Management systems enable organizations to implement a structured approach to their activities in order to achieve their objectives.
Some organizations, especially smaller ones, may simply expect each individual employee to know how to do their job. But any size of business can benefit from establishing clear procedures to ensure everyone is clear on who does what. This process of systematizing how things are done is known as a management system.
ISO management system standards (MSS) help organizations improve their performance by specifying repeatable steps that organizations consciously implement to achieve their goals and objectives, and to create an organizational culture that reflexively engages in a continuous cycle of self-evaluation, correction and improvement of operations and processes through heightened employee awareness and management leadership and commitment.
The benefits of an effective management system to an organization include:
MSS are the result of consensus among international experts with expertise in global management, leadership strategies, and efficient and effective processes and practices. MSS standards can be implemented by any organization, large or small.
Audits are a vital part of the management system approach as they enable the company or organization to check how far their achievements meet their objectives and show conformity to the standard.
In order to help the auditing related to these standards, ISO has released ISO 19011:2011 providing specific guidance on internal and external management system audits.
Many ISO management system standards have the same structure [PDF] and contain many of the same terms and definitions. This is particularly useful for those organizations that choose to operate a single (sometimes called “integrated”) management system that can meet the requirements of two or more management system standards simultaneously.
Standards are developed by the people who need them – that could mean you.
Technical committees include experts from both standards and industry and these experts are put forward by ISO’s national members. If you want to help shape future standards in your field, contact your national member.
Certification to management system standards is not a requirement. You can benefit from implementing these standards without being certified to them.
However, if you are looking to get certified to one or more of our management system standards, then you need to get in touch with an external certification body.
That's because ISO does not perform certification.
Read more about certification to ISO standards.
Certification is not the only way to show conformity to standards. Read more about conformity assessment.
Find out how many certificates to ISO management standards are awarded in each country, each year.
Useful to know when it comes to conformity.
We have a number of management system standards, each focusing on different issues affecting global business.
More information can be found by clicking on the following links.