New ISO standard on compliance management cuts challenges and costs

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By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis
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Compliance has become one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. Failing to have the right controls and culture in place could mean forking out millions in fines. So how can businesses get it right? Look no further than the newly published ISO 19600:2014 for guidelines on compliance management systems.

With new laws and regulations announced almost every week, and the steep cost of non-compliance, ISO 19600 could be just the solution that large and small organizations are looking for.

Simply put, compliance refers to a company obeying applicable laws, relevant industry standards and internal policies (e.g. codes of conduct) it has decided to implement because they impact upon its business, its staff and its treatment of consumers.

Basically, the foremost goal of compliance is to make sure that companies fulfil their responsibilities and effectively manage the risk of doing harm to their reputations.

Developed by ISO project committee ISO/PC 271, Compliance management systems, the new ISO 19600 gives comprehensive guidance with helpful and easy-to-follow examples for users wanting to implement a compliance management system or benchmark their framework against a standard.

Many businesses, however, question the need for compliance and its associated costs. But there is a catch, and not bothering to have the right controls in place could result in hefty fines as well as reputational damage. So what’s a company to do? 

According to Martin Tolar, Chair of ISO/PC 271, the new standard could greatly assist the continual improvement of compliance frameworks. “ISO 19600:2014 is expected to serve as a global benchmark for compliance officers, businesses, commentators, academics – and regulators and the courts of course. And thanks to the standard’s customizable guidance, all organizations can benefit.”

ISO 19600:2014 can be bought from your national ISO member or the ISO Store.

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Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis

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