4 – minute read
Compliance Officer Day is celebrated on 26 September each year. This year it falls on a Saturday, so you might like to take a moment before then to acknowledge your product safety compliance manager and staff this week.
ISO standard 19600 – Compliance management systems – Guidelines sets out the key principles. It says:
“Organisations that aim to be successful in the long term need to maintain a culture of integrity and compliance, and to consider the needs and expectations of stakeholders. Integrity and compliance are therefore not only the basis, but also an opportunity, for a successful and sustainable organisation.
The governing body and top management should appoint a compliance function with clear and unambiguous support from, and direct access to, the governing body and top management. They should also ensure that the compliance function has authority to act independently and is not compromised by conflicting priorities.”
Compliance AND due diligence
Of course, good governance involves not just meeting regulatory obligations.
ISO 19600 adds:
“An effective, organisation-wide compliance management system enables an organisation to demonstrate its commitment to compliance with relevant laws, including legislative requirements, industry codes and organisational standards, as well as standards of good corporate governance, best practices, ethics and community expectations.
Compliance … is made sustainable by embedding it in the culture of the organisation and in the behaviour and attitude of people working for it … it is preferable if compliance management is integrated with the organisation’s financial, risk, quality, environmental and health and safety management processes and its operational requirements and procedures.”
Businesses can take responsibility for the safety of all products, whether or not they’re subject to a specific regulation.
“Compliance” is just a subset of “governance” and not the other way around.Pearl Zhu
Product safety compliance isn’t easy
I’ve written a white paper outlining the challenges of working on product safety compliance in a commercial context. The paper explores some potential strategies for improvement, including the need for support within corporate culture and better infrastructure to support the system.
Levels of responsibility and stress experienced by product safety and compliance practitioners are unduly high. They face pressures that could be lessened with an effective support system. It’s now more than two years since I published the paper and not much has changed.
All businesses and associations involved in the consumer product market can look at ways to better support and manage product safety compliance.
Achieving product safety
With all the above in mind, a company can support its product safety compliance function by adopting another two key ISO standards. ISO Standards 10377 and 10393 provide guidance for companies on how to achieve and maintain good product safety – across the lifespan of a product.
Product Safety Solutions’ Managers Checklist is based on these two ISO standards and continues to be popular with global stakeholders. It’s available for free download.
Take a moment
So, mark the occasion of Compliance Officer Day with a little celebration, and a resolution to value your compliance team more throughout the coming year.