Johannesburg, 4 February 2022 – In order to ensure goods and services meet global standards, it is imperative that the necessary checks and balances are agreed on and implemented.
The International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO) is the world’s leading body in this regard, and is responsible for awarding ISO certifications to public and private enterprises. The ISO develops standards as a way of guaranteeing quality, safety and efficiency of products, services and systems.
Standardisation also gives rise to greater business continuity, as the organisation or company is not solely dependent on people, but processes and systems. In this way clients are reassured and business owners and managers are given greater control of operations.
Each certification carries separate standards and criteria, and is classified with “ISO” followed by the certification number.
It stands to reason that standardisation is a highly fluid discipline, given that the nature of commodities and services also changes over time. Accordingly, additions and upgrades to the various certifications become essential within the global marketplace.
A number of new standardisation “trends” are already emerging in 2022, and according to Muhammad Ali, the managing director and lead auditor of leading South African ISO standards training and implementation
Specialist WWISE, will be sure to make a great impact this year.
For one, this year is witnessing the emergence of several countries setting new precedents in terms of standardisation.
“Singapore, Switzerland, Germany and Australia are leading the way internationally, while in Africa, Rwanda and Kenya are doing well,” Ali says.
Ali has also noticed strong demand for certain ISO certifications.
“ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) is the qualifier of standards to provide assurance to clients that they can deliver products and services to an international standard. With this standard, they will be confident in the knowledge that they will have processes in places and an independent assurance body checking on the quality of their work.
“ISO 14001:2015 is also highly sought after this year. With the world going ‘green’, it has become a huge requirement. Then there is ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health & Safety, which is required by the World Bank when they identify a need to provide funding to mining houses, for example. And of course with more and more organisations fearing cyber attacks, ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System is in high demand.”
ISO 27001: 2013 is actually being revised to ISO 27001: 2022 to better reflect the challenges faced by organisations in terms of cyber security. Eleven new controls are being added, and include threat intelligence; information security for the use of cloud services; ICT readiness for business continuity; physical security monitoring; configuration management; information deletion; data masking; data leakage prevention; monitoring activities; web filtering and secure coding.
Ali says the beauty of adhering to standardisation practices is that it yields tangible results.
“It not only brings in lucrative income and increased turnover for clients, but improves business performance and an organisation’s reputation. In some cases it can even completely change the state of a nation. For example, Singapore moved away from corruption to become one of the most well-governed places in the world.
“In South Africa, UNICA Iron and Steel in Hammanskraal is probably one of the best examples of how they have improved after implementing ISO standards and being certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001. They have improved their housekeeping, production targets and client satisfaction that resulted in them expanding and automating processes.”
The best time for an organisation to consider implementing standardisation is at the beginning of the year, Ali suggests.
“Prepare your budgets in January or February before the financial year ends so you can begin in March or April and work towards achieving certification by the end of the year.
“At WWISE, we provide a hands-on approach, cutting down on administration before creating innovative solutions to entrench the requirements of the standard. We follow a clear change-management process.
“Our focus is to then transition our knowledge to the employees so they can understand the requirements, best practice and the value of working smart, not hard. Some standardisation companies tend to only provide consultation services, which essentially amounts to buying hours for advice, or more of a tick-box exercise. We are dead against that, and place our focus on improving the business management of the organisation to meet strategic goals and objectives.”
Ali says it is important for clients to procure the services of a consultant who is registered as a lead auditor, not simply someone who has attended a course allowing them to implement strategies.
“You need someone who has experience in various industries and is a registered lead auditor with SAATCA (South African Auditor & Training Certification Authority or CQI IRCA. This will give the client a level of confidence that the implementer has the knowledge of an auditor. You need someone who has experience in implementation before becoming an auditor, as an auditor who implements is someone who does not always know how to effectively implement and blend into the organisation’s culture.”
Launched in 2009, Centurion-headquartered WWISE employs 35 fulltime consultants who specialise in more than 40 industries, both locally and abroad, training, and implementing ISO standards and programmes for a broad range of small, medium and large-scale business and organisations. The company has a solid local and international client base, with 590 clients in 16 countries, implementing more than 30 standards and achieving a 100% record when clients are certified. Its training programmes are accredited with SETA and various international bodies, and it offers an e-Learning portal through which 12 000 people in 40 countries have been trained so far.
The 70-year-old International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international body that develops business management standards to ensure the quality, safety and efficiency of products, services and systems across a multitude of industries. It aims to uphold consistency and quality in an increasingly globalised marketplace.
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