Published: June 2020
More than ever, the oil and gas sector needs to be efficient and to manage risk very effectively. Help with meeting those twin aims comes in the shape of our newly revised international quality standard for the petroleum, petrochemical, and natural gas industries.
At this difficult time, how can oil and gas sector organizations improve productivity and reduce risk? One tried and tested route is by implementing a quality management system. To that end, in May we published BS EN ISO 29001:2020 Petroleum, petrochemical and natural gas industries - Sector-specific quality management systems - Requirements for product and service supply organizations. This international standard defines a quality management system for product and service supply organizations in the oil and gas sector.
How it works
How does the standard work? Well, it’s based on – and also reproduces in full – BS EN ISO 9001:20015 – the latest version of ISO’s best-selling international quality management systems standard. This standard works – in a nutshell – by asking organizations to meet requirements derived from seven quality management principles developed by ISO over many years. The principles are: customer focus; leadership; engagement of people; process approach; improvement; evidence-based decision making; and relationship management.
The requirements set out what organizations should do to realize the principles. When an organization fulfils the requirements they will have implemented a quality management system that reflects the principles. To get there, organizations are asked to implement Plan, Do, Check and Act cycles that identify their stakeholders and what they want; examine and improve processes and procedures; ensure the right resources are available; and continually improve what they’re doing.
As you may know, BS EN ISO 9001:2015 introduced a step change to the way quality management systems are implemented across all industries. Designed to be less bureaucratic, simpler to use and more effective at delivering business improvement, the standard now requires organizations to respond to the context in which they operate. That means looking at the external and internal issues relevant to its purpose and strategic direction.
There’s also a much bigger emphasis on leadership and on risk-based thinking. Organizations are now required to place far greater emphasis on the identification and management of risks and opportunities associated with their activities, processes, output products and services. The revision also introduced a number of other key changes around how documented information is managed.
The revised BS EN ISO 29001:2020 meanwhile includes supplementary sector-specific guidance and requirements for the oil and gas sector. It also provides a framework for aligning requirements with complementary standards and practices that are already widely used in the sector.
The ISO 9001 standard has a track-record of improving overall organizational performance. It reduces operating risk and drives improvement throughout an organization. That takes the form of more consistently efficient processes, less waste (of time and materials) and higher productivity. As well, stakeholder satisfaction is increased; you benefit from better planning; regulatory compliance is easier; and employees are more engaged. Spin-off benefits include that the standard can help organizations accelerate innovation, facilitate trade and increase stakeholder trust.
In addition, the supplementary sector requirements and guidance found in ISO 29001 ensure that users incorporate sector best practices and risk management processes. This makes for smoother and more efficient collaborations and better managed supply chain risks. The standard provides clarity on sector-documented information requirements. It also reflects the requirements and guidance within other sector-complementary quality, technical and conformity assessment standards and specifications, making it easier to work with them.
At a time when the sector has arguably never been under so much pressure, companies need to find a way to streamline their operations, strip out risk, take advantage of available opportunities and achieve competitive advantage. BS EN ISO 29001:2020 can help with it all.