operation of processes and retain documented information to the extent necessary to have confident that the processes are being carried out as planned.”

Clause 7.5.1 General explains that the quality management system documentation shall include: a) documented information required by this International standard; and b) documented information determined by the organization as being necessary for the effectiveness of the quality management system.  QMS documented information can differ from one organization to another due to the: (1) size of organization and its type of activities, processes, products and services;  (2) complexity of processes and their interactions, and (3) competence of persons.

Documented information maintained by the organization for the purpose of communicating the information necessary for the organization to operate (low level, specific documents). See 4.4.  Although ISO 9001:2015 does not specifically requires any of them, examples of documents that can add value to a QMS may include:

  • Organization charts
  • Process maps, process flow charts and/or process descriptions
  • Procedures
  • Work and/or test instructions
  • Specifications
  • Documents containing internal communications
  • Production schedules
  • Approved supplier lists
  • Test and inspection plans
  • Quality plans
  • Quality manuals
  • Strategic plans
  • Forms

Where it exists, all the documentation that forms part of the QMS, including all that is maintained (records) has to be controlled in accordance with clause 7.5. Documented Information.