ISO 9001 Requirements

What are the certification requirements?

ISO 9001 Quality Management focuses on improving the customer experience and satisfaction, demonstrating that the organisation is trustworthy, respected and aligned with other brands of the same calibre across the world.

Organisations large and small can benefit from adopting ISO 9001 within their organisation.  It helps to formalise policies and procedures when showcasing the quality of services and products and is recognised worldwide.  ISO 9001 is designed to enhance daily operations, streamline workflows and lower costs overall.

ISO 9001 follows the Annex SL structure which was introduced by the ISO to ensure consistency across popular management systems.  It is a high-level structure that provides generic clause titles, text, common terms, and core definitions.

Whilst the technical content may vary from standard to standard, the framework and structure is the same and applies to the common management systems. Annex SL consists of 10 clauses and builds on seven quality management principles to ensure you meet customers’ needs consistently.

The key clauses include:

Context of the Organisation





Performance Evaluation


Context of the Organisation (Clause 4)

This section allows you to set out the overall purpose of your organisation and the strategic direction it is heading towards when assessing quality.

It means that you understand your client’s needs and expectations, have determined what affects the quality of your products and services,  and have identified suppliers, employees and interested parties that make up your stakeholders.

You will determine the scope of your ISO certification, identifying the boundaries of your quality management system.  This is usually the whole organisation, however there can be exceptions.


Leadership (Clause 5)

Leading from the front is a popular phrase in business. The commitment and leadership of directors and the senior management team within a company also come with responsibilities that factor into the ISO 9001 requirements.

From managing annual reviews to establishing and communicating quality objectives and policies to the team who take care of the overall quality of products and services, as well as creating a Quality Management System that is understood by all. Managers and leaders need to bear this in mind for the success of the company.

Planning (Clause 6)

Risk-based thinking ensures you take a pro-active approach to managing risks and opportunities.  By looking at potential scenarios and how you would react, you’ll be one step ahead if the unforeseen happens. This includes thinking about risks that may arise, their chance of occurrence and severity, the solution to reducing and preventing negative effects, and how to enforce these plans for a positive future.


Support (Clause 7)

As part of company culture, having a great support network and robust infrastructure in place means that the company is showcasing an effective Quality Management System. This includes good HR Management and efficient working environments.


Operation (Clause 8)

This part of ISO 9001 details how your company develops and delivers services and goods to customers and clients.

This ranges from the rules governing how your goods are created and stored, the quality objectives required for services and products, the documents and resources used by your employees to provide these successfully, and the inspection and monitoring carried out with effective testing so that your offering is of a high quality.

Performance Evaluation (Clause 9)

When recording measurements and analysis of the quality of your products and/or service, the document needs to showcase that it meets the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard, applies every aspect of its Quality Management System, and strives for continuous improvements across the business.


Improvement (Clause 10)

A key principle of ISO 9001 is its focus on continual improvement.  The final clause looks at what you’ve learnt from your performance evaluation and how improvements can be made. This includes making your products and services better, identifying what goals haven’t been met, improving customer satisfaction and matching their needs.

Learn More About ISO 9001

At ISO QSL, we support organisations in reaching their full potential.  We will work in partnership with you, providing honest and expert feedback on how improvements can be made to your organisation, in line with the certification. After getting accredited, you are subject to further internal and external audits as part of the ISO 9001 audit process.

You can learn more about ISO 9001 and its seven quality management principles in our ‘Introduction to ISO 9001’ online training module, from as little as £15+VAT.  Alternatively, speak to one of our experts today on 0330 058 5551.

Learn More

  • What are the main ISO 9001:2015 clauses?
    • Context of the Organisation (Clause 4)
    • Leadership (Clause 5)
    • Planning (Clause 6)
    • Support (Clause 7)
    • Operation (Clause 8)
    • Performance Evaluation (Clause 9)
    • Improvement (Clause 10)
  • What were the requirements for ISO 9001:2008?

    The ISO 9001:2008 certification expired in September 2018, and assessed the following 5 areas:

    • Quality Management System
    • Management Responsibility
    • Resource Management
    • Production Realisation
    • Measurement, Analysis and Improvement
  • Introduction to ISO 9001

    Understand more about ISO 9001 Quality Management and the seven quality management principles in our online training module from just £15+VAT.

    Sign up to ‘Introduction to ISO 9001’.

    5 Common Mistakes – Free Guide

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    It sounds great but…

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