What is Clause 6 on Planning in ISO 9001:2015?

5 January 2024

When it comes to quality management, planning is the backbone of success. ISO 9001:2015 places a strong emphasis on effective planning within your Quality Management System (QMS). In this article, we'll dive into Clause 6 of the ISO 9001:2015 standard and shed light on its requirements.

Risk and Opportunity Management

To ensure proactive actions and informed decision-making, ISO 9001:2015 introduces the concept of risk-based thinking. While it doesn't dictate addressing all risks and opportunities, it mandates setting up a system for evaluating them. This allows you to prioritize and make the right moves when necessary, safeguarding the success of your QMS.

Example: Identifying potential risks like supplier disruptions and taking measures to mitigate them ensures your organization can maintain consistent quality and avoid any unexpected setbacks.

Establishing Measurable Quality Objectives

Top management plays a crucial role in establishing measurable quality objectives and developing strategies to achieve them. These quality objectives align with your organization's strategic goals, product and service requirements, and customer satisfaction expectations.

Example: Setting a quality objective to reduce customer complaints by 20% within the next quarter showcases your commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction and helps guide your improvement efforts.

Planning of Changes

In a dynamic business environment, change is inevitable. Clause 6 emphasizes the need for systematic planning and implementation of changes within your QMS. This ensures that modifications are effectively managed, minimizing disruptions and maximizing the benefits they bring.

Example: When implementing a new process or technology, thorough planning ensures that your employees are adequately trained, potential risks are addressed, and the impact on existing operations is carefully managed.


Effective planning is crucial for the success of your organization's Quality Management System (QMS), as emphasized in Clause 6 of the ISO 9001:2015 standard. This clause covers vital aspects such as risk management, setting measurable quality objectives, and change management. By fully embracing these requirements, you'll establish a robust and resilient QMS that empowers you to elevate your organization's performance while exceeding customer expectations.

For a comprehensive overview of all the requirements and how they interconnect, please see our article on ISO 9001:2015 Requirements. Alternatively, you may consider our comprehensive ISO 9001:2015 Foundation Training online course to deepen your understanding and skills related to quality management systems.

Simon Keller

Simon Keller

Training Manager, Instructor and Lead Author

Simon is the lead author of our ISO 9001 courses, templates and instructions, and is a passionate contributor to our articles and learning resources.

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