What are ISO standards?
ISO standards are varied and far reaching, covering many different areas of life. So just what is an ISO standard and why are they important? No matter what type of company you work for, it’s likely that you’ve encountered at least one type of ISO standard that you are required to work towards.
What does ISO mean?
ISO is an abbreviation of the International Standards Organisation. They are an independent body made up of an extensive network of individuals who are experts in different areas. This allows them to share and pool together their experience and knowledge of different fields to determine best practices and key safety information to define the best way of carrying out certain tasks or processes.
An ISO standard is essentially an internationally recognised way of doing something. It means that everyone follows the same set of guidelines no matter where they are based, resulting in a safer, more consistent end result. This benefits both the organisation and the customer or end user. For companies, they are secure in the knowledge that this standard is followed and recognised worldwide. For customers, they know they are getting a product or service which is safe, good quality and trustworthy.
What are the different ISO standards?
There are currently 24106 different ISO standards. Some are very specific, such as ISO 10002 which deals with customer complaints, while others are more general and serve as a framework to manage a variety of processes throughout the business. For example, ISO 9001 which is the standard for a quality management system. Some of the most popular standards include:
- ISO 9001: the standard for a quality management system
- ISO 27001: a system for managing information security
- ISO 13485: the quality standard for medical devices
What are the benefits of ISO standards?
Being certified to ISO standards benefits organizations by:
- Giving you tried and tested methods for best practice in every aspect of business operations
- Having a universally recognised type of certification, making it easier to both attract and enable third parties to work with you
- Simplifying your wider regulatory requirements
- Being able to demonstrate that you’re a brand that customers can trust
How to manage ISO standard compliance
Managing ISO standard compliance is vital, ensuring your organization meets global quality and safety standards, boosting customer trust and product reliability. A commitment to managing ISO standard compliance will also streamline operations, significantly reducing errors.
Using quality management software can ease the strain and time constraints that come with compliance. You can also manage ISO compliance by:
- Establishing a dedicated compliance team: Appoint a team or individual responsible for overseeing ISO compliance efforts and ensuring that all requirements are met.
- Developing a compliance plan: Create a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps, timelines, and resources required to meet ISO standards.
- Regular audits and reviews: Conduct regular internal audits and reviews to assess compliance levels and identify areas for improvement.
- Employee training and awareness: Train and educate your staff on ISO standards and the importance of compliance, fostering a culture of awareness and responsibility.
Manage ISO compliance
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