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ISO 9001 is the most successful International Management Standard with over one million Companies worldwide now certified. However, there are hundreds of other Standards. They broadly divide into two types. On one side are the Management Standards – on the other side lie the Product and Service related Technical Standards.

Charter4 has been involved in of a wide range of Standards projects. We have helped companies gain certification over more than 20 years. In fact, we have overseen the Certification of companies in both categories of Standard.

Certified Management Standards have a wide scope. Examples…

Charter4 has assisted clients with the implementation of many other Standards and Certifications. These too, have covered a spectrum of different industries. Examples of Standards and Certifications we have implemented include…

  • CE Mark and UKCA Logo related Product Certification.
  • API Tech Specs and API Monogram – Oil & Gas.
  • Achilles and other Supplier qualification schemes.
  • Industry Schemes like SIA- ACS & NACOSS for the Security Industry.
  • Specific Standards like ISO 27018 – Protection of Personally Identifiable Information in Public Clouds.

These points indicate the range of our consultation activities. However, if you have a specialist requirement, please Contact Us for a no obligation discussions. We can assist your company through to certification and ongoing support to these standards. However, we can also help you with other organisational requirements around specialist, technical or niche standards.

Understanding International Standards – Management Systems

The International Standards Organization (ISO) Management Standards focus on how an organisation operates or manages itself. The “Management Standards” set out the requirements for a certified Management System. Such a system is a set of policies, business processes and procedures used by an organization to ensure it can undertake the tasks required to achieve its objectives. So, the organisations’ objectives cover many aspects of its operations. For example, finances and profit, health and safety management, product quality, client relationships and staff management, as well as, regulatory and legal conformance.

The main groups of Management Standards relate to Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, as well as Information Security.

ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems replaced the earlier publication, OHSAS 18001. As a result, Health and Safety can now integrate as part of the group with Quality and Environmental Systems.

Integrated Management

Together these Standards can form an “integrated management system”. An integrated system becomes a single system within an organisation, or business. The system manages multiple aspects of management within the scope of the group of Standards. The various Standards involved include Quality, Environment, Health and Safety, as well as, Information Security Management.

Perhaps for the first time, there is now an over-arching system to organise nearly all aspects of business management. This integrated management system provides a structure within the organisation. It enables systematic and consistent management. In addition, the system enables fact-based management, continual improvement and effective oversight by external independent Assessors. This latter aspect provides the management with a reality check to balance their system overview against each of the Standards. Consequently, the integration of systems helps to strengthen the internal organisation and business resilience.

The Advantages of Management Standards

Management standards confer a number of common benefits on organisations with certification…

  • The Management Standard specifies key features of the system.
  • All aspects of the Standards require fact-based management.
  • They are applicable to almost any type of organisation.
  • Equally applicable to small local businesses through to large multi-nationals.
  • Apply effectively to both service and product orientated organisations.
  • Equally applicable to businesses, government agencies or charities.
  • The emphasis is on compliance first, then improvements.
  • Externally assessed by independent Assessors to provide a reality check.

Ultimately, these benefits increase the business resiliance and marketing kudos for the successful companies.

Update to Standards

Based upon use and experience, ISO Standards are routinely revised and updated. For ISO Management Systems, this revision cycle tends to fall between 5 to 8 years. Updates generally change requirements in response to changing business needs and shifting emphasis in business. Often, those changes have included the harmonisation of aspects of the Standards to enable closer integration and, therefore, more effective use of resources. ISO 9001 is an example. It had updates in 1994, 2000, 2008 and 2015.

The Scope of ISO

An International Standard is an internationally agreed document. It contains practical information and best practice.

ISO has developed over 23,000 International Standards on a variety of subjects. This progress continues to grow. The ISO organisation publishes approx. 1,250 new ISO standards annually.

Additionally, there are Standard Organisations in different Countries. The EU also issue specific Standards for local markets. For instance, The British Standards Institute, or BSI, sell over 50,000 different standards. These include ISO, BSI, EN (European) and other Standard publishing bodies.

Types of Standards

ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and now ISO 45001, are the International Standards Organisations’ (ISO) most well-known and successful standards. Consequently, they represent the most important Standards in the operation of a business. So, their position as Management Standards places them apart from those standards that are technical and product orientated.

ISO 9001 is the international benchmark for quality requirements in business-to-business dealings.In fact, there is good reason it has superseded other attempts at improving Quality Management. ISO 9001 applies to both product and service organisations. In addition, it is also assessed by independent Assessors.

ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 provide similar advantages to ISO 9001.  However, they enable organisations to meet their Environmental, Health & Safety and Information Security responsibilities and compliance obligations. Nevertheless, they are all within the scope of the integrated management system.

Technical and Product Standards

Most ISO standards are technically orientated and relate to a particular product, material, or process. Examples include, the technical Standards:

  • Geometrical product specifications (GPS)— Standard reference temperature for the specification of geometrical and dimensional properties [ISO 1:2016]
  • Graphical symbols — Public information symbols [ISO 7001:2007]
  • Cinematography — Underexposed motion-picture film requiring forced development — Designation method [ISO 8001:1984]
  • Anaesthetic and respiratory equipment — Compatibility with oxygen [ISO 15001:2003]
  • Earth-moving machinery — Hazard detection systems and visual aids — Performance requirements and tests [ISO 16001:2008]

As a result of the development of these Standards every industry has some need for common and agreed  technical specifications.

Combined Standards – Management and Technical requirements

Lastly, there are also combined Standards. These require Certification with a combination of operational management and technical requirements: Examples include:

  • EU developed Directives and Regulations like…
    • Construction Product Regulation (CPR) linked to EN 1090 for Steel fabrications or BS EN 14351 for Windows and external doors
    • Medical Device Regulation linked to ISO 13485
  • API Monogram that links the API Q1 Management Standard and API Technical Specifications

Management Standard Certification – External Assessment

The assessment of Management Standards is carried out against the specified requirements set out in the Standard itself. As with any business, there is a degree of self-monitoring. Thus, Certified organisations use staff to internally check activities and procedures. They monitor the system is working and that it meets the Businesses’ and Management System’s requirements. Further, they are responsible for identifying problems & possible improvements. Finally, they must report them and ensure that corrective actions are put in place and, most importantly, make sure they are effective.

However, over time, self-monitoring can lead to a drifting off from the specification set out in the standard. The Certification process helps prevent such drift. It keeps the organisation in line with other organisations working to the same industry standards through the use of independent Assessors. Those assessors are external to the organisation. Their job is to monitor the procedures and processes within your Management System. Further, they must ensure those procedures are working in line with the requirements of the Standard itself. Therefore, this external input ensures both external and internal validation of your Management System.

Independent Assessors work for Certification Bodies. The Certification Bodies have also been assessed and approved by Government-approved Accreditation Bodies. Example bodies include the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) in the UK, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in Germany and the ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB) in the USA. Each, in turn, are members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF). The latter agree and specify the conformity assessment rules so national organisations all work together to maintain international standards.

Certification bodies perform a vital role.

They also exhibit common attributes. All Certification Bodies should…

  1. Operate independently from the national Accreditation Bodies.
  2. Be independent of the organisations they assess.
  3. Checked and Registered by UKAS, RAB or an equivalent national Accreditation Body.
  4. Independent of the consultancy assisting the documentation and implementation of the relevant Management Standard.

Accreditation logo and symbols

UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) oversees UKAS in the UK. It owns the national accreditation logo, the “Crown and Tick”. UKAS holds a licence to use the Logo. UKAS is also able to sub-licence the symbols to successfully accredited Conformity Assessment and Certification bodies.

UKAS holds an important position in the UK. It is the sole national accreditation body. Consequently, it holds dominion over Accreditation and conformity assessment, along with Standards. Together, these provide confidence in goods, services, management systems and people. So, UKAS provides the only ‘authoritative statement’ of competence, that has public authority status. Thus, UKAS provides the last level of control in the conformity assessment chain.

Legal Protection

The power of an organisation like UKAS is rightly recognised in law. UKAS backed accredited Assessment has legal protection and the following apply…

  • Any organisation that suggests it is accredited in the sense of the “Regulation on accreditation and market surveillance (765/2008)”, as it has effect in Great Britain or Regulation (EC) 765/2008 in Northern Ireland, when they are not, may be guilty of an offence under the “Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (Statutory Instrument 2008/1276)”.
  • Certification bodies or representative organisations should refer these cases to Trading Standards or UKAS in the first instance.

Consequently, accreditation is an important legal step that companies seek for thier own protection.

Charter4 Can Help Your Organisation

We are a consultancy that specialise in International Management Standards and Technical Standards. using these Standards we help our Clients to improve thier business. Our expertise comes from many years of experience. We have both technical and management system experience in a wide range of Standards. We have also helped our clients thrive, grow and develop assisted by the Standards they have implemented. Some of our clients have been using our services for over 20 years. That is testimony to the success of the systems we have helped them to put in place and the ongoing support they enjoy.

If you would like to know more about implementing or supporting any Standards, please contact us now. The sooner you start, the sooner you will see benefits.

Management Standards - General Standards image diagram
Certification with Charter 4 – the Business Benefits
  • Improve, rather than just comply.
  • Full service and ongoing support to compliment your resources.
  • Build on your Processes & Systems (no standard templates).
  • Help defining your Best Practice.
  • Certification by independent UKAS accredited Assessors.
  • 100% Success & guaranteed support until Certification.
  • Help to get Government Grant (when available).
  • Flexible support to complement your resources.
Integrating our Standards allowed us to streamline and improve our operation and compliance systems. In fact, it made the whole Management Standards framework seem so much simpler, because it is now the way we do business.