ISO management system standards (MSS) are widely used across the globe. The number of available standards has increased steadily in recent years; there are almost 50 requirement specifications, including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001, which can be used as a basis for certification, together with nearly 40 guidance standards.
A common structure and core requirements were introduced in 2012 to help organisations integrate the requirements of various MSS into their management systems. Nevertheless, deviations from core terms and requirements in individual MSS, and the language generally used in the standards, can cause issues for users, as can the wide range of MSS available.
The new task force (ISO/TMBG/JTCG-TF15) has been set up to develop recommendations on how to address these issues. It looks at all aspects of MSS, from the range of topics covered, to how MSS are structured, the language they use, and the best way to provide supporting technical or sector-specific companion documents.
Representatives from the ISO Committees responsible for the different MSS are involved in the task force, and input will be sought from users, national standards bodies, professional bodies, regulators, certification bodies, and other interested parties.
The task force will work remotely, using virtual meetings, to discuss topics, gather evidence, and explore potential solutions. It plans to deliver its recommendations to ISO by the end of 2022.
Its convenor is former LRQA colleague Martin Cottam, Chair of the ISO Technical Committee for Occupational Health & Safety Management, responsible for the ISO 45000 series. Ahead of more formal user consultation, task force members are encouraged to gather user feedback via their own networks. Martin would welcome any feedback on the issues that the task force is due to address from LRQA clients and assessors.