In order to adapt to the new situations that it faces in its day to day, it becomes increasingly necessary to resort to compliance to detect, manage, control and prevent risks related to breaches of obligations and legislation. And that is where ISO 19600: 2015, Compliance Management Systems. Guidelines, takes relevance.


In this article I will talk about the objective of ISO 19600, the pillars on which it is based and the benefits it will offer to all those companies that decide to adopt it.

The objective of the ISO Standard 19600.

Incorporating the term compliance into the company’s DNA is key to its future and to maintaining and improving its position in an increasingly demanding market.

ISO 19600 standard: key to the future of companies
The Standard 19600: 2015 allows to incorporate the term compliance in the companies.

In today’s scenario, companies no longer have to comply with applicable obligations and legislation, but are also expected to reaffirm with all their actions a culture of respect for the law and to use law as a source of inspiration to improve Its day to day.

And is that it is no longer expected to comply with the minimum required trying to go through with it without modifying its organization or way of working and with the aim of avoiding fines and sanctions, but incorporate the term compliance in the organization’s DNA is key For the future of it and to maintain and improve its position in an increasingly demanding market.

Since the publication of the first Compliance management standard in 2006 by the Australian Standardization Agency (AS), Standard AS 3806, its application has been improved in companies of all types of sectors, activities and dimensions, In 2014, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed ISO 19600: 2015, Compliance Management System. Guidelines.

In this way, this document includes a series of good practices for the implementation and maintenance of compliance methodology in organizations of all types.

The document of the standard itself gives us more information about its objective:

This international standard provides guidance for establishing, developing, implementing, evaluating, maintaining and improving an effective compliance management system that generates response by the organization.

The guidelines on compliance management systems are applicable to all types of organizations. The scope of application of these guidelines depends on the size, structure, nature and complexity of the organization. This international standard is based on the principles of good governance, proportionality, transparency and sustainability.

The pillars of the ISO Standard 19600: 2015.

ISO 19600, Compliance Management System. Guidelines, is based on the PDCA methodology in which, for those who do not know it, the following phases are followed:

Plan: phase in which the strategy is planned or established on paper.
Do: following the previously established, proceed to follow the indicated steps, that is, we move from paper to reality.
Check: this phase must verify that the actions have been carried out as planned, as well as that the desired effects and objectives have been achieved.
Act: from the above results, it is collected what is learned and applied.
Based on the Deming or PDCA cycle, ISO 19600 is based on the following pillars that guarantee its relevance and importance for the future of companies, such as:

  • The relevance of the role of management, its commitment and adequate adaptation of leadership. Appears reflected in:politics,
  • In the establishment of objectives that are in line with the strategic and operational goals of the company,
    The active participation of management in the communication, both internally and externally, of all matters related to compliance,
  • The provision of the resources necessary for the company to achieve the objectives set and for the compliance management system to function properly.
  • Finally, we must not forget the role of leadership in disseminating the relevance of proper management of compliance by all company personnel, as well as in Continuous Improvement.
  • Responsibilities, designation and understanding. As in other management systems, establishing the various responsibilities in relation to the activities, positions and status in the organizational chart of the company’s staff is key, but becomes wet if it is not accompanied by an adequate understanding of them Those involved, as well as the consequences of their non-compliance.
  • The identification of compliance obligations, such as legislation, adopted standards, codes of good practices, etc., since if it is not known it is difficult to ensure compliance.
  • Analysis and proper management of risks related to compliance. As with other ISO standards, the company must incorporate the analysis of risks related to compliance obligations, bearing in mind: causes; probability; gravity; And origins. From there, it is possible to establish effective measures that allow to reduce, eliminate or control the identified risk so that it does not affect in the present or future the fulfillment of the Compliance by the company.
  • Training as a basis for maintaining the system in the future, and as ISO 19600: 2015 is no exception, I will not extend further on this point.
  • Constant evaluation. Establishing adequate indicators, evaluating compliance, analyzing the incidents produced, the degree of compliance with the applicable obligations and legislation are some of the key activities so that compliance and effectiveness of the Compliance Management System is kept alive, New situations, obligations or requirements and that remains a guarantee of security.

Benefits provided by the ISO Standard 19600.

Implement and maintain ISO 19600: 2015, Compliance Management System. Guidelines, it becomes a guarantee of the adoption of the compliance culture of respect for legislation through awareness raising, use of the necessary resources to carry it out and establishment of appropriate measures to maintain it in time and adapt to change.

It also shows the responsible management of the company to all interested parties, while minimizing the possible risks of administrative, civil and criminal liabilities to which the company may be affected, as well as its managers and administrators.

Thus ISO 19600: 2015 is an essential tool for the future of companies, the key ally in the path of Compliance that all organizations have to include in their structure, decisions and objectives as a basis for growth and improvement.

ISO 19600: 2015, Compliance Management Systems: keys for implementation and benefits

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