From time to time ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation, update or develop new standards which can help our clients.
At Assent Risk Management we want to be at the forefront of international standards, applying industry best practices and that means working with new ISO standards when they are released.
Here’s a small insight in to the process we go through, to ensure we remain the trusted partner our client’s depend on.
Revising ISO Standards
ISO Management System standards go through a revision cycle every few years. We keep an eye on the main ones at our ISO Revisions page but there are many more.
ISO Standards are not developed and published overnight, which can be both a benefit and a drawback.
For example, a reasonable development period allows ISO consultants, like Assent, to monitor the committees involved and understand the spirit behind certain clauses of a standard.
But there can also be lengthy delays while stakeholders from the various countries involved come to a consensus of what should be in the standard. This was the case with the Occupational Health & Safety Standard ISO 45001, where labour and safety laws differ greatly across the world.
Developing ISO Standards
New ISO standards go through a series of steps before publication, including committee stages, Draft International Standard (DIS) and Final Draft International Standard (FDIS).
Throughout the process there are opportunities for national standards bodies to collate and give feedback on the drafts.
ISO provide details of their development process on their website here: https://www.iso.org/developing-standards.html
Breaking Down the Standard
The first step for us as ISO Consultants is to get a copy of the standard. Depending on the standard this may be at DIS, FDIS or after publication.
There can often be changes to the standard at each stage, so until it is fully published we can’t be certain what the requirements will be.
Having said that, the spirit and principles of the standard are often embedded early on, so reviewing a DIS or FDIS draft can help us get a head start!
We start by engaging with key stakeholders who can advise on how the standard might be applied. This can include Assent Consultants, External Consultants, Interested Clients or even Competitors.
All this feedback is collated, shared and acted on.
Next we undertake a clause by clause breakdown of the standard, to understand:
- Requirements of each clause.
- Evidence to demonstrate how each requirement is met.
- Integration with requirements of other ISO Standards.
This exercise produces a set of tasks which together comprises an ISO Implementation Project for the standard that our consultants can deliver.
Producing Materials & Content
Once we understand the requirements, evidence and integrations, we can start to produce supporting materials to help our consultants and clients meet the standard.
This could be a sample manual document, handbook, policy or procedure that can be used to speed up the project process.
Gap analysis tools and auditing guides help our consultants with shorter pieces of work, while we also invest time into making content freely available on our website.
Training Our People
Finally we train our people to be able to work with the new standard and use the materials we have produced.
This can include internal training sessions at an Assent office, or inviting a Certification Body to deliver accredited training.
Your Trusted Management Consultants
We’re committed to being your trusted partner to support you with ISO Standards, and we believe in making them work for you.
While we produce supporting materials to help, all our work is bespoke for your organisation. Contact our team to discuss how we can help you get a competitive edge with new and revised standards.