Business Assurance

Assuring business continuity and resilience

Due to the pandemic and growing demands to ensure business continuity and mitigate risks, companies are further investing in their management systems to assure robust and sustainable operations.

Throughout 2021, DNV’s management system certification portfolio had a strong recovery, and DNV continued to help customers uphold levels of quality, safety, security, and sustainability in their daily operations. 

The Business Assurance business area also deployed new services relating to the main certification schemes in order to meet increased market requirements, such as ISO 45003, which relates to managing psychological health in the workplace.

Strengthening the management system certification portfolio

Faced with increasingly dynamic and volatile risks related to quality, safety, cyber security, pandemics, and natural disasters, companies are increasingly seeing management systems as an organizational tool to ensure business continuity and resilience management and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Following the first pandemic peak, DNV’s management system certification portfolio has shown a strong recovery. This has been true for all ISO standards, including the main ones, i.e. quality (ISO 9001), environment (ISO 14001), and occupational health and safety (ISO 45001). The migration period to ISO 45001 finally closed in 2021 and all customers were successfully moved to the new standard within the deadline. 

Moreover, remote auditing continued to prove its relevance in 2021. In a DNV customer survey on remote audits, over 75% of the respondents said they believe a mix of remote and physical audits will be the future norm and that remote audits will become as effective as traditional onsite ones in two to three years. In response to this trend, Business Assurance continued to evolve our offering of both remote and physical audits.

New requirements within the automotive and aerospace industries

Like many manufacturing industries, the automotive and aerospace sectors were initially heavily impacted by the pandemic. Since the situation improved during 2021, DNV has experienced growth in both industries. 

Although the assurance of quality and safety across supply chains continued to dominate the certification services within these industries, new requirements have also emerged. These include requirements related to the environmental impact of materials and vehicle emissions.

Strong recovery within food & beverage certification

The food and beverage industry proved resilient during the pandemic and there was a strong recovery in food safety certification in 2021. Moreover, companies are more inclined to choose a single certification body for all food safety standards, product-specific standards, and general ISO standards (quality, environment, energy management and occupational health & safety). 

The general trend is that an increasing number of companies are selecting one single certification body in order to cohesively address quality, safety, and sustainability throughout their value chains. 

In recent years, the concept of food safety culture has been paid growing attention by the industry. This is reflected in recently updated food legislation and CODEX Alimentarius international food standards. Following this, DNV has experienced a growing demand for training and assessment services related to helping customers build a resilient food safety culture. 

Moreover, as food systems become increasingly interconnected and inter-dependent, DNV is assisting a growing number of customers with certifications to manage suppliers and build trust across food systems. 

DNV also expanded its presence in the consumer product safety certification market, such as the certification of household products such as shampoo, detergents, and toothpaste. In 2021, DNV was accredited to certify household products to standards such as HPC 420, BRCGS, and IFS HPC.

Improving the customer journey

Much effort has gone into improving the value and efficiency of management system certification by innovating services and tools. Our efforts range from boosting internal processes through automation and digitalization to providing new digital applications to customers. 

Our improved self-assessment platform assists customers with implementing knowledge gained through our training courses and benchmark their management system. 

The Boost My Audit application helps customers build high-performing management systems by offering a library of focus areas. The application aids companies in pinpointing the areas of improvement that matter the most. Associated checklists developed by DNV auditors help customers conduct internal audits and prepare for third-party external audits.

A growing need for global training

In 2021, we strengthened our training portfolio related to the main certification standards in the management system certification portfolio. DNV implemented a new course portfolio addressing emerging market dynamics and risks, while also offering a wider range of learning modes, such as eLearning, and short training modules, including bespoke ones. 

DNV also made efforts to include more tools to elevate customers’ learning experience and support the practical implementation of new processes and skills. This was enabled by incorporating advanced analysis of audit data from DNV’s Lumina™ platform, empowering course participants to learn from peers and check and implement knowledge through self-assessment tools. 

Systems are only as successful as the people executing them, and there is a growing need for more effective, consistent, and innovative training of personnel across the globe. Small learning modules (nano-learnings) and remote training have proven successful in this respect. An example of this from 2021 is DNV’s work with Ericsson on its remote ISO 45001 (occupational health & safety) training across three continents.

Intensified focus on information security

The more stringent compliance requirements related to cyber security have driven a high focus on certification standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27701 and related guidelines to protect information and privacy and ensure confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility. 

As a world-recognized management system standard, ISO/IEC 27001 is expanding to include cyber security requirements. Global companies across all sectors are requiring ISO/IEC 27001 or similar standards to be part of best practice among suppliers and customers. Cyber security risks and consequent attacks causing business disruptions have increased customers’ demand for training and certification. This extends to ISO 22301, the business continuity standard, as a natural add-on to information security certification. 

In 2021, DNV also extended its portfolio to include the new TISAX scheme, an assessment and exchange mechanism for information security in the automotive industry.