Why IT is the Key to More Efficient ISO Administration
Being an ISO administrator is no easy task. The role – although often demanding of strong technical skills – can be repetitive and tedious, and there’s often no margin for error. The onus is on the individual to ensure accurate ongoing management of all aspects of ISO certification.
The ISO administrator’s job has recently been made harder. According to updated ISO standards, organisations are now required to take a risk-based approach to certification. In other words, firms must identify all of the things that could go wrong and take steps to reduce the risks if not avoid them altogether.
Against this backdrop, ISO administrators are keen to find ways to make their day-to-day roles easier while continuing to ensure compliance. Let’s take a look at the wide-ranging aspects of their varied roles.
An administrator’s work is never done
First and foremost, the administrator (often along with a formal day job) oversees the development, implementation and maintenance of a company’s ISO management systems.
This includes (depending on the standards involved): ensuring quality standards are being met; managing workplace safety; and environmental considerations.
But there’s more. Administrators also co-ordinate training for staff involved in processes critical to ISO certification and track their achievements. They report quality metrics in relation to business performance. They schedule regular audits and assessments. And now, among many other things, they must play a greater role in risk analysis.
In bigger organisations, there’s so much to do that tasks are often split between a team of people. Not only is this a costly approach, it increases the risk of ISO standards slipping between various managers.
So how can ISO administrators reduce their workloads and offload rudimentary functions to free up their time and energy for more important things?
IT can make ISO so easy
Fortunately, technology has created numerous ISO IT systems that can process mundane work. Administrators can simply set up a list of tasks and instructions and leave the computer to it.
There’s a system available for all sizes. While some focus on addressing specific requirements at SMEs, others cover tasks more applicable to enterprise companies.
Many solutions are scalable across all sizes of business, built using a module-based approach to match the needs of the customer. For example, one customer might have three sites, all of which need ISO administration for ISO standards 9001, 14001 and 45001. A second customer might only have one site with requirements for ISO 9001 and ISO 27001. A third could have ISO 9001 certification, but outsource its work – requiring further standards management.
Platforms exist that only focus on the handful of “generic” standards that apply to every business: ISO 9001 Quality management; ISO 14001 Environmental standards; ISO 45001 Health & Safety; and ISO 27001 Data security management. Others deal with industry-specific standards, from ISO 13485 Medical devices (and the associated CE marking) to the AS9100 suite covering the Aerospace sector (aviation, space and defence).
Meanwhile, systems can be housed in servers on premises, externally or in the cloud, with a range of price options available to suit the needs of the business.
ISO details at your fingertips
The beauty of automated ISO systems is that they can cover many standards at once but also wider business considerations. Aspects such as staff morale, customer satisfaction and attainment against strategic objectives can be monitored and reported in real-time.
The organisation is then able to consider new risks, and how to make changes and update priorities in short order. Furthermore, vital information will be at the administrator’s fingertips when ISO assessors choose to visit or it’s time for another internal audit.
All in all, IT systems can significantly lighten the workload for ISO administrators while maintaining standards across the business.
If you want to learn more about available options, please contact Qualitation on or call us on 0345 600 6975.