ISO standards have become huge within organisations. It seems to be one of those “buzz” words at the moment and everybody wants a piece of it. So, I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little more about it and hopefully, help you to decide if it’s really for you. So what are ISO standards?
ISO stands for International Standards Organisation. It is a recognised accreditation given to companies who want to adhere to high-quality standards within their organisation. They can be around health and safety, the environment, leadership and management and many other subjects.
They are a great standard to work towards and give your company the upper hand with competitors. But they are hard work and you need to consider the facts carefully before entering into the process.
There are a few changes being made at the moment. One example is the IS09001-2008. This has now been updated to the ISO9001-2015. Anyone holding the old standard will need to ensure they are up to date with the new ISO standards and adhering to the 2015 version.
Leadership and Management Processes
There are several changes to the leadership and top-level management processes and how you hold your staff reviews will be affected. There are now a lot more elements to consider and they need to be embedded into your culture. It’s key that you show that your company has really bought into the process.
I get approached daily about helping businesses to get through these standards and get the accreditation. This is a big part of what we offer, and I love doing them. However, it comes with some frustration.
I find that a lot of companies want to gain the ISO accreditation because they want to tender for work that requires it. This is fine but there needs to be an understanding of the work that is involved in not only getting you to the ISO standards in the first place but keeping you there for the full three years that it covers.
Let me put that in perspective. You will spend a lot of money on these standards. You will be checked and if you don’t keep them going throughout the duration of the process, the accreditation will be taken away. Every penny you initially spent would have been wasted and you won’t get the work you were tendering for anyway.
This isn’t a “tick the box” exercise and GPW are very clear from the start that we will only work with businesses that genuinely want to achieve these ISO standards for the right reasons. It’s an absolute waste of time and money for all of us involved if you’re not going to actually commit to having this as part of your working culture.
Benefits of ISO Standards
The ISO standards are amazing for any business. The benefits are huge. They offer your company kudos, stability and structure but they take time and effort to get right. You’ve heard the saying “nothing good comes easy” right?
We can help you with all aspects of gaining the accreditation. Whether we are starting from scratch or just advising on the policies you already have in place, we are happy to step in.
Be wary of companies who offer to take you through these standards but work towards one that isn’t accredited by UKAS or another genuine awarding body. Without this “official” accreditation at the end of it, the piece of paper is worthless.
If you would like to get your company on the right path and give it the guidance that ISO offers, get in touch for a free GAP Analysis today and we can assess your needs appropriately.