Looking back on 30 years of international management systems standards

In this month’s ISOfocus, Garry Lambert looks back at thirty years of management systems standards (MSS) and highlights the impact that they have had on organisations and consequently, their customers and society at large. When ISO 9001, the world’s first management system standard, was launched in 1987, who could have imagined that it would lead to the development of over 60 MSS that have raised standards across all sectors all over the world?

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has been there from the start; Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) was the first certification body to gain accreditation to issue quality management system (QMS) certificates. We have witnessed the growth of management systems certification and the benefits that it continues to deliver to organisations worldwide. The revisions to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 published in 2015 reflect the developments in technology, the business environment and the growth of the service sector. Commenting on the changes, Steve Williams, LR System and Governance Manager added, “The world has changed and the revision was needed to reflect this. By transitioning, the real measure of success comes when an organisation efficiently and effectively moves to the new standard, embraces these changes and realises the benefits of the management system, thereby moving their organisation from a state of compliance to one of performance.”

With new standards being researched and developed to address new technology and its applications, such as ISO/TC 307, which is looking into the standardisation of blockchain technologies and distributed ledger technologies, we are sure that ISO standards will have a big part to play in all our lives for many years to come.

“ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 were the catalysts for the world’s most comprehensive family of management systems standards, developed by expert teams from across business, industry and government to respond to clear needs for standards that would make the world a better, safer, more sustainable and less wasteful place.”

“Far from being dull and bureaucratic, many more ISO management systems standards combine practicality with innovation in surprising ways. ISO 20121:2012, for example, brought event sustainability management to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and was also used to turn the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden, into a sustainable event.”

Garry Lambert, ISOfocus #123, July-August 2017

Read the full article here.