With the concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies are wondering if maintaining their management systems is necessary. This question can be raised for any management system based on any of the ISO standards, be it an ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS), an Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS) per ISO 45001:2018, or an ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System (ISMS). Whatever management system you have in place should be maintained during the coronavirus pandemic, because maintaining the management system can actually help you in your pandemic response.
Why should companies care about certification during a pandemic?
It is important to note that the reasons you have chosen to implement a management system, such as to improve your quality management, the health and safety in your workplace, or the data protection of your IT system, have not really changed due to the onset of the coronavirus that we are all fighting. In fact, now—more than ever—it is important to keep up the controls you have put in place to safeguard against IT attacks, as these are now emphasized more due to many people working from home.
Likewise, your management of quality to provide products and services that meet customer needs is even more critical now, particularly if you have expanded into a new market to meet pandemic needs; it is crucial that any expansion like this is done in a systematic way. In fact, some processes that you have put in place, such as hazard assessment in the OHSMS, can become even more important now that you are trying to assess new hazards quickly, and using the systematic approach you created will ensure that this fast assessment is also a correct assessment.