There is an ISO (International Standard Organisation) for cheese, specifically determining the natamycin content, ISO 9233-2:2007 (en).  Who knew?!  It highlights that there is a huge variety of international standards governing every part of every industry.  At QBH Solutions we are really focused on the Big Four;

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • ISO 14001:2015
  • OHSAS 18001:2007 – Soon to become ISO 45001
  • ISO 27001:2017

But What Are They and What Do They Do?

ISO 9001 – Quality Management System Requirements

ISO 9001 is the standard for assuring and improving the quality of your products or services.  A lot of companies go for certification to ISO 9001 because they are being asked to get it by their clients or they are applying for tenders that request evidence of this certification.

As a business tool, it is great for standardising processes within your business and for monitoring and measuring performance.

ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System Requirements

ISO 14001 is the standard for managing or reducing the environmental impacts of your business.  ISO 14001 provides businesses with the framework to evaluate the environmental impacts of its activities whilst setting clear goals and targets to help reduce them.  It is very closely linked with ISO 9001; in fact, under the 2015 version of the standards, they follow the same structure with only two additional clauses for Environmental Management.

ISO 27001 – Information Security Management System Requirements

ISO 27001 is the standard for managing and improving how you control your information security processes, to reduce risk of data exposure.  ISO 27001 is an excellent tool for helping businesses to review and assess the information security risks to their business, personnel and customers.  It provides a clear structure and framework for evaluating those risks and also gives guidance on the mandatory documents you are required to have.  Additionally, you are expected to justify any decision to exclude a document from the system.

OHSAS 18001 – Occupational Health and Safety Management System Requirements

OHSAS 18001  is the standard for managing and improving your business’s health and safety performance.  OHSAS 18001 (technically not an ISO) is soon to be superseded by ISO 45001 which, like 14001, will closely align to ISO 9001.  It means that businesses that want to maintain Quality, Safety and Environmental certification can do so more easily.

How Do We Get Them?

There are a few steps to achieving certification to the above ISOs, a lot can be run in tandem with other stages.

Step 1 – Develop and write the system, addressing the clauses of the relevant standard (9001, 14001, 18001, 27001)

Step 2 – Issue, publish and educate staff, contractors and partners on the key requirements of the systems

Step 3 – Receive your Stage 1 audit – attended by an auditor from your chosen certifying body, this will highlight any areas that need to be developed or improved upon

Step 4 – Make the improvements and generate the records described within the system

Step 5 – Stage 2 / Certification Audit, giving you certification to the relevant standards.

How Do We Keep Them?

Once you have passed your certification audit you will be subject to annual surveillance audits and every three years you will have a re-certification audit.  The key to keeping your certification is make sure “you are doing what you say you are doing” in your processes, holding regular management review meetings and undertaking your internal audits.

Things to Think About?

Not all certification bodies are UKAS accredited so if this is something that is important to your business or your clients are saying that you have to have a UKAS accredited system check with the certification body you are using.

You might want to use a consultant to help develop your systems and processes, if so meet them first and make sure they have some experience of your industry or sector and you are comfortable working with them.

Consider the resource commitment you need to complete the certification process and to then maintain that good work and use your systems effectively.  A system reflects how you work and the values and ethos of your business.

If you have any questions or would like some more information on ISO 9001, 14001, 27001 or OHSAS 18001 drop QBH Solutions a line today.

07795 564089