How HandsHQ can support your ISO certifications

April 12, 2024

February 15, 2024

H&S Specialist

Whether you're looking at gaining a single standard or trying to integrate all the standards together, you will want to look for simple ways to increase your chances of successfully gaining ISO certification.

How HandsHQ can support your ISO certifications

The platinum standard for management systems across global organisations is ISO. The most common certifications sought by enterprise businesses include quality management systems (ISO 9001), an environmental management system (ISO 14001), and a safety management system (ISO 45001). 

Whether you are looking at gaining a single standard or trying to integrate all the standards, you will want to look for simple ways to increase your chances of successfully gaining certification. Lots of organisations will seek the advice of ISO consultants, which can be costly and won’t fully understand your operations. However, with the increased reliance on technology, there are software systems that can help make your ISO certification journey less painful.

Here are just a few products and features from HandsHQ that will complement your plans towards ISO certification - or recertification if you already hold them!


When starting with your ISO certification, you will need to evaluate the context of your organisation to know its place in the market, what the industry is like and stakeholder analysis to understand all interested parties. After these more strategic elements, establishing your leadership and commitment is the first practical step to consider.

The ISO clauses state leadership as the top priority for setting the culture and tone of the organisation so there is a lot of focus on this element during external audits. Part of what you need to demonstrate is that top management is providing the right resources for the organisation to get the job done safely and in an environmentally friendly way without impeding quality service.

Safety software is one resource that can be implemented to help support both the people and the organisation in its responsibilities. Rather than using products that are not fit for purpose (such as Word and Excel), subscribing to purpose-built software shows commitment towards setting the right environment at work and giving the right tools for the job as roles and responsibilities are properly recognised. 

Ultimately, software helps demonstrate that a management system has been effectively established, implemented, and maintained. HandsHQ takes pride in its best-in-class RAMS and training software to help support organisations with their quality, environment and health and safety commitments. With additional features such as visual dashboards, automated audit trail and approval workflow, organisations can monitor the effectiveness of the system and make the promotion of quality, environment and health and safety easier with dedicated software.

ISO clauses:

  • ISO 9001: 5.1 - Leadership and commitment
  • ISO 45001: 5.1 - Leadership and commitment
  • ISO 14001: 5.1 - Leadership and commitment

Risk planning

The ISO certifications mentioned here follow the same framework; a 10-clause structure known as Annex SL. This is a format that ISO standards are being aligned with, in order to make the certification journey easier to understand and help integrate multiple standards across an organisation

One of the clauses that sits within the plan phase of management systems is around assessing and dealing with business risk(s). The three standards all ask you to identify the opportunities and risks that both your work and management systems involve; determining legal requirements and other requirements to ensure compliance, and to agree system objectives.

The standards may refer to the process slightly differently however, the same skill is needed here which is risk-based thinking — capturing business risks, whether quality, environment or health and safety focussed can be done through a simple risk assessment process. HandsHQ’s risk assessment and method statement (RAMS) product provides you with a simple 4-step workflow to create higher-quality RAMS in less time. 

Furthermore, there is a risk register feature that allows users to develop a risk library which can be shared across an organisation for a more robust and consistent approach to risk management. For ISO, this is especially useful as you can demonstrate to auditors that the risk assessment content is under control and you have also managed to communicate the information effectively across the workforce.

The other factor safety software, such as HandsHQ, that can support the planning clauses of the ISO standards is setting objectives. If you are investing in safety software, you are showing a vested interest in improving safe systems for the business and it makes sense to start improving the foundations of risk management which is around risk assessments.

ISO clauses:

  • ISO 9001: 6.1 - Addressing risks and opportunities
  • ISO 45001: - Assessment of OH&S Risks
  • ISO 45001: - Assessment of OH&S Opportunities
  • ISO 45001: 6.1.3 - determination of legal requirements and other requirements
  • ISO 45001: 6.2.2 - Planning to Achieve OH&S Objectives
  • ISO 14001: 6.1 - Actions to address risks and opportunities


All the 3 ISO standards require an organisation to establish a process for assessing existing staff competencies against changing business needs and prevailing trends. This means that an organisation must understand what staff operate in the business, what competencies are needed to perform that role adequately and what staff will need to be aware of whilst operating within their roles.

People are going to need to understand quality, environmental and health and safety risks whilst at work, but how do you identify what this looks like and what training needs to be coordinated? 

The most effective tool is to complete a training needs analysis. There are several ways this can be done however, the easiest option is to use dedicated software to help set up training requirements, refresher training reminders and track overall compliance. HandsHQ’s Training Register product has a host of features to allow your business to set robust training requirements, allowing you to never miss a training date again and keep on top of your compliance. It replaces the need for relying on overly complex Excel spreadsheets that are often prone to human error.

Furthermore, HandsHQ has partnered with iHasco to help automate your record management for e-learning. With a faultless integration, you can now complete your training online and the certificates will be automatically updated to your personnel records, removing the time and effort of having to manually administer the paperwork.


ISO clauses:

  • ISO 9001: 7.2 - Competence
  • ISO 45001: 7.2 - Competence
  • ISO 14001: 7.2 - Competence 

Ongoing compliance

The whole method of ISO certification is around a ‘plan, do, check, act’ continuous cycle. So it makes sense that the whole process involves a core focus about demonstrating continual compliance throughout the organisation. To do this, you will need a tool that can monitor effectiveness and report back on performance measurement. The tool must be able to share your data so that you can leverage better decision-making across the organisation and evaluate your level of compliance.

At HandsHQ, we have been led by our customers and accept that best-in-class software must have functionality around audit trails, dashboards and exporting of data. By making this visible to organisations, internal audits and other monitoring activities can be completed to help measure compliance to your original quality, environment and health and safety objectives. You can specifically check as many RAMS pr training records as you require to determine the effectiveness of the controls and that they were indeed implemented in the first place.

Furthermore, the data you gather from the HandsHQ products can be used to better promote RAMS and training implementation, through providing feedback to all parties. You can also use the data to report to top-level management on lessons learnt and improvement plans to support another ISO requirement around regular management review.

ISO clauses:

  • ISO 9001: 9.1 - Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
  • ISO 9001: 9.3 - Management review
  • ISO 45001: 9.1.1 General - Monitoring and Measurement
  • ISO 14001: 9.1 - Monitoring, Measurement, Analysis and Evaluation

Continual Improvement

All ISOs require you to demonstrate how you are continuing to improve your management systems. Safety software and digitalisation in general, is a positive use case to show that you are looking to find the best systems for your organisation. You may want to think about your quality, environment and health and safety systems as services to assess the best suppliers to support your business via a model called Stacks.

HandsHQ has already seen its enterprise customers use both the RAMS and training register products as examples of continuous improvement within their organisations to support positive observations raised during external audits and recertification meetings. The key to the product is exemplifying that the process continues to be customised once an opportunity for improvement has been identified and that the product itself is always improving through a development roadmap to ensure product excellence.

ISO clauses:

  • ISO 9001: 10.3 - Continual improvement
  • ISO 45001: 10.3 - Continual improvement
  • ISO 14001: 10.3 - Continual improvement 


You can see how bespoke software can support ISO certifications in a variety of ways. Since the standards now adopt the same framework, it has become even easier to digitise systems so that management systems remain effective and efficient. For organisations looking to integrate their management systems to simplify the ISO certification process, software is the number 1 tool to help streamline your efforts. 

We wish you the best on your ISO certification or re-certification journey. If you are still unsure where to start or you have further inquiries about how digitalisation can improve your chances for ISO success, speak to HandsHQ today.

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