ISO 37101 Certification

Certification is an important issue for any management system

Introduction

ISO 37101 allows an organization to “claim conformity” to the standard (i.e., self-certify) without necessarily undertaking second-or third-party certification (something that communities, cities and local authorities may find difficult to consider).

ISO 37101 self-certification:

  • is (obviously) “not acceptable” unless “all ISO 37101 requirements are incorporated into an organization’s management system ... and fulfilled without exclusion”;
  • is subject to the WTO “explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity assessment”;
  • requires that the management system requirements include:
    -- a baseline review;
    -- planned internal audits;
    -- planned management reviews.

Only management reviews are scrutinised externally (“Communities shall ensure recognition of the management reviews by their respective appointed or elected representatives.”).

It is noted that ISO Supplementary Information states that “ ISO International Standards and other normative ISO deliverables (TS, PAS, IWA) that do not contain requirements (i.e. do not contain the verbal expression “shall”) are not intended to be used for conformity assessment.” ISO 37101 requires that communities “shall” ensure recognition so under ISO 37101, community representatives are responsible for challenging a 37101 claim of conformity (a form of self-certification) and can withdraw the claim [1].

The fact that a city for example can claim conformity (self-certify) and thereby declare that it meets ISO 37101 requirements is a major incentive for all interested parties to become involved. Aside from allowing a logo attesting to compliance to be displayed, a management system that meets the standard’s requirements brings major benefits:

  • Global benefits

    • A common language to articulate issues and propose solutions.
    • An enhanced contribution to sustainable development.
    • Synergy effects whereby experience and practice in one community is transferred to another.
    • A comprehensive and structured participation by interested parties.
    • Strategic benefits for the community
    • Enhanced sustainability and resilience
    • Proactive engagement
    • Risks and opportunities identified
    • Recognition and performance assessment
  • Organizational benefits for the community

    • Consensus within the community
    • Interested party involvement
    • An holistic approach that breaks down the tendency for service infrastructure to develop in separate silos.
    • Robust, process-based methodology
    • Sound planning

Examples

According to an Internet statement, the Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua under Prof. Antonio Scipioni arranged a pilot certification by Italy's CSQA of an ISO 371010 management system established by the commune of Sappada in Italy. The commune is a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. ISO published a fairly detailed news item in 2018 and thhere is a blog item.

Competence requirements for auditing and certification

ISO is developing ISO/IEC 17021-8 ISO/IEC TS 17021-8 Conformity assessment -- Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems -- Part 8: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of management systems for sustainable development in communities for the certification of ISO 37101 systems. A Working Draft (WD) study has started and a public review draft is available PDF.

The April 2019 meeting of ISO/TC 268 (Sustainable Development in Communuties) will review the status of ISO/IEC TS 17021-8.

Accreditation criteria for certification bodies in certifying management systems are being updated by the USA's International Accreditation Service PDF to handle new standards such as ISO 37101.

Updated 20 Mar 2019


  1. Parts of this paragraph are taken from ISO's Foreword - Supplementary information. ↩︎