How will changes to the ISO standards affect your organization?

Changes that have been made to all the ISO standards recently are seen by some companies as threatening and possibly harmful. Those who struggled to implement a management system that fits all the requirements of any ISO standard know what it takes to make changes over and over again and may see the changes as redundant and punishing. However, they are being made for a reason and once everyone sees that, they will see that the changes are not that scary and can actually help them grow even further.

Why are the changes being made?

First of all, the main reason for the recent burst of changes in the ISO system is the fact that there are many more ISO standards now than there were just a few years ago. With many industries trying to incorporate the ISO ethic into their area of expertise, there have been some additions to the whole standard family. As such, newer standards have been created in a slightly different way than the older ones. This wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that almost all companies want to certify not to one, but multiple ISO standards. As such, the closer they are in structure, the easier the process of adding new regulations to an already existing management system. And thus the need to change the older standards and make them fit into the new, uniform format.

How do the changes affect companies who are already certified?

For new companies that are just now trying to get certified, the new structure seems to be making the whole process easier and more understandable. But how will the changes affect companies that are already certified to a certain standard? Unlike the previous times they management system had to be reassessed in order to keep the certification, now they need to actually make changes and document them once more. This might seem like a lengthy process that requires changing all the documentation and tweaking some processes, but if done with guidance and proper effort, it isn’t that scary.

In fact, most of the specialists that know the ISO standards in and out claim that the new rules can bring older companies some new perspectives and help them grow even further. The changed standards are up-to-date with the latest law changes, including the new EU GDPR system, which has proven to be problematic for many. Changing your current management system to fit the new ISO standards will be beneficial and rewarding. Isn’t change and constant improvement supposed to be what ISO is all about anyway?