Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jul 03, 2004
Industry & Economy
Integrated management system standards on cards
Kolkata , July 2
MANAGEMENT system standards ISO 9000 and the ISO 14000 are proposed to be merged along with the OHSAS 18000 specification in order to streamline the entire process of management system certification and reduce paperwork.
Sources said that the first step towards the merger has already been taken by international standards bodies such as AFNOR of France, NEN of the Netherlands and the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Mr Ranjan Banerjee, lead auditor at Indian Register of Quality Systems (IRQS), said while ISO-9001-2000 was a quality management system, 14001-1996 was an environment management certification. OHSAS 18001-1999 pertained to occupational health and safety management systems and was still in the form of a set of specifications since the certification guidelines were yet to be issued by the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Mr Banerjee was speaking to Business Line on the sidelines of a workshop on greening of business organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.
Sources said that industry had long been clamouring for an integration of management system standards and some companies had already made some progress on merging the systems especially 140001 and 18001 These include the Lafarge Group, Nicco Parks and Resorts and some mines in the Tata Group.
Explaining why of the three standards/specifications, the 140001 and 18000 were prime candidates for integration, sources said that this was because they had several common elements.
Both environment and occupational health had legal requirements, requiring contingency planning along with a response system in place.
Sources said that in April 2003, the Netherlands Institute of Standardisation issued practical guidelines on integration of management systems but no generic model of integration had been evolved as yet.
The National Standardisation Body of France had also framed an agreement on this. In India, BIS had also taken the first step towards the merger by evolving guidelines for combined auditing. However, no certification had yet been evolved for the three systems in a combined manner.
The 12th Cycle of ISO Survey completed in end-2002 showed that globally six lakh companies had gone in for 9000 series certification with 50,000 going in for the certification on environmental standards separately.
Pointing out that a management systems standard ensured a systematic control and improvement of an organisation's operational processes, Mr Banerjee said that one of the main objectives behind the merger move was to address some common management issues of quality, environment and health while reducing paperwork that had to be done for separate certifications.
However, as of now, a tendency to develop over-documentation had been noticed as experts in diverse fields battled to protect their respective turfs, according to sources.
"These have put limits on the degree of integration and have to be fine-tuned before a merger could take place," they said.
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |
Copyright © 2004, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line