Our world is increasingly globalized and interconnected. In order to maintain a level of quality and consistency, many organizations rely on the standards set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
ISO is an independent, international organization that develops and publishes standards for a wide range of products and services. Established in 1947, ISO currently has over 16,500 standards that are used in 159 countries.
One of the most important aspects of ISO standards is skills management. To ensure products and services are of the highest quality, it is essential to have a properly trained workforce knowledgeable about the relevant ISO standards. ISO-certified organizations are required to have skills management systems that meet the needs of their employees and customers. They must also ensure their systems are up-to-date and compliant with ISO standards.
In order to ensure your workforce has the necessary skills, you need to have a robust skills management system in place. A good skills management system will help identify the skills your employees need, bring clarity to skills gaps, and tie training to those gaps (or develop necessary training programs internally, or with vendors) so employees are properly equipped to meet the requirements of ISO standards.
There are a few different ISO standards pertaining to skills management, including ISO 9001, ISO 10018 and ISO 17024.
ISO 9001 is a a set of standards to help organizations ensure they are providing products and services meeting customer requirements. To become ISO certified, organizations must go through a rigorous auditing process. Part of this process includes demonstrating they have adequate skills management systems in place, especially clause 7.2.
ISO 10018 provides guidance on engaging people in an organization's quality management system, and on enhancing their involvement and competence within it. Any organization, regardless of size, type, or activity benefits from following its guidelines.
ISO 17024 is an international standard providing guidelines for the certification of individuals. Organizations which offer certification programs must meet the requirements of ISO 17024 in order to be accredited. This standard covers a wide range of topics, including the development of certification programs, the assessment of candidates, and the issuance of certificates.
When it comes to skills management, ISO 9001, 10018 and 17024 are three of the most important standards to be aware of. By understanding these standards and how they relate to skills management, you can ensure that your organization is providing employees with the training and development opportunities they need to be successful.
There are several key elements to consider during the planning of your skills management system. Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
- Identify the required employee skills
The first step in developing a skills management system is to identify the required employee skills. You will need to consider the specific ISO standards relevant to your business, and identify those skills your employees will need to comply with these standards.
- Identify the skills available
Next, you will uncover the skills available amongst employees in your organization. This can be done with employee interviews, questionnaires, or by employees and/or managers during this skills assessment phase.
- Determine the skills gaps
After you identify the required skills and the available employee skills, the next critical step is to identify the gaps present between the two. The outcome of this process determines the best growth path and, in the case ISO compliance, meeting the standards.
- Establish training to close skills gaps
Closing skills gaps occurs by directing employees to training materials and tracking their progress. If you don’t have the necessary training programs available, you will need to develop them (or work with a vendor). Tracking employee training progress is critical for ISO compliance. The type of training you provide depends on the specific skills needed.
- Implement, evaluate and update the skills management system
After you have rolled out training programs, it is time to implement a skills management system. This involves creating procedures and processes for tracking employee skills, managing the skills gaps, and ensuring employees are properly trained. There is a great deal of complexity to deal with here, and it is an iterative process.Ultimately, this is an important component to meet the requirements of ISO standards.
A skills management system is an essential part of any organization needing to ensure compliance with ISO standards. By understanding the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 10018 and ISO 17024, you can develop a system to help train your employees to meet these standards.
There are many benefits to becoming ISO-certified, including improved customer satisfaction, increased efficiency, and reduced costs. ISO-certified organizations are also more likely to win new customers and contracts.
If you want to learn more about skills management, or if you are interested in ISO certification as it relates to skills management, contact us today. SkillsDB is a hub for employee success, delivering skills management to help ensure compliance with ISO standards. Be sure to visit our website, where you can learn more about our SaaS platform and get started on the path to ISO certification.