Who is ISO?
(International Organization for Standardization)
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a network of standards institutes from 164 countries with a central office in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors and is the largest standards organization in the world.
- Many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries or are mandated by their government.
- Some members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.
- Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.
It is important to understand how ISO works. For example, ISO does not actually “certify” any group directly. Rather there are certification organizations that perform that task of auditing and then certifying an organization’s environmental management systems. These groups (often known as registrars), must themselves be certified under a separate standard, ISO/IEC TS 17021. The certification process involves a registrar “auditing” a group to ensure that their operations are in compliance with processes outlined in the current ISO 14001:2015 standard. Where inconsistencies or “nonconformities” are found, the group must typically create a program for correcting these problems before a certificate of registration can be issued.
Being granted certification means that the registrar is certifying that the environmental management system of the entity specifically applicable to the area in which they operate (i.e. manufacturing a particular type of product, or providing a specific service) has been assessed and approved in accordance with the provisions of ISO 14001:2015. Once your organization is granted certification, your organization will receive a certification mark that you can use on stationery, websites and vehicle livery.
This approval is typically valid for a period of three years, after which the company must recertify that its procedures meet the current form of the standard. This process is to be monitored by the registrar during that period of time. As you can see, just who is ISO and the scope of their operations is important to the registration process.
Current figures show that over 1 million companies are certified to ISO 9001:2015 in more than 170 countries. ISO 14001 and ISO 13485 both increased by more than 5%. Essentially the survey shows where and with who ISO is gaining and losing with respect to its major standards.
Reading the survey above can help you understand if ISO certification is right your for your organization. For many, the expense of doing so is greatly outweighed by the benefits. Here at 14000store, we have assembled a number of tools and body of information to help you perform as much of the process yourself as possible, to help reduce costs and increase the total value of your ISO 14001 certification.