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There is an increasing trend in the industry where organisations are actively developing, implementing management system against international standards such as ISO. As of 2016, more than 1.6 million businesses across the globe are certified to ISO standards (ISO, 2016). Based on the context and scope of the organisation, different ISO standards are used to develop and establish management systems within the business. Some of the popular ISO standards are:

  • ISO 9001:2015 – Quality management system
  • ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental management system
  • ISO 22001:2005 – Food safety management system
  • ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational Health & Safety management system (to be released in March 2018)
  • ISO 13485:2015 – Biomedical devices – Quality management system
  • ISO 27001:2013 – Information security management system
  • ISO 22301:2012 – Business continuity management system

Over the years several studies have discussed the benefits of implementing ISO standards. Business with ISO certifications or ISO based management system show better overall financial performance, better documentation procedures, higher perceived quality of products or services, and more effective communication among employees than non-certified firms (Chow-Chua et al., 2003, Singels et al., 2001, Chang and Lo, 2005).

ISO standards provide business with a toolkit and framework to build and align their management system. Developing and implementing a management system as per the requirement of international standard is simple and it requires is time, management system expert and resources. Companies can choose to implement a particular ISO standard or develop and establish an Integrated Management system that addresses the requirements for than one ISO standard.  Developing and implementing integrated management system adds more value to the business but reducing time & cost required to maintain different systems in silos.

 

The following are the key steps involved in the planning phase of ISO implementation:

  • Purchase a Copy of the Standard:

It is essential for the business to understand the requirements of the standard(s). You will need to purchase a copy of the standard to gain an understanding of the standard. You can buy the standards through certification bodies or ISO website.

  • Establish Leadership Commitment

Leadership’s commitment is the key factor in successfully implementing the ISO standard. The leadership team must be clear with the intent and objective of implementing the standard. There may be different reasons such as market pressure, requests from clients, tender requirements and regulatory requirement. The leadership team should also consult manager to buy into and support the project. Educating the management on what the management system is, the scope of the system, benefits to the organisation and all employees will help leadership gain the commitment needed for the workforce.

  • Gap Analysis

The first step in planning your implementation is to perform a Gap Analysis, a comparison of your current management system to the requirements of the ISO standard. Read (benefits of gap assessments). The Gap assessment report will show what you will need to add to your current management system to meet the requirements, and what you have in place that already meets the standard.

  • Project Plan

“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

A project plan should be developed using the gap assessment report. The project plan should discuss the implementation approach, project timeline, key stakeholders, budget and constraints.

Anitech Consulting can assist you in conducting gap assessment and developing your project plan to implement ISO standard in the organisation.

 

The following are the key steps involved in establishing and implementing ISO:

  • Understand the context of the organisation and determine the scope of the management system.
  • According to the Annex SL, all ISO standards are based on a common high-level structure. It essential to structure the management system using the annex SL as it easy to integrate different ISO management system standards under annex SL.
  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions:
  4. Context of the organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation
  10. Improvement
  • Develop policies, procedures, process maps and work instructions based on the risks of the business activity.
  • Training employee on the management system and requirement of the ISO Standard.
  • Implement the system and maintain appropriate records

Anitech Consulting can assist you in developing and implementing the ISO standard that is aligned your business context and activity.

 

The following are the key steps involved in checking phase of ISO implementation:

  • Monitor and measure the performance of the management system
  • Conduct internal audit to identify non-conformance and areas of opportunities in the management system
  • Analyse data such as product defects, customer satisfaction levels, supplier performance, process performance, safety incidents and legal compliance.
  • Conduct management review meeting to discuss the performance and integrity of the management system

After completing the above vital steps, the organisation will be ready to apply for an external audit to earn ISO certification from an ISO accredited certification body. Please note, you do not require to apply for ISO certification if your business does not require.

Anitech Consulting can assist in conducting internal audits, monitor performance and facilitate management review. Our consultants will also prepare you for the external audit and in most cases support you during the external audit day.

 

References:

CHANG, D. S. & LO, L. K. 2005. Measuring the relative efficiency of a firm’s ability to achieve organizational benefits after ISO certification. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 16, 57-69.

CHOW-CHUA, C., GOH, M. & BOON WAN, T. 2003. Does ISO 9000 certification improve business performance? International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 20, 936-953.

ISO 2016. ISO Summary

SINGELS, J., RUËL, G. & VAN DE WATER, H. 2001. ISO 9000 series-Certification and performance. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, 18, 62-75.

 

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