Like any set of guidance, standards can sometimes feel a little overwhelming or confusing, causing businesses to miss out on the far-reaching benefits available to them. This article will separate fact from fiction by unpacking five of the most common misconceptions surrounding standards.
Myth #1: Standards are complicated
This is a common misperception but in reality, standards are flexible and can be adapted to each business to help solve common business challenges and work more efficiently. They help to drive innovation by continually moving the benchmark of “what good is” and encouraging businesses to keep improving and growing.
Standards can be implemented in a way that suits your business; you can choose to only use parts of the standard and make these improvements at a pace that works best for your organization. As well as the help available from other standards consultancies and United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited bodies, BSI have a number of resources and assets to support organizations throughout their standards journeys.
Myth #2: You have to get certified
There is no hard and fast rule that says a business has to get certified to a standard. You can choose between formal (certified) or informal (non-certified) certification to suit the needs of your organization. Ultimately, the more of a standard you implement, the more benefits you will enjoy – for example, if your business chooses to use a sustainability standard like ISO 14001, the greater number of changes you implement, the less your business will have a negative environmental impact.
Certification comes with the added perk of using the BSI kitemark on branding and marketing. This has other benefits like making it easier to bid for work that specifies the use of standards as well as boosting your business’ reputation.
Myth #3: Standards aren’t for SMEs
Standards exist to help businesses of all sizes be the best they can be. Each standard comes with its own immediate benefits, but irrespective of the standard’s purpose, there are additional perks that can be enjoyed. Even if a standard is specific to a sector, such as IT security standard ISO/IEC 27001, it also offers additional benefits including increased productivity and efficiency outside of boosting data security. For smaller businesses, this equates to significant time and cost savings.
Myth #4: Standards add little value to businesses
Standards add value to a business by boosting its bottom line, enhancing its reputation, optimizing processes, offering more efficient and effective ways to work and the ability to easily identify and fix problems if they arise.
Standards add value by fixing inefficiencies, as well as giving staff the tools, training and knowledge needed to work more productively and reducing costs. By providing frameworks which allow businesses to observe their operations more closely, standards encourage organizations to focus on continually improving and innovating.
Myth #5: Certification is the end of your standards journey
Certification is often thought of as the end point or goal that organizations should work towards. In reality, certification is just one of the first steps in the standards journey. Once you have completed the two-stage certification assessment, you should continue to keep up with the standard. This will ensure your business remains at the forefront of industry knowledge and up to date with the best ways to operate.
To find out more about standards and what they can do for your business, visit the BSI website to read through our resources or BSI Knowledge where you can browse the different standards available to you.