ISO Standards Update; Mike James, Managing Director LRQA and Chair of the IIOC reflects on World Standards Day

Today - Monday October 14th - marks International World Standards Day.  This is a natural point for us to take a moment to reflect on how the numbers of standards available and the way in which they are used have changed immeasurably over the years.  The strapline underpinning International World Standards Day is ‘International standards ensure positive change’ and to me, this succinctly summarises the value that management systems deliver to organisations – irrespective of their size or geographical location. 

For LRQA, I believe that what has been fundamental to the continued growth and worldwide adoption of management systems is their applicability and relevance, underpinned with new management thinking.  By relevance, I mean their proven ability to play a key role in driving the strategic decision-making of an organisation. 

With the revision process for some of the world’s leading standards well underway – including ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety), I believe that these updates will deliver increased user confidence through greater senior management ‘quality leadership’ responsibility tied to closer links between the management system and product/service quality, all raising the responsibility of certification and accreditation bodies.

Smart organisations recognise that by putting – or applying - management systems at the heart of their business, the results are stakeholder engagement, increased brand reputation, risk mitigation and management best practice.

I recently addressed some of LRQA’s senior internal and external stakeholders on progress to date and what the ISO standards revisions could mean for the market at large; a copy of my presentation can be found here.  Next week, I will be asking whether the introduction of a common language across standards through ISO’s adoption of Annex SL last year, could be the catalyst for change towards integrated management systems as standard practice.