How will changes to the ISO standards affect my organization?

Changes in the ISO standards have been showing up quite frequently in the recent years and it’s all because the organisation is trying to make them all uniform. This idea came up once it became obvious that the companies today don’t usually follow just one ISO standard, but get certified with multiple, proving how well organised and sustainable their businesses are. By changing the standards to one, uniform format and adding some tweaks to the standards at the same time, ISO is making sure the process of implementing and certifying to multiple ISO norms is much easier now. But how does it affect the companies who already are certified?

What are the major ISO changes for?

In general it is said that the major ISO changes are being made due to the fact that now, there are many more norms than there were before and they need to be somehow uniform. With companies getting more and more interested in getting certified to multiple standards, granted it gives them a big competitive advantage as well as general better organisation and structure to their company, the process of getting certified can’t be unorganised. What’s more, there have been some major changes in law in the recent years, with the EU’s GDPR/RODO being the prime example. ISO standards must be updated to actually fit the new laws and enable companies to go far beyond what’s being expected of them by their countries.

How companies should incorporate the changes into their management systems?

Generally, companies that are already certified to any ISO standard and want to keep the certificate relevant need to make some updates to their management systems and get certified again, but the whole process is actually easier for them than for the ones that are starting from scratch! The changes are actually not that extensive and the ones that are introducing new approaches to certain areas and processes will prove to be more profitable than their earlier versions.

Companies that are certified to a certain ISO standard are usually given three years to introduce, implement and work on the new ISO requirements that are being introduced. However, it usually takes less than six months to actually make the changes and incorporate them into your current management system without any setbacks. It may seem that a lot is being changed but once you do your audit for the new standards, you will see that the gaps are not that extensive.