Post the publication of the new international occupational health and safety management system standard ISO 45001 in March, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has just published a complementary technical specification – ISO/IEC TS 17021-10 – defining the required skills and knowledge of those bodies auditing organisations that have implemented the health and safety standard.
The new technical specification is aimed at auditors - those personnel making certification decisions related to ISO 45001 - and will ultimately serve certification, accreditation and regulatory bodies by confirming that auditing and certification decisions related to ISO 45001 have been carried out by those who have the competence to do so.
Andy Paine Global Technical Manager said, “At LRQA, we are focused on ensuring that we have a consistent approach to auditing and that our global network of health and safety assessors is calibrated accordingly. Assessing auditors both internally and externally will ensure baseline knowledge for all and thus increase further confidence in ISO-recognised certification and indeed, the value of independent assurance.”
ISO 45001 contains a number of requirements for which specific skills related to occupational health and safety are required to audit it effectively, such as those relating to terminology, principles, concepts, tools and techniques. “This is a positive step by ISO; it is necessary to have a dedicated conformity assessment document to ensure auditors have the right skills to do the job well,” summarised Paine.