Challenging times are ahead for organisations accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. All three systems are either changing or have already changed which is compounding the tasks of management systems' development, compliance and ongoing maintenance. Some will find it difficult to understand the implications of the changes for their company.
Conspici has the knowhow to help you make the transition to the new standards. If it is advice on understanding or implementing changes, practical help with methodology or documentation to ease your way through the process or someone to work out the gaps in your new system prior to accreditation, we can help lighten your burden. Just go the Contact Us webpage and we'd be glad to help.
In the meantime, here's some information on the background to the standard changes...
Many organisations are facing significant challenges with their standardised management systems due to the review and amendment of the three most popular associated standards: ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 14001(environmental management) and OHSAS 18001 (health and safety management).
The new versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 have already been published in late 2015. Although many of the elements in the old standards are still present in the new, they are jumbled about and, for some elements, they are not where you would intuitively guess them to be. Some of the old standard sections are even split up and placed in different sections so that it is important for those with management system responsibilities to familiarise themselves with the whole format of the new standard.
Whereas the vast majority of international standards are in the custody of the International Standards Organisation (ISO), the internationally recognised health and safety management system standard was until recently in the care of the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service (OHSAS). Much of the last version of OHSAS 18001 was taken from the structure of ISO's environmental standard, ISO 14001. As the use the three above systems by organisations were encouraged by ISO and accreditation bodies to be integrated into one system, it was reasonable for the standards to be given the same core structure to prevent senseless repetition. This concept is reaching fruition: the core structure - known as Annex SL - is found in the 2015 versions of ISO 9001 and 14001. The new, annex SL containing health and safety version will be created this year, but no longer by OHSAS. ISO will publish the new standard in 2016, but not under the OHSAS number. ISO 18000 and its associate standards is already used as a standard for radio frequency identification. Thus, a new reference number - ISO 45001 - is to be issued.
The Annex SL format will make it much simpler to merge management system documented information.
The new standard calls upon organisations to look at not only the organisation itself, but the internal and external factors affecting their values and strategic direction. This encourages the organisation to "think the big picture", to define and determine significance and associated business risk attached to those factors. This helps to produce a logical train of thought to form strategic objectives.
The new standards have relaxed the necessity for documentation of certain activities, leaving the task of compliance to the standard on the external auditor to understand organisations' processes, ask searching questions find appropriate evidence for compliance.
The introduction of two standards practically simultaneously, with the third soon to follow, is making the task of those who are already in the process of merging systems very challenging. Despite the advantage of the Annex SL format, compliance managers, whether they have an integrated system or not, will have to change, maintain and perhaps integrate two management systems in one period. Thankfully, there is a "period of grace" of 3 years to comply with the new standard.