01. Jun 2015

ISO 9001 Revision explained in simple terms

Knowledge of the Organization

It is with great suspense that the international ISO 9001 Community is awaiting the publication of FDIS of ISO 9001:2015. The revised texts already are at the translators’ so that nothing should be in the way of a publication in July. For organizations that already change over to the new Standard in autumn, the intensive phase of work will start: In what areas does the present procedure conform to the new Standard, where are there still deficits? For your support, Quality Austria offers “Status reviews of implementation of ISO 9001:2015”. These reviews are to help to assess the new requirements in a compact manner and to identify the areas where additional endeavours still are required. For those that would like to master the changeover to the new Standard without any stress, this is an ideal form of preparation.

In a series of technical lectures, Quality Austria provides information on the revision of ISO 9001:2015. Each month, a key concept of the revision will be explained more profoundly. This month, Dr. Werner Schachner explains the requirements relating to the topic of “knowledge of the organization”.

Knowledge in ISO 9001

Dr. Werner Schachner


The high speed, dynamism and complexity of today’s business world cause knowledge to increasingly become a central competitive factor for organizations. This is also reflected in the development of ISO 9001. For the first time, adequate handling of knowledge is explicitly required for fulfilling ISO 9001:2015. This requirement is still another evidence of the fact that the ongoing change of our economic and social environment towards knowledge economy increasingly also is reflected in the behavioural modes, rules and now even standards of organizations.

The requirements ISO 9001 places on handling of knowledge concretely refer to “knowledge of the organization”. According to the Standard, this is the knowledge necessary for adequately carrying out the processes of the organization and guaranteeing conformity of the organization’s products and services.

According to ISO 9001, adequate handling of knowledge is not only required at a certain moment but, in particular, also over time. Organizations will have to consider requirements and trends changing in the course of time and adequately respond by means of their knowledge.

The requirements

The Standard does not require the introduction of comprehensive knowledge management as a management discipline of its own. However, the comparison of the concrete requirements the new ISO places on handling of knowledge with those placed by the wide-spread model of knowledge modules acc. to Probst clearly shows that the requirements of the Standard cover a majority of the elements of comprehensive knowledge management:


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Portrait Werner Schachner in schwarz weiß

Mr. Dr. Werner Schachner

Network partner, Product Expert Business Excellence (EFQM)

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Ms. Dr. Anni Koubek

Executive Vice President Innovation, Business Development Certification Quality

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