ISO is the international organisation for standardisation. ISO standards are recognised internationally, and ISO member bodies exist in most countries worldwide.
Probably the best-known ISO standard is ISO 9001, the global standard for quality management systems. ISO 9001 is an international standard, which means that organisations in every corner of the globe must meet the same requirements in order to achieve ISO 9001 certification.
ISO itself claims that over a million companies in more than 170 countries are certified to ISO 9001. This means that the ISO 9001 standard is used in almost every single country on Earth.
The world of work has changed immeasurably since the ISO 9001 standard (formerly known as ISO 9000) was introduced. The very first edition of the global standard was published in 1987, three and a half decades ago - fortunately, updates have been released approximately every seven years since then, the most recent version being ISO 9001:2015.
So ISO 9001 has evolved to keep up with the ever-changing realities of modern business. Nowadays, many companies exist entirely online, with no need for a traditional brick-and-mortar office or shop. If your own business fits this description, you'll be pleased to learn that the current version of the ISO 9001 standard is flexible enough to accommodate you.
With coronavirus cases falling, office-based work is making a comeback in the UK. In England, the government is no longer telling people to work from home where possible, and Scotland will be following suit next week. Working from home is still recommended in Northern Ireland, and at time of writing, it remains a requirement in Wales - although this will move "from law to guidance" on Friday 28 January.
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference - or COP26 for short - is currently taking place in Glasgow. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity today, and this meeting of delegates from nearly 200 different countries has been touted as the world's "best last chance" to avert catastrophe.
The conference began on Sunday 31 October, and since then we've heard stirring speeches from the likes of David Attenborough, Barack Obama, and Tuvalu's foreign minister Simon Kofe, who addressed the conference while standing knee-deep in seawater.
A number of big pledges and ambitious targets have already been announced, but it's clear that we will all need to do our bit in order to limit the impact of climate change on our planet and our societies.
A quality manual is a document that outlines an organisation's quality management system (QMS).
In the past, a company seeking ISO 9001 certification would typically keep a big folder - sometimes several big folders - full of important documents related to their QMS. This unwieldy stack of forms, procedures, policies and so forth was sometimes referred to as a 'quality manual'.
But a quality manual doesn't have to include all of those things. In fact, a quality manual can just be a single document that sets out the intent for your quality management system and how it will operate.
SEE ALSO: What is a quality manual?