Earlier this year, the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) replaced the British Standard for collaborative business relationship management systems – BS 11000 : 2010 – with their own, more structured certification: ISO 44001:2017.
Originally introduced by the UK Government as PAS 11000 in 2006, the collaborative business relationship Standard aims to facilitate cooperation between businesses and maximize the benefits achieved. In an age where businesses have to work more closely and depend upon one another, such a standard can prove invaluable.
The ISO 44001 follows the high-level Annex SL structure set out by ISO for their other Standards – including the popular ISO 9001 – as well as incorporating the eight-stage life cycle model used by BS 11000:
- Awareness – the aims of your organisation regarding collaboration
- Knowledge – how your organisation will collaborate with others
- Internal assessment – evaluating your readiness to collaborate
- Partner selection – the process for selecting collaborative partners
- Working together – establishing the joint approach for collaboration
- Value creation – setting and achieving collaborative goals
- Staying together – procedures for maintaining your relationships
- Exit strategy – procedures for a mutually respectful disengagement
As with all ISO Standards, ISO 44001 has been designed to apply to any organisation, regardless of size or industry, and offers flexibility depending on how your organisation works with other businesses.
Whenever a Standard is replaced by another, a transition window is created where businesses are granted time to upgrade to the latest version of the standard before the old one is withdrawn. Once withdrawn, it is sometimes found that organisations will stop accepting systems that are compliant with previous versions of the Standard – so it is worth investigating your upgrade options before this window closes.