ISO 9001, the standard for quality management

Good quality management is crucial to the success of an organisation. Integrating operational processes in an efficient management system offers a wide range of advantages. ISO 9001 – the international standard for quality management – is the perfect starting point for this. 

What is ISO 9001?

ISO 9001 is applied worldwide in the creation and certification of quality management systems (QMSs). The standard helps companies and organisations to work more efficiently and improve customer satisfaction. Every organisation, regardless of type, sector or size, can benefit from it. The standard is part of the ISO 9000 family, which covers various aspects of quality management.

The latest version of the standard – ISO 9001:2015 – was published in September 2015 and considers the new business challenges in a globalised world. The standard achieves this by:

  • putting more emphasis on leadership involvement;
  • taking a structured approach to organisational risks and opportunities;
  • using simplified language and a common structure and terms across various management systems;
  • allowing more efficient management of the supply chain;
  • being more user-friendly for service and knowledge organisations.

Tips for implementing ISO 9001 successfully within your organisatio

Tip 1: Define your objectives. What do you want to achieve by implementing the standard?

Tip 2: Make sure that everyone – particularly senior management – supports the initiative and the predetermined objectives.

Tip 3: Identify how your organisation can meet customers’ goals and requirements. Understand your customer’s requirements and adapt your processes accordingly.

How can ISO 9001 benefit an efficient quality management system?

A quality management system can help you to determine how you can offer customers and stakeholders the best possible service. This helps you improve customer satisfaction and identify new business opportunities. ISO 9001 can contribute to these goals by:

  • supporting more efficient processes, which will increase productivity and reduce internal costs;
  • giving you the opportunity to expand into new markets;
  • enabling you to identify and address the risks within your organisation.


Standards as a guideline for improving management efficiency

Standards like the ISO 9001 series provide companies with a guide for mapping their quality performance, analysing risks and substantiating strategic decisions. Joerdi Roels is one of the specialists in this field and trains companies via the NBN Academy. In addition, he also helps them to implement ISO management systems via Quess.

Certification: necessary or optional?

Certification – when an independent body compares your organisation’s processes with the requirements laid out by the standard– is not required by ISO 9001. However, we do recommend it: it is a way of showing interested parties that your organisation has implemented the standard correctly. In addition, certification is mandatory for collaboration with certain authorities or public bodies.

NBN does not carry out certification itself.

Who is ISO 9001 intended for?

Many professionals who are responsible for quality management within their organisations can benefit from ISO 9001. These roles include:

  • quality managers for the ISO 9001 management system;
  • internal quality auditors responsible for preparing, performing, reporting on and following up internal audits;
  • sustainability managers and persons responsible for quality, safety and the environment (QSE) involved in the integration of management systems;
  • risk assessors and risk management managers;
  • board members and management;
  • process owners.

Part of the ISO 9000 family

A sector-specific derivative of ISO 9001 was developed for certain fields in order to enable the specific quality management requirements within that sector to be met even more effectively. These sector-specific standards are:

  • ISO 13485 – Medical Devices Management Systems: the quality management standard for organisations in the medical sector.
  • ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management: the quality management standard for food safety.
  • ISO 18295 – Service Requirements for Customer Contact Centres: the standard for qualitative contact and customer care centres.
  • ISO/IEC 17025 – General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories: the standard for quality management in laboratories.
  • ISO 22163 - Railway applications – Quality management system – Business management system requirements for rail organisations: the quality standard for rail organisations.
  • ISO 18091 – Quality management systems – Guidelines for the application of ISO 9001:2008 in local government: the quality management standard for local authorities.

How should you go about implementing standards?

NBN can help you to implement standards within your company or organisation. Purchase standards, take one of our training courses to gain insights into certain standards, and/or join committees and make your voice heard.

Are you interested in purchasing one or more standards? You can do that via your personalised standards catalogue in myNBN or via the e-shop.

Would you like to broaden your knowledge through training? Send us an e-mail at or call 02 300 78 52.

Here is a selection of what we have to offer:

Would you like to help develop standards? Why not join one of our committees. Send us an e-mail at or call 02 300 78 53.