What’s the purpose of ISO standards?

What’s the purpose of ISO standards?

Posted by:caragh.oneill
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ISO Standards

In our latest blog, Gavin Kane, Director of Consulting in Quadra discusses the purpose of ISO standards, why Organisations choose ISO certification and some of the key drivers behind the decision to become ISO certificated.

ISO Standards

We are often asked what ISO standards are and what purpose do they serve ?

This is not an easy question to answer in a simplistic straight forward manner, so we thought it would be a good idea to develop a response.

It is important to recognise that there are over 20,000 ISO standards in existence.

What products or services to ISO standards commonly cover?

These standards are generally split between those which cover product requirements and those which cover management systems. Product standards cover items such as children’s toys, food, IT equipment and personal protective equipment but to name a few.

Management System Standards are those which are aimed at assisting industry to implement best practice and achieve certification in certain business areas.

At Quadra we work in assisting clients to achieve certification to ISO Management System Standards.

ISO standards are effectively risk management tools and generally describe the best way of managing a particular facet of the business.

Common ISO standards

The most common Management System Standards include:

  • ISO9001 – Quality
  • ISO14001 – Environment
  • ISO45001 – Health and Safety
  • ISO27001 – Information Security
  • ISO22301 – Business Continuity
  • ISO13485 – Medical Devices
  • ISO17020 – Competence In Inspection
  • ISO17025 – Testing and Calibration
  • ISO22000 – Food Safety Management

There are other Management System Standards in areas such as IT Service Management (ISO20000) and Collaborative Relationship Management (ISO44001) and the popularity of these standards is also growing albeit at a more gradual rate.

Accurate data is hard to come by but according to the ISO survey in 2019 there were around 1.35 million ISO certificates issued worldwide.

So why do organisations need ISO standards?

There are a range of drivers but the most common are:

  • To improve risk management
  • To provide assurance
  • To satisfy tender criteria
  • To match or surpass competitors
  • To access new markets
  • To attract new customers

If you need further advice on why your Organisation may benefit from implementing a management system certificated to ISO standards, speak to your Quadra representative now [email protected] or call +44 28 90423222.

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