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ISO 9001:2015 is an International Standard dedicated to Quality Management Systems (QMS). It outlines a framework for improving quality and set procedures through which an organization carries out its operations in a consistent manner to meet the requirements and expectations of its stakeholders effectively and efficiently. The new standards were published in 2015, giving institutions a three year transition period to upgrade their ISO 9001:2008 certification to ISO 9001:2015. In view of this, National Water Harvesting and storage authority (NWHSA) has started a road map towards certification for the the  new standard; ISO 9001:2015.

The Authority through the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) in conjunction with the National Quality Institute (NQI)   has already trained several staff who will take lead  in the implementation of the new standard, on the Quality Management System (QMS) implementation Course.

Acting Chief Executive Officer CS. Sharon Obonyo thanks KEBS for their support and urges all staff to embrace the new standard saying this will help promote best practices in the Authority hence, ensure efficient operations such as prudent financial management, improvement in turnaround time and service delivery. CS. Obonyo graced the staff trainings and reiterated management’s commitment in the implementation of the new standard.


The four day course sought to help participants understand the basic concepts of quality management, the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 standard and acquire and be able to apply knowledge and skills to implement the QMS based on the new standard.

Dennis Osoro and Nancy Rotich who are members of the ISO implementation Committee helped us to unbundle the new standard and gave us highlights of the same.

 Difference between the old and the new ISO 9001:2015 standard

Quality Manual: it is no longer a title specific requirement. The new requirement for “Documented information” gives greater freedom on how this is implemented.

Management Representative: This was a tittle used in the ISO 9001:2008 standard. The new standard requires that management appoints a team leader who will oversee its implementation and will be called a Quality Management Champion.

Preventive ActionThe change from “preventive action” to “risk and opportunity” is an example of a where management is required to adopt risk-based thinking so as to prevent potential risks and capitalize on new opportunities.

Quality management System and its processes: This approach requires that an organization shall establish, implement, maintain and continually improve a QMS while managing inter-related processes.

The new ISO Standard

 Risk based thinking: As already noted, the Authority will be required to do a risk assessment then come up with risk mitigation measures.

Interested Parties: this has been added to clause 4.2 but with the precaution that it is “relevant interested parties”. To be relevant, the interested party must have some actual or potential impact on the quality of the goods and services.

Control of changes: this is aimed at ensuring that review or any changes in production or service provision is necessary to ensure continued conformity with requirements.

Leadership: top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment to QMS and offer strategic direction.

Achieving the ISO 9001:2015 standard is not about establishing a set of procedures that are complicated and difficult to manage. The aim is to provide a workable management system that is suitable for the institution. With the right support and the knowledge of the employees, the institution will establish a system that will improve all areas of its operations. Most importantly, implementing an effective and robust ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) will help the institution to focus on the important areas in regard to its mandate and improve efficiency.

The Authority is in the right track in aligning its processes towards the ISO 9001:2015. After training of the implementors, QMS internal auditors from the Authority will also be trained after which all staff will be sensitized before implementation of the new standard. It is after meeting all these requirements that the Authority will be certified.  


 Written by Dennis Osoro &

Nancy Rotich

 Published on 5th March, 2021

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