Collaborative Business Relationship Management Systems Requirements


1. What is ISO 44001:2017?

ISO 44001:2017 is the International Standard which details the requirements and framework for Collaborative Business Relationship Management Systems. The standard was prepared by Project Committee ISO/PC 286, Collaborative business relationship management – Framework. The standard specifies requirements for the effective identification, development, and management of
collaborative business relationships within or between organizations.


2. Which organisations should have ISO 44001:2017 certification?

The aim of the standard is to establish the requirements of a strategic lifecycle framework to improve collaborative business relationships in and between organisations of all sizes. Collaborative business relationships can be multidimensional and can be one-to-one relationships or networked relationships involving multiple parties.

The standard is applicable to private and public organizations of all sizes, from large multinational corporations and government organizations to non-profit organizations and micro/small businesses. It can be applied on several different levels, including on a single application, an individual relationship, multiple identified relationships, or full application organisation-wide for all identified relationship types.


3. How many organisations worldwide are ISO 44001 certified?

Every year the ISO organisation conducts a survey of management system standard certification, which details the valid certificates each year by management system standard and across each country. The ISO Survey counts the number of certificates issued by certification bodies that have been accredited by members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

The 2021 results indicated that only 137 certificates are registered across the globe with the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Ireland leading the way with the UK being responsible for nearly 90% of the certificates issued. The sector data indicates that approximately 74% of certificates are registered with entities listed as ‘Other Services’, and a small volume are scattered across other sectors.

ISO44001 is a new standard and has just recently become an accredited scheme and therefore the available information is limited. It is envisaged that other registrations that are currently unaccredited will transition to accredited status over the next few years.


4. What are the ISO 44001:2017 requirements?

The standard provides a framework that can be integrated into an organisation’s established operations, activities, processes and procedures, to optimize the benefits of collaboration between organisations, recognising that effective collaboration requires two or more organizations to engage together and that management systems need to accommodate the joint activities of the parties.

The framework addresses a number of themes that cascade from the high-level management system which will vary within the context and maturity of a specific relationships lifecycle. These evolving themes impact the behaviour and organizational culture of collaborating organizations to ensure they are effective, and the lifecycle model outlines the key steps to effective management process from concept adoption to disengagement. The eight stages of ‘Operation’ are:

  • operational awareness
  • knowledge
  • internal assessment
  • partner selection
  • working together
  • value creation
  • staying together
  • exit strategy activation

Detailed requirements are defined within clauses, and each are indispensable for its application, dependent on the organisation’s purpose and scope. The requirements are detailed within the following sections:

Section 4. Context of the organisation
Section 5. Leadership
Section 6. Planning
Section 7. Support
Section 8. Operation
Section 9. Performance evaluation
Section 10. Improvement


5. What are the benefits of ISO 44001:2017 certification?

The ICW (Institute of Collaborative Working) has conducted extensive research, interviews, surveys, and case studies, and have clearly identified a range of tangible benefits achieved through collaborative working which include:

  • Improved business and operational performance
  • Increased business winning
  • Enhanced risk management
  • Innovation
  • Multi-million-pound efficiencies
  • Increased client confidence and repeat business
  • New product development

Where organisations adopt the requirements of the standard, they develop processes in Stage 6 specifically to target Value Creation, through enhanced alignment of organisations in the relationship(s) and identification of mutual benefits which can include knowledge sharing, harnessing collective expertise, adopting learning opportunities, reducing risk and improving effectiveness.


6. How does my organisation achieve ISO 9001:2015 certification?

Once an organisation has formed an agreement for certification services, as well as having established and implemented its management system, the initial certification activity is conducted in two stages, which provides the opportunity for the auditor and organisation seeking certification to review the system and plan for the main audit activity at stage two. The main audit activity will gather objective evidence against the requirements of the standard using techniques such as observation, document review and personnel interview, to evaluate conformance with those requirements. If there are any issues identified that don’t meet requirements, these are subject to corrective action and once closed out, the audit file goes for technical review and a decision made to grant certification.

The size, complexity and needs of the organisation can influence both the duration and timeline to achieve certification, and this is also influenced by the maturity and resources within the organisation seeking certification.

The actual process of certification is guided by the accreditation standard for Management Systems, ISO 17021-1 and it is highlighted in the illustration below.

Get in touch today if you would like to find out more about the services that we provide, or if you are ready to begin your journey in getting ISO 44001:2017 certified, you can use the online request to receive a tailored proposal for your certification needs.

To find out more about the standard, you can get it here.

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