Who is the ISO?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies. It brings together experts and professionals from its members to create generic and sustainable management systems to set about a standard that promotes quality and efficient processes while reducing costs. They give world-class specifications and proactive measures for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. These standards are instrumental in facilitating the international trade and unifying organizations of different specializations in terms of processes. (ISO, 2016) Currently , it has about 21, 000 standards involving a myriad of topics and specializations from environmental quality management systems to occupational health systems.
Some ISO Standards
• 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems (QMS): ISO 9001 is a standard that sets out the requirements for a quality management system. It helps businesses and organizations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. The following are other standards that specialize on other specifications but are patterned on ISO 9001:2015:
IWA 2 QMS for Educational Institutions
IWA 4 QMS for Local Government Units
ISO 1003:2007 QMS Dispute Resolution
• 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems: This recently revised standard focuses on audits, communications, labeling, life cycle analysis, environmental challenges and climate change.
• ISO 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Assessment Series: Focuses on a series of international occupational health and safety management safety specifications. It helps organizations control health and safety risks.
Benefits of Being ISO Certified
The main goal of most ISO standards is to ensure that there is quality and safety in the processes and products that are delivered by a certain organization. It also wants to make sure that the expectations of customers are met and even exceeded. It aligns its processes with the company goals and creates an avenue wherein the employees or staff is more involved in the organizational objectives. These standards are the backbone of our society, ensuring that the products and services facilitating the international trade improves the quality of the environment that which we live in. Gone are the days that we settle for mediocre stretegies that come and go depending on administration. Progress happens when there is consistency on the efforts and processes. The ISO Standards create a system of continuity that is not only sustainable but also innovating and always improving.
The ISO Standards contribute to the following:
For the economy; As a matter of fact, the ISO Standards which are implemented in various countries has increased the GDP of top performing countries. Countries such as India, UK and Australia have reported to have increased in GDP due to the shift in organizational processes. The UK increases about $8.2B annual growth in GDP and Australia with a $91B increase since 1981. (ISO, 2016)
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For consumers; with 21,000 standards known to operate on every kind of organizational specialization, these standards ensure that consumers can be confident that the products they buy are safe, reliable and are of good quality depending on how these processes are followed.
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For government; since these standards operate on the generic process implementation, it can be implied that the standards create a rigid process system in terms of how services, documents control, audit and products are concerned. It is also flexible in terms of understanding the context of each organization, in the implementation of Annex SL. (search for whitepaper on Annex SL) (ISO) Therefore, creating a platform for governments to outline their policies because of the context consideration and rigidness of the system.
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For small and medium sized businesses; ISO standards can also help small and medium sized enterprises because it provides a state of the art specifications for products and services and increases efficiency in processes, providing the small and medium sized businesses a strategies of how to better their production and services. All of which are aligned with the international standards. (British Certifications Inc., 2015)
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Top 9 Reasons: Why you should be ISO Certified (Please make this infographics)
1. ISO Standards level the playing field for smaller business and organisations with bigger enterprise
2. ISO Standards open up the expert markets for your products and services
3. ISO Standards help business continually improve by discovering new strategies and having a continous strategic process which lead to efficiency
4. ISO Standards adds credibility and confidence to your customers for being at par with the global standards
5. ISO Standards open new business opputunities and gives the organization a competitive edge
6. ISO Standards make sure that the company platform not only grows but also improves
7. ISO Standards ensure that there is a common language implemented across organizations
8. ISO Standard asseses the overall context of your organization to define who is affected by your work and what they expect from you
9. ISO Standards meet the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements to make sure that your organization not only meets the international but also the local standards set forth by your local or national government unit
In sum , being ISO Certified does not only enhance internal processes of a certain organization but also the external aspects that create a ripple effect on overall organisational performance. ISO Certification is your catalyst to going beyond being locally competitive but it also opens the gateway to be one step into making a mark in the global arena. You are not only ensuring your organisation’s success but ensuring that you are contributing to the betterment of our country’s initiative towards being internationally recognized of having credible processes.
ASQ Vancouver Section. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://asq.bc.ca/Programs/files/Benefits%20of%20ISO%209000%20standards_V3.pdf
British Certifications Inc. (2015, November 5). Slideshare. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/britishiso/benefits-of-iso-certification
ISO. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.iso.org/iso/home/iso_strategy_2016-2020_en_-_lr.pdf
ISO. (2016, September 16). Benefits of International Standards. Retrieved from ISO: http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/benefitsofstandards.htm
ISO. (n.d.). Reaping the Benefits of ISO 9001. Retrieved from ISO: http://www.iso.org/iso/reaping_the_benefits_of_iso_9001.pdf