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“EDUCATION IS NOT THE LEARNING OF FACTS, BUT THE TRAINING OF THE MIND TO THINK” – Albert Einstein

Education helps people to improve not only their living standard but also their community and helps us to become valuable citizens of society. It enables individuals to develop skills, broaden their horizons and gain a better perspective in life. Education is based on specific standards which are clear and measurable and prepares learners for the future, work and life. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed ISO 21001 Certification for educational institutions to improve and establish a more productive teaching-learning environment.

What is ISO 21001 Certification?

ISO 21001 Certification for Educational Organization Management System (EOMS) provides a framework for establishing flexible, transparent and inclusive classrooms and enables an organization to provide personalized learning to meet the needs and requirements of the individual learner. It helps educational organizations to implement the best practices and aims to improve the quality of education by providing the necessary training to the teachers.

 

ISO 21001 certification promotes a learner-centric approach and actively engages learners in their own learning. It was published in 2018 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to allow educational institutions to provide high-quality services. It promotes equitable and accessible education for all and offers more personalized learning for learners with special needs and distance learners.

Which Educational Organizations can apply for ISO 21001 Certification?

Any educational organization can apply for ISO 21001 certification, including private and private, regardless of size, nature and location. A list of organizations that can go for ISO 21001 certification for Educational Organization Management System (EOMS) is as follows:

 

  1. Pre-schools
  2. Colleges
  3. Adult Education Centers
  4. Vocational Education Centers
  5. Tutoring or Coaching Centers
  6. Training Institutes
  7. Special Education Schools
  8. Universities
  9. K-12 Schools

Why is there a need for ISO 21001 Certification?

Education plays a crucial role in a child’s life, but today the education sector is facing many challenges. ISO 21001 Certification is important as it helps organizations to improve their performance and provides appropriate tools and controls to manage the various challenges related to an educational institution. These challenges are:

 

  1. According to UNESCO, Around 263 million children, including adolescents and youth, are out of school.
  2. Over 155 countries legally guarantee free education (9 years or more of compulsory education), but the global literacy rate is still 86.3%.
  3. Only six children out of ten will be finishing secondary school in 2030.
  4. Around 102 million youth lack basic literacy skills.
  5. Capitalism of education.

 

Principles of ISO 21001 Certification

The Educational Organization Management System (EOMS) is not restricted to schools and universities, but organizations that use the curriculum to impart knowledge can apply for ISO 21001 certification. ISO 21001 Certification for Educational Organization Management System (EOMS) follows 11 principles. These are:

 

  1. Focus on learners and other beneficiaries – It promotes student-centred learning and focuses on the needs and requirements of individual learners.
  2. Visionary leadership – It focuses on engaging all learners and defines competence standards for all staff to achieve the mission, vision and objectives of the organization.
  3. Engagement of people – It aims to provide training and develop competence to ensure that all the people involved are empowered, competent and engaged in delivering values.
  4. Process approach – It aims to establish a coherent system to achieve consistent and predictable results. It reviews processes and focuses on adopting efficient and effective processes to improve the functioning of the organizations.
  5. Improvement – It follows the principle of continual improvement to sustain growth and eliminates factors that might cause unintended outcomes.
  6. Evidence-based decisions – Decisions are based on analysis and evaluation after reading the prior information and data to achieve the intended outcomes.
  7. Relationship Management – It is equally necessary for an organization to maintain a relationship with customers, stakeholders and other beneficiaries to sustain growth.
  8. Social Responsibility – An organization must behave in a socially responsible manner to ensure long-term success and sustainable growth. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed ISO 26000 certification solely dedicated to Social Responsibility.
  9. Accessibility and Equity – ISO 21001 Certification aims to create flexible, transparent and inclusive educational institutions. It focuses on making education accessible and equitable for all, including differently-abled and distance learners.
  10. Ethical conduct in education – It provides an ethical code of conduct to educational organizations and demonstrates an organization’s ability to eliminate incidents of conflicts of interest.
  11. Data Security and Protection – An effective data security system enables interested parties and learners to interact with the organization freely and openly. An educational organization can apply for ISO 27001 Certification and ISO 27701 Certification to ensure data security and privacy.

PDCA Cycle

  • Plan – to think that what do we need to achieve in our organization
  • Do – to execute a planned action which will help us achieve the required objective
  • Check – monitor against the standards) (policies, objectives, requirements)
  • Action – finally implementing what has been rechecked.

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ISO 21001 Certification for the educational organization management system (EOMS) offers the following benefits :-

  1. Creates a better alignment of objectives with policies and enhances the reliability and credibility of the organization.
  2. Promotes personalized learning to make education accessible for all regardless of learner’s religious background, origin, gender and disability.
  3. Promotes inclusive education and offers tools and techniques to educational organizations to fulfil learner’s desired expectations, including differently-abled and classrooms with linguistic diversity.
  4. ISO 21001 certification compliance ensures a comprehensive education and enables educational organizations to demonstrate their commitment and ability to deliver quality education to exceed learner’s expectations.
  5. Harmonizes various regional, national and international laws, regulations and standards in a single framework and provides a holistic approach to an organization.
  6. Enhances the social responsibility of educational organizations by providing equitable, accessible and quality education for all.

The ISO 21001 certification consists of ten sections that follow the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Out of these ten sections, three are introductory in nature, whereas the rest seven explains the mandatory requirements of the Educational Organization Management System (EOMS).

These seven sections are:

Context of the organization – An organization shall define all the internal and external issues related to EOMS and formulate strategies to achieve the intended outcomes, including the purpose and social responsibilities.

Leadership – The top-level management is accountable and responsible for the effectiveness of the EOMS. It requires demonstrating commitment, leadership and communicating the significance of effectiveness EOMS. The senior management ensures the integration of EOMS requirements into the organization’s processes.

Planning – Every organization must adopt risk-based thinking and identify the potential issues related to EOMS. It must determine plans and policies to address the identified risks and opportunities accordingly.

Support – An organization should define and provide the resources necessary for establishing, implementing and maintaining the Educational Organization Management System (EOMS). It encourages learner engagement and promotes activities that improve learning. It enhances the staff competencies and helps in achieving learning outcomes.

Operation – This section works in line with section 6, which is planning. An organization should plan, implement and control the processes to meet the needs and requirements of learners, stakeholders and other beneficiaries. It requires reviewing the consequences of unexpected outcomes and taking corrective actions to eliminate any adverse effects.

Performance Evaluation – An organization shall adopt a reflective and constructive method for handling complaints and appeals. It offers tools to monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate to ensure intended outcomes.

Improvement – An organization must evaluate its actions to identify non-conformities and address them accordingly. The principle of continual improvement ensures sustainability, adequacy and effectiveness of the Educational Organization Management System.

Gap Analysis

  • Understand the prerequisites of ISO standards by analyzing each clause thoroughly.
  • Analyze your system for any shortcomings.
  • You may take help from any ISO consultant to get you through this stage.

Implementation

  • Prepare the required documents, records, and policies
  • Perform internal audits and management review to understand gaps and practical realties
  • Perform corrective actions to confirm conformities

Certification

  • Fill the application form provided by the certification body
  • Invite the auditors from certification body for audit and certification
  • Get your management system ISO certified.
  • Stage One (documentation review) – At this stage, the auditors from the certification body verify that your documentation meets the requirements of ISO 21001.
  • Stage Two (main audit) – In this stage, the realities of your processes are matched with your statements in the documentation for their compliance with the requirements of ISO 21001 standard.

the certification process goes further. Click here to view the next steps to the ISO certification process

How can I get an ISO 21001 certificate?

Achieving ISO 21001 Certification is not a big deal in today’s upgraded systems. The basic steps to become ISO 21001 Certified are listed below: Firstly, you need to prepare all the relevant information of your company in a systematized way (It is always best and safe to hire a legal consultant.) Secondly, you need to document all the relevant information of your business. Thirdly, you have to implement all the documented information in your organization. Fourthly, get ready for the internal audits which are performed first during the certification process and then periodically after. Lastly, if the certifying body approves your management system then you will be awarded with the required ISO standard.

How much does it cost for ISO 21001 certification?

The cost of ISO 21001 certification varies from one organization to another. Basically, when you approach an internationally accredited certifying body for ISO Certification and they approve your management systems and all your processes, they will then quote an amount for the certificate. Moreover, the cost for achieving ISO certification depends mostly on your organization, such as the no. of employees in your organization, No. of branches your organization has, and many more.

How long is an ISO 21001 certificate valid for?

Basically, an ISO Certificate is valid for three years. And during this time period of three years, a surveillance audit is conducted on an annual basis to ensure that ISO quality standards are being maintained by the organization.

How do I maintain ISO 21001 certification?

Just because you received an ISO 21001 certification, your task is not complete. For proper functioning of the management system, you need to maintain the ISO 21001 certification. For that, your company has to continually undergo an annual surveillance audit for the period of three years. After completion of the validity period, you need to get recertified.

How can I apply for ISO 21001 for my company for quality?

First of all, you need to choose an internationally accredited certification body meeting all the requirements of ISO Accreditation such as SIS CERTIFICATIONS. Then an application shall be created, where all the rights and obligations will be included and will be confidential between both the applicants and the registrar. After that, the ISO auditor will review the relevant documentation related to various procedures followed in your organization. The auditors will identify gaps, and if there are any gaps you have to prepare an action plan in order to remove these gaps. Then, there will be initial certification audits which will be followed by: Stage I – where the auditors will check the changes made in your organization according to requirements. Stage II – where the auditor will do their final audit for the certification. As the auditors will approve all your processes then they will make a report and send it to the registrar. They will then grant you the ISO 22000 certification.
ISO 21001 Benefits

ISO 21001 Certification for the educational organization management system (EOMS) offers the following benefits :-

  1. Creates a better alignment of objectives with policies and enhances the reliability and credibility of the organization.
  2. Promotes personalized learning to make education accessible for all regardless of learner’s religious background, origin, gender and disability.
  3. Promotes inclusive education and offers tools and techniques to educational organizations to fulfil learner’s desired expectations, including differently-abled and classrooms with linguistic diversity.
  4. ISO 21001 certification compliance ensures a comprehensive education and enables educational organizations to demonstrate their commitment and ability to deliver quality education to exceed learner’s expectations.
  5. Harmonizes various regional, national and international laws, regulations and standards in a single framework and provides a holistic approach to an organization.
  6. Enhances the social responsibility of educational organizations by providing equitable, accessible and quality education for all.
ISO 21001 Requirements

The ISO 21001 certification consists of ten sections that follow the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Out of these ten sections, three are introductory in nature, whereas the rest seven explains the mandatory requirements of the Educational Organization Management System (EOMS).

These seven sections are:

Context of the organization – An organization shall define all the internal and external issues related to EOMS and formulate strategies to achieve the intended outcomes, including the purpose and social responsibilities.

Leadership – The top-level management is accountable and responsible for the effectiveness of the EOMS. It requires demonstrating commitment, leadership and communicating the significance of effectiveness EOMS. The senior management ensures the integration of EOMS requirements into the organization’s processes.

Planning – Every organization must adopt risk-based thinking and identify the potential issues related to EOMS. It must determine plans and policies to address the identified risks and opportunities accordingly.

Support – An organization should define and provide the resources necessary for establishing, implementing and maintaining the Educational Organization Management System (EOMS). It encourages learner engagement and promotes activities that improve learning. It enhances the staff competencies and helps in achieving learning outcomes.

Operation – This section works in line with section 6, which is planning. An organization should plan, implement and control the processes to meet the needs and requirements of learners, stakeholders and other beneficiaries. It requires reviewing the consequences of unexpected outcomes and taking corrective actions to eliminate any adverse effects.

Performance Evaluation – An organization shall adopt a reflective and constructive method for handling complaints and appeals. It offers tools to monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate to ensure intended outcomes.

Improvement – An organization must evaluate its actions to identify non-conformities and address them accordingly. The principle of continual improvement ensures sustainability, adequacy and effectiveness of the Educational Organization Management System.

ISO 21001 Process

Gap Analysis

  • Understand the prerequisites of ISO standards by analyzing each clause thoroughly.
  • Analyze your system for any shortcomings.
  • You may take help from any ISO consultant to get you through this stage.

Implementation

  • Prepare the required documents, records, and policies
  • Perform internal audits and management review to understand gaps and practical realties
  • Perform corrective actions to confirm conformities

Certification

  • Fill the application form provided by the certification body
  • Invite the auditors from certification body for audit and certification
  • Get your management system ISO certified.
  • Stage One (documentation review) – At this stage, the auditors from the certification body verify that your documentation meets the requirements of ISO 21001.
  • Stage Two (main audit) – In this stage, the realities of your processes are matched with your statements in the documentation for their compliance with the requirements of ISO 21001 standard.

the certification process goes further. Click here to view the next steps to the ISO certification process

ISO 21001 FAQs

How can I get an ISO 21001 certificate?

Achieving ISO 21001 Certification is not a big deal in today’s upgraded systems. The basic steps to become ISO 21001 Certified are listed below: Firstly, you need to prepare all the relevant information of your company in a systematized way (It is always best and safe to hire a legal consultant.) Secondly, you need to document all the relevant information of your business. Thirdly, you have to implement all the documented information in your organization. Fourthly, get ready for the internal audits which are performed first during the certification process and then periodically after. Lastly, if the certifying body approves your management system then you will be awarded with the required ISO standard.

How much does it cost for ISO 21001 certification?

The cost of ISO 21001 certification varies from one organization to another. Basically, when you approach an internationally accredited certifying body for ISO Certification and they approve your management systems and all your processes, they will then quote an amount for the certificate. Moreover, the cost for achieving ISO certification depends mostly on your organization, such as the no. of employees in your organization, No. of branches your organization has, and many more.

How long is an ISO 21001 certificate valid for?

Basically, an ISO Certificate is valid for three years. And during this time period of three years, a surveillance audit is conducted on an annual basis to ensure that ISO quality standards are being maintained by the organization.

How do I maintain ISO 21001 certification?

Just because you received an ISO 21001 certification, your task is not complete. For proper functioning of the management system, you need to maintain the ISO 21001 certification. For that, your company has to continually undergo an annual surveillance audit for the period of three years. After completion of the validity period, you need to get recertified.

How can I apply for ISO 21001 for my company for quality?

First of all, you need to choose an internationally accredited certification body meeting all the requirements of ISO Accreditation such as SIS CERTIFICATIONS. Then an application shall be created, where all the rights and obligations will be included and will be confidential between both the applicants and the registrar. After that, the ISO auditor will review the relevant documentation related to various procedures followed in your organization. The auditors will identify gaps, and if there are any gaps you have to prepare an action plan in order to remove these gaps. Then, there will be initial certification audits which will be followed by: Stage I – where the auditors will check the changes made in your organization according to requirements. Stage II – where the auditor will do their final audit for the certification. As the auditors will approve all your processes then they will make a report and send it to the registrar. They will then grant you the ISO 22000 certification.

Why should one get a 21001 (EOMS) Educational Organizational Management System?

As the name suggests it’s a management system that looks out in the educational organizational/institutional department which helps the employees to understand the standards so that they can work accordingly. Around the world, educational quality varies and if one wants to be innocuous and does not want to get deceived, an ISO 21001 certificate will give a mandate assurance by practicing:

 

  1. Learned-centric approach
  2. Good resources and the trained facility is provided
  3. Curriculum and material is relevant to learners
  4. Family and societal support is offered
  5. Save and conducive learning environment is offered

 

Getting ISO 21001 certificate, one gets a vivid ideology about how to conduct themselves, since its inception the educational system has been developed a lot, we cannot evade the education system as it is about building our world’s future. The standards are suitable across the field of educational providers, public, or private educational sectors.

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