When we think of the business benefits of certification, we tend to focus on increased efficiencies, improvements and being more attractive to prospective clients. Over the last 12 turbulent months, many organizations have realized that, when times are challenging, their business needs are slightly different, focusing on protecting existing clients, managing risk and building resilience - and with this has come a renewed appreciation of certification schemes. Yes, certification can help businesses to improve and grow, but it can also reduce risk and make them more resilient.
With significant changes to the way businesses operated last year, many could see the benefits of management systems. For example, as millions of personnel were required to work remotely at short notice last spring, those who already had ISO 27001 certification were at an immediate advantage. They could quickly and easily run risk assessments and ensure that staff could work safely from home. The rise in remote working introduced new levels of risk, and there was a significant rise in cyber-attacks in 2020. Those who had systems such as ISO 27001 already in place were in a much better position to transition safely, while others have left themselves vulnerable and much more open to attack.
Being certified is not in itself a regulatory requirement. However, if you provide any kind of product and service there will likely be a wide range of regulations associated with it and with how you deliver/manufacture. ISO 9001 requires that you have in place a process for understanding regulatory requirements of what you do. This is a pro-active system so you will always be aware when the law is changing.
How certification can minimize risk
Certification of management systems such as ISO 45001 also help to minimize risk. To use the example of COVID-19 again, when the pandemic first hit, those who already had systems in place were at a significant advantage, as they already had the framework and planning processes set up to deal with a major, unplanned risk. As a health and safety management system, having this certification leads to quicker adaptability which drives improvements in efficiency and productivity.
Being able to deal with uncertainty really helps make a business resilient, which increases stakeholder trust and confidence, fosters accountability, and boosts the company’s reputation. This will help to maintain clients but also supports business growth.
Certification also creates time and money saving efficiencies, reduces conflicts and improves company culture, as well as providing greater market access and acting as a passport to trade.
BM TRADA is UKAS accredited, with over 30 years’ experience in providing certification services to a range of customers. We can offer advice on many management systems, including ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 44001, ISO 45001 and ISO 50001.
Contact us to get in touch with one of our experts.