Austria: ISO 19600: compliance management systems — guidelines

As a young and complex matter, compliance presents numerous challenges for organisations. This is partly due to the lack of global standards, which could provide guidance. As a consequence, organisations are having a hard time recognising those compliance requirements that are necessary, appropriate and capable of serving as indicators of a functioning compliance management system (CMS). Therefore, it is highly welcome that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is currently working on a global standard for CMS.

The participating ISO members had the chance to comment and vote on the draft of ISO 19600 until April 2014; they endorsed the draft unanimously. The competent committee (ISO/PC 271) is currently meeting in Vienna to review the comments and votes and then issue a final draft based on their review. The final draft will be put up for a final vote. Provided that the final vote will be positive, ISO 19600 will presumably be published in 2015.

ISO 19600 is designed as a flexible guideline without any normative references. It provides recommendations based on the principles of good governance, flexibility, proportionality, transparency and sustainability. It is open for all kind of organisations. Especially small and medium-sized companies benefit from this approach, as they can implement the guideline recommendations according to the size and maturity of their company. It is this kind of flexibility that gives small and medium-sized companies the incentive to deal with compliance on their own terms. Because the guideline is based upon the principle of continual improvement (plan, do, check, act), organisations can expand their CMS as their needs increase…

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