ISO Compliance: What You Need to Know About Legislative Updates

Businesses that strive for excellence are often burdened by responsibilities to meet international standards, especially if they have an integrated management system in place. An integrated management system or IMS enables businesses to seamlessly manage multiple systems that involve quality, workplace health and safety, as well as resources and environmental impact. These management systems can be certified to ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 45001 for occupational safety, and ISO 14001 for environmental performance, among others. If yours is a business that already has one or multiple management systems in place, you would know that getting certified to international standards involves keeping up with legislative updates through a legislation register or legal register.

Basic Questions About a Legal Register and Legislative Updates

What is a legal register and how do legislative updates affect it?

Organizations adopt management standards primarily to strive for excellence. After all, having an ISO certification makes a business part of an elite group of organizations that comply to and meet international standards. It serves as a badge of honor that demonstrates an organization’s commitment to quality and excellence. But more than just a certification, management standards are a framework that is built upon best practices and industry knowledge from professionals and organizations globally. To meet such standards, organizations must maintain a legal register, a collection of legislations and guidelines that impact different aspects of an organization’s business processes. In a webinar, Nimonik’s Jonathan Brun defined a legal register as “a list of laws, regulations, codes, [and] statutes that apply to [an] organization within the subject matter of the standards.” He added that the legal register is a “living document” that is regularly updated to just as laws and regulations, as well as an organization’s operations, change. But why must organizations have a legal register? For one, it is a certification requirement and because all organizations are subject to the law, compliance is a must. The second important point that Brun highlights is that “ignorance does not hold up in court.” Simply put, an organization cannot claim to be unaware of the regulations of workplace safety or environmental management in case of accidents. This is why a legal register must be maintained and legislative updates must also be done on a regular basis. Because these tasks may be daunting for those who are not familiar with legislative compliance, businesses can enlist the assistance of ISO auditors who are skilled in developing comprehensive, easy to understand legal registers for their business.

What does a legal register or legislative register contain?

There are several ISO standards that organizations can be certified to, such as ISO 9001 for quality, ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety, and ISO 14001 for environmental management. To get certified to any of these standards, an organization must first have a legal register or legislation register. This legal register documents all the relevant regulations in a convenient, easy to understand, and editable register that businesses can refer to during an ISO internal audit or whenever process or compliance issues arise. It’s also important that a legal register has a documentation of the status of current compliance, outlines the last compliance date for each item, and indicates when the next review must occur.

How do legislation specialists aid in applying legislative updates?

Businesses who are new to regulatory compliance may find maintaining a legal register rather challenging. Some opt to obtain legislative update services from ISO auditors, as businesses without the expertise to regularly maintain a legal register may put themselves at risk for fines and legal action. Enlisting the professional services of auditors and legislation specialists not only removes the burden from the organization so that they can focus on their core competencies, it also provides the business with a personalised advice on the required actions to ensure compliance. Legislation specialists also ensure that updates and changes are applied to the business’ legal register and that these changes are effectively and clearly communicated to key people in the organization.

Why does your business need a Legislative Compliance Audit?

A legislative compliance audit is the process of demonstrating that an organization has understood and applied the legislative requirements within their business. It involves creating checklists to define which areas apply to processes and ensuring these are correlated to documents and processes in the business. As legislation evolves and changes, legislative updates must be applied. A legislation compliance audit helps ensure that an organization stays compliant throughout any changes by auditing the business against its specific legislative requirements. It defines a simple way for businesses to identify which legislation applies to them and how they can confirm to such relevant legislations. The result is a comprehensive report on the next steps to take to achieve compliance and documented evidence that confirms compliance once these actions are undertaken.

If your business is interested in ensuring legislative updates are efficiently and effectively implemented into your legal register, consult with ISO auditors. These compliance specialists provide legislative update services and legislative compliance audits to ensure that you maintain your global standard seamlessly.

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