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What is the difference between ISO 13485:2016 and 9001:2015?

ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 are two internationally recognized standards that define quality management systems. Although they both focus on managing quality within an organization, there are significant differences between them. This article aims to provide a thorough understanding of the disparities between ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015, enabling businesses to make informed decisions regarding their certification needs.

ISO 13485:2016 - Quality Management Systems for Medical Devices

ISO 13485:2016 is specifically tailored for organizations involved in the design, development, production, installation, and servicing of medical devices. It places a strong emphasis on risk management, traceability, and regulatory compliance specific to the medical device industry. Additionally, ISO 13485:2016 requires organizations to establish processes for the identification and traceability of medical devices throughout the supply chain.

ISO 9001:2015- Quality Management Systems for All Industries

ISO 9001:2015, on the other hand, is a generic standard applicable to all types of industries. Unlike ISO 13485:2016, ISO 9001:2015 focuses on customer satisfaction, continual improvement, and process optimization. It requires organizations to have a holistic approach to quality management, encompassing aspects such as leadership, risk analysis, and performance evaluation. ISO 9001:2015 also promotes a customer-centric perspective, encouraging communication and engagement with customers during the entire product/service lifecycle.

Distinguishing Factors

The key differences between ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 can be summarized as follows:

1. Regulatory Focus:

ISO 13485:2016 places a strong emphasis on meeting regulatory requirements specific to the medical device industry, ensuring compliance with regulations and standards such as the FDA requirements in the United States and the EU Medical Device Regulation.

2. Risk Management:

ISO 13485:2016 requires organizations to establish a risk management process that includes risk identification, assessment, mitigation, and monitoring.

3. Product Safety and Performance:

ISO 13485:2016 focuses on the safety and performance requirements of medical devices throughout their lifecycle, including their design, development, production, installation, and servicing.

4. Customer-Related Processes:

ISO 9001:2015 emphasizes customer satisfaction, requiring organizations to identify and address customer needs and expectations effectively. It puts an emphasis on measuring and evaluating customer satisfaction levels.

In conclusion, while both ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 9001:2015 are quality management system standards, they differ significantly in terms of their focus, requirements, and applicability to different industries. Organizations involved in the medical device industry should carefully evaluate their specific needs to determine whether ISO 13485:2016 certification is necessary, whereas ISO 9001:2015 provides a more general framework suitable for all industries.

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