How can businesses implement standards?
While many local businesses are aware of what Standards can do in helping them gain a competitive edge and overall growth, many organisations have yet to jump on board the bandwagon. SiTF and SPRING Singapore hope to drive the adoption rate for the taking up of Standards through education and guidance.
Here are some simple steps to help you get started on adopting Standards.
Step 1: Decide on your objectives for implementing Standards.
Some common reasons for businesses to adopt Standards are plans for overseas expansion, compliance with government and industry regulations, or increasing market reach targets. By setting your objectives, this will help determine which Standards to adopt and the certifications required.
Step 2: Identify the main processes and systems needed to accomplish your objectives and use this understanding to choose which Standards to implement.
For instance, if the primary objective is to ensure the security of organization information and assets, an information security management system is required. The Standard ISO/IEC 27001 will allow you to accomplish this. Additionally, if you would like advice on which Standards are relevant for your business, we suggest consulting with an industry association, regulatory body or SPRING Singapore.
Step 3: Purchase the Standard document from SPRING Singapore or refer to the National Library Board’s reference section.
Ensure that you read and understand all requirements needed to achieve the standard. Take note of the aspects for processes, services and products that need to be changed in order to adhere to the requirements.
Determine the resources required – personnel, time, infrastructure, finances – to implement the standard. We recommend applying for SPRING’S programmes such as the Capability Development Grant (CDG) and Innovation and Capability Voucher (ICV) to help offset the cost of consultancy and certification.
Link to purchase or view Standards documents:
Step 4: Obtain the agreement and support of the top management and employees to commit to the implementation. The top management should be aware of and prepared to accept the costs of implementation, such as devoting internal and external resources, certification charges and execution time.
Step 5: Once planning has concluded, begin the process of implementation. Create proper documentation and perform tests to prepare for the certification audit.
Step 6: Upon the completion of implementation, engage an independent testing or certification body to certify that your product, service, process or system meets the Standard.
The certification will accredit your organization’s compliance to the Standard by issuing a certificate. Take note that if your organization is exporting its goods overseas, the adopted Standard and certification body should be recognised in the country.
Link to list of certification accreditation bodies:
What happens next? Your work should continue even after the adoption and certification of Standards. Following these steps, your organization should aim to maximize its benefits of obtaining Standards. There are a few ways which you can do so.
- Promote the company’s Standards compliance through marketing collaterals
- Carry out follow-up reviews, periodic audits and certification reassessments to continually ensure the organization is up to the Standard
- Monitor for any new Standards and latest revisions made. Upgrading to the most current Standards will maintain your market share and keep your organization at the forefront of the industry and its developments