Changes made to two ISO standards

Spring Singapore and the Singapore Standards Council have contributed to the revisions to two international standards to ensure that local firms maintain their competitive edge in a rapidly changing business environment.

The revisions were made to ISO9001:2015 Quality Management Systems - Requirements, and ISO14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems - Requirements with Guidance for Use.

The changes will affect close to 8,000 companies in Singapore that have already adopted one or both standards.

These firms will now have to implement the changes in order to keep their respective ISO9001 and ISO14001 certification.

Singapore companies have implemented ISO9001 and ISO14001 management system standards to help them put in place robust practices, processes and value systems to achieve quality growth, Spring said in a statement.

The enhancements to the standards will bring even greater benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises, it added.

First, top management are now expected to drive the implementation of management systems and align them with business goals. This focuses and motivates the entire company to address strategic needs and challenges.

Second, companies must now consider risk and life-cycle factors when implementing their management systems. This spurs them to adopt a sustainable approach when seeking out new business opportunities and expanding to new markets.

Third, these standards use a common structure, making it easier for enterprises to adopt other critical management system standards such as ISO 22301 on business continuity.

Increasingly, large firms and government bodies want to do business only with companies that have these certifications, which makes it important for local firms, especially SMEs, to adopt these standards, Spring said.

To encourage more SMEs to adopt these management system standards, Spring will provide funding support to help defray the costs of implementation.

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 16, 2015, with the headline 'Changes made to two ISO standards'. Print Edition | Subscribe