Understanding ISO 9001:2008 and Process-based Management Systems (2nd edition)

Ian Rosam and Rob Peddle

Published by






Reviewed by

Adam Wilson, MBCS


8 out of 10

Understanding ISO and process management systems

This guide is the first of the new three part set, offered by the BSI in collaboration with the High Performance Organisation Group Ltd:

The guide starts with a brief history and introduction to the standard. The key message is the change in mindset required between the 1994 and 2008 versions; the focus on business effectiveness and not just compliance. 

The guide then moves onto explaining the principles, the steps to implementation, and the main differences between the 1994 and 2008 versions. The explanations provided are clear, brief and detailed enough to be informative without being confusing.

Each section includes clear (black & white) diagrams and ends with a clear summary of key points. Before listing all the clauses in the standard, the guide provides a good overview of process management and systems thinking.

The main bulk of the guide (66 of 111 pages) is a series of tables, which contains the clauses from the standard and provides a ‘what it means’ interpretation. The interpretation is based upon the authors' practical experience, and it is unclear if this is 'formal BSI guidance' or not.

Regardless, the 'what it means' descriptions provide a short valuable insight and plain English understanding of each clause. It is recommended that the reader makes notes in the final columns provided, as a form of quick gap analysis. These are entitled; ‘currently do this and in the system’, ‘currently do this but not in the system’, and ‘new to organisation’. However the space provided is limited and suited to very small handwriting or a few keywords.

The intended audience are those that need an overview, but no more, and it is ideal for busy directors or top management. This guide is exactly what you would expect to receive on a high quality introduction course; it is to the point, clear and short. A copy of the ISO 9001:2008 standard from BSI is £80 for a hardcopy. The guide at nearly half the price represents good value for money.

Further Information: BSI

March 2010