ISO 9001: 2015 and Vendor Certification

Suppliers, supplier management


We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and have a sole source vendor who is considering dropping their ISO certification. What is the best course of action to retain this vendor if they drop their ISO?


Thank you for your question.

Unless you are in an industry where you are required to have your suppliers registered to ISO 9001, (for example, the automotive industry under IATF 16949), or you have specific customer contracts which require this,  the choice is entirely yours whether or not your suppliers are registered to ISO 9001.

If your company wants to press the issue and require ISO 9001 as a condition for this supplier to continue to do business with you, be prepared for them to give you up as a customer.   If however, this is a valued supplier with a history of strong performance, you don’t want to dismiss a valued supplier partner.   If you decide to keep them, simply change your purchasing procedure to allow yourself the latitude for management to approve and use suppliers without ISO 9001 certification.

Denis Devos

A Fellow of the American Society for Quality
Devos Associates Inc.
(519) 476-8951

For more information on this topic, please visit ASQ’s website.

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