Construction Today - July 2016 - 10

BUILDING REGULATIONS

BIG CHANGES

The ISO 9001:2015 standard requires a risk-based approach. BY ANITA MCREYNOLDS-LIDBURY

now is involved in
ยป Leadership
identifying, recording, removing
and mitigating quality risks.

M

ore construction professionals
today are looking to ISO standards to help solve problems in
all stages of the development
process as well as to facilitate technological
advances and good management practices. Now with the recent release of the ISO
9001:2015 standard, construction professionals should be tuned in to some fundamental
changes in how ISO accredited firms are
expected to operate to remain compliant.

10

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JULY 2016

ISO 9001:2015 goes beyond the traditional company quality
manual and its current processes to ensure that companies can be
protected from unintended risk while improving identification and
new opportunities for improvement. A key and potentially the most
meaningful change is one from a preventive action process to riskbased thinking.
This change appears to result from vulnerabilities identified
in preventative action-based organizations where threats and/or
challenges discovered by line managers could remain unknown to
top management. So, what will this change mean to construction
professionals? Risk-based thinking is game changing and provides
companies the freedom to demonstrate that they have considered
risks for their project/services during the planning stage.
This change stipulates that construction firms have to review the
quality management system at each level as well as their ability to
meet objectives given the levels of risk attached to those objectives.
Not all processes of a quality management system represent the
same level of risk in terms of meeting objectives, and the effects of
uncertainty are not the same for every company.
The new ISO 9001:2015 requires that construction companies take
a risk-based approach to quality management. This includes taking
a larger holistic view of the business and its relationship into the
new "leadership" requirements. Where management was once only
responsible for ensuring they had qualified individuals to implement the quality management systems; leadership is now required
to be involved in the identification, recording, removal and/or
mitigation of quality risks.
Ensuring that leadership is involved in identifying risks, and
providing a forum for employees to channel their ideas for improvement is vital for a healthy risk-based system that can ultimately
tackle and hopefully avoid risk altogether. As you can see, it's more
than "preventative action" performed by quality teams in terms of
value to the bottom line and the business.

Changes for the Better
Organizational knowledge is another area that is changing for the
better as it relates to risk-based thinking. This requirement helps to
"safeguard" the company from loss of knowledge, e.g. though staff
turnover, failure to capture and share information, or encourage and
acquire knowledge though mentoring and benchmarking. These are


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - July 2016

Contents
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