Stay calm and carry on.
This is a good message for everyone concerned or panicked with the all of the new changes to the big three standards coming this year. ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 (soon to be ISO 45001).
The LinkedIn Group boards are full of discussions on the subject. Clients are calling and asking me about the extent of the changes and what they need to do. The registrars are offering transition training, even though they are going to have to revise the training once they actually see the final version of the standards.
Well, the first that you need to do is to relax! The only versions of any of the standards that we have seen so far have been the draft standards or the DIS. These draft versions of the standard give us a sneak peak into the potential changes. However, nothing is set until we see the final draft version of the standard or FDIS. The FDIS version of the standards are what the published version of the standards will look like. So do not start planning updating anything until you see the FDIS version of the standards.
Once you finally review the FDIS, take your time to review the standard and to plan your approach. Just because you have a surveillance audit with your registrar in 3 months does not mean that you have to meet the requirements by then. You have essentially 3 years to upgrade your management system to meet the new requirements.
Step 1 – Perform a gap analysis/document review comparing your manual and procedures to the new version of the standard. The FDIS not the DIS.
Step 2 – Prepare a list of gaps and prepare an action plan. Outlining who will complete each task and the deadline to complete it. Schedule changes to processes to coincide with actual activities (i.e. update the aspects procedure and re-evaluate the aspects at the regular re-evaluation time)
Step 3 – Conduct an internal audit against the new standard’s requirements, even if it isn’t your scheduled internal audit time-frame. Better to identify any deficiencies sooner than later.
The key is that there is time. If you plan now, but allow for time to actually complete the changes, then you will not be panicked, it will not take up a lot of resources and the change inflicted will not be that noticeable. If you still need help you can give me a call to help with any step of the process.