#1 mistake to avoid when talking to top management about ISO 9001:2015: Jonathan Rigby interview

More leadership than ever are engaged with quality - Survey of 265 quality professionals across 55 countries (See results here: https://quality.eqms.co.uk/blog/qualsys-publishes-global-quality-trends-report-2019)

The secret to success?

Don't talk about ISO 9001:2015 at all

Yesterday I interviewed Jonathan Rigby, an ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 consultant based in Harrogate, to find out how the role of quality is changing, key trends and challenges. 

Historically, if an organisation wanted to implement ISO 9001:2015, they would turn to a quality assurance manager, and expect certification within twelve months. 

Nowadays there is a much greater onus on senior management to take ownership.

That historic perception has now been morphed.

It's been a struggle for ISO to convey that quality must go from top to bottom. But with the changes in 2015 and using the Annex SL structure, there has been a really positive shift in understanding of the role of the quality management system. 

So when I start working with a new client, I get the senior management team sat at the table. I don't talk about clauses. I listen and learn about the strategic objectives of the organisation.

Many consultants use the same out-of-the-box ISO 9001 policies etc. But this approach fails because it's not embedded into the organisation. It doesn't work.  

Senior management need to be sat at a table together, take responsibility and play their role. There is a change. They know quality is their issue now. But quality professionals need to use the right language. 

One of the biggest mistakes I see is quality professionals going into great detail about the operational aspects of what is required. They talk about standards and clauses. 

Directors and shareholders don't want this information. 

A typical person building a QMS will be focusing too much on the nitty gritty aspects of the standard.

Instead, focus on why the ISO certification is going to be important for the business. 


For tools, tips and techniques to help your ISO 9001:2015 journey, download the toolkit here: 

ISO 9001:2015 free pdf xls 


Topics: ISO 9001

Share your thoughts on this article