The business world is changing probably faster than ever before to meet these challenges. Organisations are more frequently looking to develop alliances both with customers and suppliers. As customers seek to evaluate potential partners and alliances the international standard provides a high level of confidence. ISO 44001 is a neutral platform on which to create more effective engagement.
The benefits of collaboration will be organisation specific based on the business objectives and much of this can be realised without going down the certification route. The value of certification is that introduces a level of rigor to ensure internal processes are maintain and followed proving greater sustainability in relationships. A first step might be to focus on ISO 44000 Principles for Successful Collaborative Working. Understanding these 12 principles and their applicability within your organisation will help in assessing the value and impact of moving to a more systemic approach.
The cost of implementation is reflective of the level of maturity in terms of collaborative working. An initial self assessment will enable organisations to gauge the current level of compliance and a facilitated GAP analysis will provide a definitive implementation programme. It is important to recognised that much of what ISO 44001 requires are more likely to be minimal changes to existing company processes therefore the internal costs can be minimised. Certification costs will vary dependent on the scope but the best approach is to start with a limited pilot programme and build from there.
Current experience working with reasonably mature client suggests that between 3-6 months allows for the necessary processes to be embedded in an organisation.
Whilst the ICW team can help guide the implementation the value of certification is that it is undertaken by an independent certification body, ICW would recommend careful consideration the selection of which you choose. Those that are members of ICW executive Network have been validated by the Institute as having a robust understanding of the intent of the standard. Currently ICW is working with UKAS on a pilot programme for accreditation of certification bodies to assess ISO 44001 and with ISO/CASCO to define assessor capability.
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