Selecting a provider that adheres to ISO standards can be a wise decision, offering the reassurance that your organization is working with a provider that has implemented robust systems to ensure consistency, reduce risk, and deliver results.
INSIDE THIS ARTICLE, YOU'LL FIND:
For businesses operating in today's globalized economy, it's important for organizations to partner with reputable service providers that can offer high-quality products or services while minimizing risks. Whether you're seeking a supplier, vendor, or any other type of business partner, evaluating them can be a challenge. This is where the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) comes in.
ISO establishes globally recognized standards for various aspects of operations and management, providing a framework that can help you evaluate potential business partners and make informed decisions. Organizations that comply with, or are certified by, ISO standards are more likely to deliver better products or services, and have made a commitment to identifying and mitigating risks on an on-going basis through audits. In short, by partnering with ISO-compliant organizations, you ensure that you're working with a reliable partner.
WHAT IS ISO?
ISO, or the International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, non-governmental organization that develops and publishes standards for various industries and sectors worldwide. ISO's objective is to promote and facilitate international trade by developing and promoting standards that ensure safety, quality, and efficiency of products and services.
ISO standards are developed through a consensus-based process that involves stakeholders from industry, government, and other interested parties from all over the world, drawn from global technical committees. The standards developed by ISO are voluntary and provide a framework for organizations to improve their management practices and processes, reduce risk, and achieve operational excellence. These standards cover a wide range of topics, from quality management to environmental management, occupational health and safety, information security, and many more.
"The standards developed by ISO are voluntary and provide a framework for organizations to improve their management practices and processes, reduce risk, and achieve operational excellence."
One of the key characteristics of ISO standards is their universal applicability. ISO standards are developed through a global consensus-based process, ensuring that they are applicable to organizations of all sizes, types, and industries worldwide. This makes it easier for organizations to adopt and implement these standards, regardless of their location or business sector.
ISO standards are also designed to be flexible and adaptable, enabling organizations to customize and integrate them into their existing management systems and processes. This helps organizations to achieve better alignment and consistency in their operations, cut down on duplication of effort, and improve overall efficiency.
By following ISO standards, organizations can ultimately enhance their competitive advantage in their markets, and their customers can feel confident that they are working with partners who share their commitment to excellence.
WHY DO ISO STANDARDS MATTER?
ISO standards matter for several reasons:
This last point is critically important for prospective customers to consider when selecting a service provider. For example, ISO 31030 (which covers travel risk management) matters for duty of care providers because it provides a globally recognized framework for managing risks and ensuring the safety and well-being of employees while traveling or working abroad. Though ISO adherence doesn’t guarantee best-in-class results, you can be more certain of the provider’s ability to deliver those results if they are ISO certified.
Who should care about ISO standards?
A commitment to ISO standards matters to a wide range of people, including businesses, consumers, and governments.
"For businesses, compliance with ISO standards can help increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of products or services."
For businesses, compliance with ISO standards can help increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve the quality of products or services. They also help businesses meet legal and regulatory requirements, as well as increase their credibility and reputation. Consumers benefit from ISO standards by knowing that products and services they purchase are safe, reliable, and of high quality. Governments can also benefit from ISO standards by setting them as legal requirements, helping to ensure public safety and environmental protection.
Examples of Popular ISO Standards
There are thousands of ISO standards, covering a wide range of industries and sectors. New standards are regularly developed to address emerging challenges and technologies.
That said, it’s unlikely that anyone would need to be familiar with every single ISO. Some are used and adhered to more often than others. Common ISO standards related to the security of your operations and workforce include:
To ensure that the partner you choose to do business with adheres to ISO standards, you may want to check to ensure they are ISO certified, if available. Keep in mind that the ISO simply develops these international standards and does not certify them itself. Third parties, such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) or International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) perform these assessments and certifications.
How to ensure your provider follows ISO standards
When selecting a third-party provider that claims ISO certification, it is important to verify their certification and adherence to the standards. Here are four steps you can take to ensure your provider follows ISO standards:
|Check for certification: Look for a certification from a reputable ISO certification body. You can check the certification body's website to ensure they are accredited and recognized by the IAF.|
|Verify the scope of certification: Each ISO standard has a specific scope that outlines the requirements for certification. Ensure that the provider's certification matches the scope of services they are providing to your organization.|
|Ask for evidence of compliance: Ask your provider to provide evidence of their compliance with the ISO standard. This can include documentation such as audit reports, quality manuals, and process maps.|
|Conduct regular audits: Once you have selected a provider, it is important to conduct regular ISO audits to ensure their continued compliance with the ISO standard. This can include on-site visits, remote audits, or questionnaires.|
The responsibility for ISO compliance can vary depending on the size and structure of the organization. In some cases, a dedicated ISO manager or team may be responsible for overseeing compliance with ISO standards. In smaller organizations, it may be the responsibility of senior management or quality assurance personnel. Ultimately, it is important for all employees to understand the organization's ISO policies and procedures and to be committed to maintaining compliance with the standards.
Minimize risks and maximize results with ISO-compliant vendors
By ensuring compliance with ISO standards, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to quality, safety, and sustainability, as well as improve their overall performance and reputation. As such, selecting a service provider that adheres to ISO standards can be a wise decision, offering the reassurance that your organization is working with a provider that has implemented robust systems to ensure consistency, reduce risk, and deliver results.
GLOBAL GUARDIAN Standing by to Support
Global Guardian is proud to be ISO 27001:2013 certified to protect our client's business information and safeguard their data. To learn more about our comprehensive suite of custom duty of care solutions, complete the form below or call us at + 1 (703) 566-9463.