All about systemic review process in ISO

All about systemic review process in ISO

All about systemic review process in ISO

We live in a fast-paced world. What is true today may not necessarily be what will be true tomorrow. Systems, technologies and standards are continually evolving to fit into the rapidly changing business environment. ISO carries out a systemic review of its standards to fit into this paradigm shift.

What exactly is a systematic review?

To ensure that ISO standards remain up to date, a national standards body must review the standards after publication in consultation with its stakeholders. This process is carried out when the committee that created the standard decides to launch it, or automatically within five years. The systemic review endeavours to answer the following questions:

  • Is the standard still valid?
  • Should it be updated?
  • Should it be withdrawn?

Why is it important?

A systemic review remains the only way that the ISO central secretariat can collect information concerning the use of an ISO standard and its national adoption. If a standard isn’t widely used worldwide by at least five countries, or its relevance has been called into question, that standard is subject to withdrawal.

The technical committee that developed the standard also benefits from a systemic review. The information collected during the review can be used in the next revision of the standard.

Let’s get a more in-depth look at the process:

Once the systemic review has been triggered, the following will happen:

  • ISO central secretariat electronically administers the reviews. All ISO participating members are required to respond to such reviews.
  • The central secretariat then sends out systemic review ballots in 4-year batches in the months of January, April, July and October with 500-600 ballots per batch.
  • Member bodies who receive the ballots are required to consult with stakeholders on the use of the standard and its effectiveness. This process takes 20 weeks.
  • Member bodies answer the ballot questions while considering the national stakeholders’ input and submit their vote.
  • The systemic review results are then forwarded to the committee that developed it by the central secretariat.
  • After the 20 weeks, the secretariat circulates proposed actions to all permanent and observer members, stakeholders and committees through form 21.
  • Committee members are allowed four weeks to consider the actions and to object. If there are none, form 21 becomes the committee’s decision.
  • The committee’s secretariat will then be required to submit its final decision to the ISO secretariat within six months since the closure of the systemic review process.

What happens after the systemic review process?

The following three things can happen:

  1. Confirmation of the standard- This means the standard has been adopted without any changes.
  2. Revision /amendment of the standard– Here, the standard has been found to be widely used, but changes are required, it is proposed for amendment.
  3. Withdrawal of the standard- If the standard is not used widely or has not been adopted, that standard should be withdrawn.

Parting shot….

The ISO processes are well thought out to accommodate all views. Participating members and stakeholders should, hence, keep a keen eye on changing standards.

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