Many global companies are acutely aware of their obligations to have an anti-bribery compliance system to manage the risks of paying bribes or being involved in illegal corruption.
A new standard published by ISO speeds up the compliance process and allows companies to be certified for their anti-bribery measures. The process to gain certification under the ISO 37001 standard is straightforward. A certification is a great addition to your company's compliance measure, with increased standards, better bribery risk management, decreased compliance costs and the ability to brand your company as ISO 37001 certified.
The process to be certified under ISO 37001 is as follows.
- Choose a certification body
There are many different certification bodies that can certify your organisation to ISO 37001. Research to find an accredited body with experience in certifying organisations to ISO 37001. Our expertise at Speeki through our accredited certification body, Speeki Europe, is unparalleled. Speeki has certified companies globally, and our auditors are experts in compliance and anti-corruption, having spent ten years in-house building anti-bribery programmes.
- Understand the requirements
While the ISO 37001 standard document is simple to follow, it is important to understand the requirements before you begin the certification process. Your certification body can provide training and resources to help you understand the standard. They can't help you build the programme (as this would be a conflict), but they can certainly help with training and practice audits.
- Implement an anti-bribery management system
Once you understand the requirements, you must implement an anti-bribery management system (ABMS) in your organisation. This system should include policies, procedures and controls to prevent, detect and respond to bribery. If you already have an anti-bribery compliance programme, the system should be straightforward to build. There might be some steps you need to take to complete the more formal parts of the system, but most of those should be very simple.
- Get certified
Once you have implemented an ABMS, you can apply for certification to ISO 37001. The certification body will audit your organisation to verify that you comply with the standard. A certification is valid for three years, with a more extensive audit in the first year and then a follow-up audit each year. Follow-up audits are typically smaller and cover any changes made in the previous year.
If you are successful in the audit, you will be issued a certificate of conformity to ISO 37001. This certificate will demonstrate to your stakeholders that your organisation is committed to preventing bribery. It is the ultimate way to prove the value of your compliance efforts and be rewarded for all your hard work in building a bribery programme.
The following are some benefits of being ISO 37001 certified.
- Increased customer confidence
Customers are increasingly demanding that their suppliers are committed to ethical business practices. By being ISO 37001 certified, you can demonstrate to your customers that you are serious about preventing bribery. This could shorten the sales cycle and you may even win new business.
- Reduced risk of fines and penalties
Bribery is a serious crime that can result in significant fines and penalties for organisations. By being ISO 37001 certified, you can reduce the risk of being fined or penalised for bribery. Building a system under the standard is the best way to ensure compliance with all local laws and regulations.
- Improved employee morale
Employees are more likely to be motivated and engaged when they work for an organisation that is committed to ethical business practices. By being ISO 37001 certified, you can improve employee morale and productivity.
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