ISO 9001 VS ISO 14001

What’s the difference between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?

Despite the multitude of ISO standards that organizations can follow, there are two that stand out from the rest. As per the latest survey, ISO 9001:2015 is the most popular standard in the world with 878,664 valid certificates. ISO 14001:2015 has received second place with 307,059 valid certificates. In third place is ISO 22000:2005 & 2018 with only 32,120 valid certificates.

The reason why many organizations get ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Certification is because of their focus. Quality management according to ISO 9001 and environmental management ISO 14001. Two very important areas in our global world.

Importantly, there are similarities between the two. What stands out most to us at Vinsys is the fact that both standards have risk management requirements. This means that both require organizations to implement and maintain a risk management system. (It can be integrated and covers both standards at the same time.)

Despite some overlap, they end up “seeing” different areas. So, if you are aiming for this credential, you need to make sure that you choose the right standard!

Understanding significance of ISO 9001

ISO 9001:2015 (which replaces ISO 9001:2008) is the international standard for quality management. It defines the policies and procedures that you must implement to meet customer needs and increase customer satisfaction. ISO 9001 helps you identify your goals and define the processes and resources needed to achieve the desired results. This allows you to demonstrate that your organization has the systems and controls in place to meet customer requirements. This is achieved through the implementation of a quality management system (QMS).

QMS helps you deliver your product or service to your customers efficiently and repeatedly.

Well, most significantly, ISO 9001 can help you achieve this, whether you are a large or small organization. Requirements agnostic in terms of size. Your app will help you whether you are an organization of five or one in five thousand!

Similarly, whether you create a physical product or provide a service, you can also use standards.

Various people think that 9001 is only really “right” for manufacturers of physical goods, but that’s not the case! 9001 and the wider ISO 9000 family can be applied to a number of different scenarios. For example, ISO 18091:2019 provides guidance on the use of 9001 in local government.

Understanding significance of ISO 14001

ISO 14001:2015 is an internationally accepted standard for environmental management. It defined the policies and processes that organizations should implement to improve the performance of your environment.

The ISO 14001 standard assists organizations in identifying the goals and defining the processes and resources needed to manage the impact of the environment. This is achieved through the implementation of an environmental management system (EMS).

EMS helps you improve environmental performance, manage the environmental aspects of your operations, and meet regulatory requirements.

Like 9001, organizations of all sizes can apply ISO 14001 to manage their environmental impact. ISO 14001 can also be utilized by organizations in various sectors, whether they are offering products or services.

Similarities between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

Since 9001 and 14001 are ISO management system (MSS) standards, they share a number of requirements.

As mentioned in our article on internal auditing and ISO standards, the HLS was completed in 2015. It is a framework of ten clauses that all ISO MSS should use. This means that all MSS have a similar design, which allows integration between systems from different disciplines (e.g. quality and environmental management).

HLS uses the same basic text for each MSS and then adds subject-specific text as needed. The ten general clauses of HLS are:

  • Scope – Defines the scope of the ISO standard (e.g. quality, health, and safety, etc.)
  • Normative references – a list of reference documents required for the application of the standard. In certain cases this clause is not used.
  • Terms and Definitions – a list of standard general and specific terms and their definitions.
  • Organizational context – Requests regarding issues affecting your organization. They can be internal or external.
  • Leadership – Determines what is required of those in senior leadership (top management) positions in your organization.
  • Planning – Describes the approach your organization should take when planning how to deal with threats and opportunities (e.g. using a quality risk list). This section also sets out the steps you should take to ensure that the control system does what is required.
  • Support – This section defines the resources that must be provided to support the management system. This can include but should not be limited to competent people, the right infrastructure, and the right environment.
  • Operations – Defines how organizations should define the processes required for their operations. It also addresses “acceptance criteria” and contingency plans in the event of a non-conformity or emergency.
  • Performance Evaluation – Determines what the organization needs to monitor and report. This clause also includes requirements for internal audit and management review.
  • Improvements – List of requirements for dealing with non-conformities and incidents. It also includes actions to control, correct and manage consequences.

Difference between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

While 9001 and 14001 share ten HLS clauses, there are some key differences between the two. First of all is their theme. 9001 aims on quality management and 14001 on environmental management.

Therefore, different terms are included in the general clause. For example, clause nine of 9001 (Performance Evaluation) requires organizations to track customer satisfaction. They must “monitor customers’ perceptions of the extent to which their needs and expectations are being met.” This requirement is missing from 14001.

In turn, ISO 14001 contains a number of requirements that are missing from 9001. For example, section six (Planning) 14001 contains requirements for planning environmental aspects and planning compliance obligations. The latter is the recognition of a wide range of environmental legal entities around the world.

Wrapping up:

In short, there are some significant differences between ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. This is mainly due to the different orientation of the respective standards. 9001 has certain quality management requirements. While 14001 has certain environmental management requirements.

However, there are also correlations between the two standards. This is because they are both ISO MSS and therefore both follow HLS. This makes it seamless for organizations to implement more than one ISO MSS at the same time with certain shared requirements. For example, you can combine a list of quality risks and a list of environmental risks.

At Vinsys we are committed to offer best quality ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 Certification Courses online that can help you in taking your career to the next level.