Using Root Cause Analysis in Service and Product-Based Industries

Root Cause Analysis
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In the dynamic landscape of modern business, the pursuit of excellence is paramount. One of the key tools that organizations wield to achieve this goal is Root Cause Analysis (RCA). This systematic approach dives deep into the underlying causes of problems, offering invaluable insights that drive improvement and innovation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the application of Root Cause Analysis in both service and product-based industries, showcasing its transformative potential.

Service-Based Industry: Enhancing Telecom Solutions

Imagine a bustling world of connectivity where telecom companies vie for supremacy in providing uninterrupted service. In this service-based industry, issues like network outages can lead to customer dissatisfaction and even churn. Here’s where Root Cause Analysis steps in.

Case Study: Telecom Solutions Provider

A leading telecom solutions provider in South Africa was grappling with frequent network outages. These disruptions were not only affecting customer satisfaction but also tarnishing their brand reputation. Utilising RCA, the company embarked on a journey to identify the root causes behind the network outages.

Through a systematic analysis, it was revealed that the primary culprits were inadequate maintenance practices and outdated equipment. Armed with this knowledge, the telecom provider undertook a comprehensive equipment upgrade and overhauled their maintenance procedures. The result? Network downtime was reduced by a remarkable 60%, catapulting their reliability and service quality to new heights.

The key takeaway here is that by addressing the root causes rather than just the symptoms, the telecom provider was able to not only fix the problem but also prevent its recurrence, elevating their business in a highly competitive market.

Product-Based Industry: Driving Automotive Excellence

In the realm of product-based industries, the stakes are equally high. An automobile manufacturer, for instance, must ensure that every vehicle rolling off the assembly line meets the highest standards of quality. Root Cause Analysis plays a pivotal role in achieving this goal.

Case Study: Automotive Manufacturer

Consider an automotive manufacturer in South Africa – grappling with a persistent defect in one of their vehicle models. This defect was not only a financial burden due to recalls and rework but also posed a threat to their reputation for producing reliable vehicles. Root Cause Analysis was employed to get to the heart of the issue.

The investigation revealed that a specific batch of components from a supplier was responsible for the defect. Armed with this insight, the manufacturer collaborated closely with the supplier to address the root cause. This collaborative effort not only rectified the defect but also strengthened the relationship between the two entities.

By tackling the root cause, the automotive manufacturer not only saved substantial costs but also reinforced their commitment to quality, safeguarding their brand image in a competitive market.


Whether in service or product-based industries, Root Cause Analysis emerges as a powerful strategy to drive business excellence. By identifying and addressing the underlying causes of issues, organisations can prevent problems from resurfacing, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline operations. These real-world examples from South African businesses highlight the transformative potential of RCA in diverse business contexts.

Ready to unlock your organisation’s true potential?

At Risk ZA Group, we’re dedicated to equipping businesses with the tools they need to thrive. Our RCA training programs empower organisations to master this crucial methodology, ensuring sustainable growth and continuous improvement. Whether you’re in the realm of services or products, Root Cause Analysis is your compass to navigate the path of excellence.

Take this quick survey so that we can better understand where you’re at – and we’ll automatically add you to our waitlist!

Alternatively, you can reach out to us and we’ll guide you straight into the process. Contact us via or call us on +27 (0) 31 569 5900

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Thinking Differently about Workplace Safety Risks

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I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! is classic reality TV show. What could be better than putting a bunch of famous people in a jungle, surrounding them with creepy crawlies and putting them through gruelling challenges in return for food tokens?

To put you in the picture – if you’re not yet a fan – the first season of the Australian smash-hit TV series was filmed in the Kruger National Park. The series’ Risk Adviser described this experience as being “on another level”.

“We had a cast and crew of 400-plus people with hippos, lions and snakes everywhere – basically everything that can kill you,” he says. “Then we pushed celebrities downhill and had them swinging from hot-air balloons 50 metres above the ground. It was a monstrous undertaking and while I loved the challenge, it really tested my ability to manage risk.”

Clearly few workplaces face the same challenges. But the point of this anecdote is to illustrate that Risk Management shouldn’t be about preventing risk-taking; rather it should be about using it for opportunity and success!

Download our FREE Guide ‘The Key to a Winning Health & Safety Program: Behaviour Change’ to learn how to foster a safety culture and measure it.


According to the CEO of Wynleigh International Certification Services, Tony Cunningham:

“There’s been a shift in Risk Management thinking. In the past, Risk Management was often an exercise in avoidance and focused mainly on completing compliance-driven activities. Now many organisations are reviewing risk in terms of its potential to drive performance and value.”

Tony points out that the approach to risk in workplaces is going through a similar shift. “The safety profession is now looking at both leading and lagging indicators to examine safety and health risks present within an organisation,” he says.

As part of an effective Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) program, you should track both lagging and leading indicators. Lagging indicators measure what has already happened and allow you to track the changes in incident rates over a specific time period in the past but are a poor gauge of prevention.

Leading indicators, on the other hand, help you to evaluate whether safety and health performance is improving and whether it will continue to improve in the future. They are proactive, preventative and predictive measures and focus on future safety performance and continuous improvement.

This evolution of the safety profession towards risk-based prevention analysis and continuous improvement culminated in the ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management System standard.


ISO 45001:2018 helps to identify OH&S hazards, risks and opportunities and proactively manage workers’ wellness and safety. In addition, the standard calls on management and leadership to:

  • Integrate responsibility for health and safety issues into the organisation’s overall strategic plan
  • Demonstrate engagement with employees (and where they exist employees’ representatives) to create a safety culture that encourages active participation in the OH&S management system. This encourages workers to take ownership and adopt a risk-based thinking approach to health and safety risks and opportunities.
  • Ensure the OH&S management system is integrated into business processes.


Clause 6 of ISO 45001:2018 addresses the Assessment of Risks and Opportunities, which is a significant departure from OHSAS 18001:2007 as it requires proactive management of risks and opportunities.

Below are 4 important tips for managing risks and opportunities to meet the standard’s requirements:

  1. Plan a thorough induction training process for new staff.
  2. Invest in ongoing training.
  3. Peer reviews. Use Document Control Software to manage workflows and send risk assessment results to the wider business to get a complete view.
  4. Click to read our blog – Do Revised Standards Mean New Documents & Control Procedures?


ISO 45001:2018 stresses that all employees must actively participate in developing and improving the health and safety system. Culture is a major contributor to workplace safety. But culture is intangible, presenting a real challenge for organisations working towards ISO 45001:2018.

So how do you go about fostering a safety culture and measuring it?

Download our FREE Guide ‘The Key to a Winning Health & Safety Program: Behaviour Change’ to find out how.


Here at Risk ZA we have a collective experience of over 30 years in training, consulting and implementing ISO related management solutions, for organisations of all types and sizes in the Southern African region. We can assist you in assessing your Health and Safety risks and we offer a variety of ISO 45001:2018 training courses and consulting services to meet your needs.

For assistance and more information about our training and consulting services, call our friendly team on +27 (0) 31 569 5900 or email


Call us TODAY and SAVE! Use promo code WINTERSPECIAL when booking on any upcoming Online or Public Training Course to claim your exclusive discount. T’s & C’s apply. Offer valid until 30 August 2019.

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ISO 9001:2015 – The Global Gold Standard for Quality Management Systems

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ISO 9001 is the globally accepted quality management framework with which high-performing organisations in all sectors and of all sizes choose to build their quality management systems and attain excellence. Operational excellence leads to better performance, more efficient use of resources and continuous improvement. ISO 9001:2015 has a positive impact on quality, innovation and overall performance by providing organisations with the discipline to consistently surpass industry standards for quality.

ISO 9001 was first published in 1987 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the latest update to the standard was released in September 2015 to meet business needs of today. Used by millions of organisations worldwide, ISO 9001 is the only standard in the ISO 9000 series to which organisations can certify, although certification is not a requirement. ISO 9001:2015 lays out the criteria organisations must meet to ensure their offerings consistently satisfy customer and regulatory needs.

To learn how to manage your business more effectively and improve performance on an ongoing basis, through ISO 9001:2015, download our FREE Downloadable Guide: THE 3 KEY STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING THE ISO 9001:2015 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM & REAPING THE REWARDS

What is a Quality Management System?

A QMS is a collection of management arrangements to control business processes, part of which may include procedures, and responsibilities for achieving quality policies and objectives. It helps organisations to coordinate and direct activities to meet customer satisfaction and regulatory requirements and to improve their effectiveness and efficiency on a continual basis.

What benefits will ISO 9001:2015 bring to my organisation?

An article in the international magazine shows that 85% of ISO 9001 certified firms report external benefits, such as higher perceived quality, greater customer demand, better market differentiation, greater employee awareness of quality issues, and increased operational efficiency. Results like a reduction in customer claims, improvements in delivery time, fewer defects, improvements in product cycle time, and on-time delivery are achievable after correct implementation of an ISO 9001:2015 based quality management system.

Implementing ISO 9001:2015 will help your organisation to:

  • Assess the organisation’s context to define who is affected by your work and what they expect from you. This will help to clearly state your objectives and identify new business opportunities.
  • Identify and address risks associated with your organisation.
  • Put customers first and ensure your organisation consistently meets customer needs and expectations, which can lead to repeat business, new clients and increased sales volume.
  • Work more efficiently as processes will be aligned and understood by everyone, which will improve productivity and efficiency and bring down costs.
  • Meet the necessary statutory and regulatory requirements.

Additional benefits of ISO 9001:2015:

  • Provides senior management with an efficient management process.
  • Sets out areas of responsibility across the organisation.
  • Identifies and encourages more efficient and time-saving processes.
  • Promotes evidence-based decision-making, which improves efficiencies and cost savings.
  • Creates a culture of continual improvement. ISO experts agree that the most important aspect to ISO improvements are attitudes within the organisation.

Benefits to customers:

  • Improved quality and service.
  • Delivery on time.
  • Fewer returned products and complaints.
  • Cost reductions.

Should my organisation certify?

ISO certification requires hands-on senior management involvement and resources, which may include the use of consultants. Third-party certification signals that an organisation has implemented the standard correctly, and for some organisations certification is necessary as certain government or public entities only contract suppliers that have been certified.


Learn more about ISO 9001:2015 and what it takes to successfully implement a Quality Management System by downloading this FREE guide: THE 3 KEY STEPS TO SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTING THE ISO 9001:2015 QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM & REAPING THE REWARDS


Success with the ISO 9001:2015 QMS can take many forms: for some organisations, it is all about attracting new clients, while others see it as the blueprint for internal efficiency. The Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) was awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification in 2017. The company responsible for the Quality Audit, noted that VWSA has a functioning and effective management system, adhered to by employees.

Chairman and MD, Thomas Schaefer said: “VWSA’s QMS is based on ISO 9001 and automotive specific requirements. Top management supports development of the management system, and certification means that VWSA can live up to the high levels required to provide our customers with quality products.” 

Certification guarantees that VWSA has the management systems in place as a prerequisite for export to international customers; it also ensures continuation of their export programme and provides assurance to customers, suppliers and employees that they are compliant with international standards. 

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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ISO 45001:2018 – How to become an OHS Auditor

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ISO 45001:2018 has been heralded as a ‘game changer’ in the world of voluntary safety management standards. Earlier this year, ISO 45001 was approved by voters of countries from around the world, and has been praised by the American Society of Safety Professionals as a ‘watershed moment’. It is one of the most significant developments in workplace safety over the past 50 years, presenting an opportunity to move the needle on reducing occupational health and safety risks.

The addition of ISO 45001 to the suite of ISO management system standards reinforces that Occupational Health & Safety is a key area of business performance for organisations, and that OH&S is about a lot more than legal compliance. When it is well integrated into the management of an organisation, good OH&S management is an enabler and an asset for a business rather than a cost.

To assist you in understanding the requirements for an ISO 45001:2018 OHS Management System Auditor, we have created a free guide with points from ISO 19011:2018: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.

Key considerations in the new standard

  • Setting the organisational context. Organisations will have to look beyond their own health and safety issues and consider what society expects from them, in regard to health and safety issues.
  • Increased top management accountability in a number of areas.  
  • Worker engagement. Siloed management systems have hampered effective OH&S management, and in respect of ISO 45001 workers need the opportunity to contribute and participate in all aspects of the Health & Safety Management System.  
  • Communication and risk management. ISO 45001 requires that risks and opportunities be established with all workers as part of the planning and implementation process of an OHSMS and that consultation be ongoing.

Auditing of Occupational Health & Safety management systems forms an important part of the process to demonstrate continual improvement. Continual improvement is a core component of every ISO management system. ISO 45001 further refines this, and ‘preventive action’ now becomes a distinct concept of the system as a whole. This means organisations will need to adopt a systemic approach for measuring and monitoring OH&S performance and compliance on a regular basis, as an integral part of the management system function.

Auditors needed for ISO 45001 OHS Management systems

As more organisations move towards seeking validation of their management system against ISO 45001, the demand for auditors will continue to rise. Whether you are new to safety management systems or transitioning from OHSAS 18001, the journey towards becoming a competent ISO 45001 auditor begins by becoming familiar with:

  • The high level structure for management systems based on Annex SL and how this affects auditing.
  • The new requirements for understanding the organisation and its context and how they may be audited.
  • The new and enhanced requirements for leadership and worker participation and how this affects auditing.
  • Risk-based thinking in an OHSMS and how this extends to requirements for risks and opportunities and how these may be audited.
  • The changes from a procedural approach to a process approach and how they may be audited.
  • How to adapt your auditing technique to accommodate the new and amended requirements in ISO 45001:2018.
  • Migration time frames for ISO 45001 and their impact on existing OHSAS 18001 certified organisations.

How can Risk ZA assist you?

To encourage the internal and supplier auditing functions, Risk ZA has developed a practical 2 Day ISO 45001:2018 Auditing course. The course provides the theoretical and practical knowledge of OHS auditing required to determine the conformance of the management system arrangements and its performance; based on outcomes. Delegates complete practical exercises and other assessments which relate to the requirements of ISO 45001:2018, hazards and other significant factors which influence the organisations OHS performance.

Persons attending this course will be able to facilitate internal Occupational Health & Safety management system audits based on the ISO 45001:2018 Standard and the ISO 19011 Standard for management system auditing. Plan and facilitate audits, set and recommend corrective actions, follow up and close out audit findings.

This course is recommended for Occupational Health and Safety Practitioners, Line Managers, Supervisors, and Management.

Download our free guide

Uncover the tools necessary for an ISO 45001:2018 Auditor by downloading our FREE downloadable guide: 10 STEPS TO AUDITING AN ISO 45001:2018 OHS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Sustainability through Natural Resource Stewardship

Sustainability through Natural Resource Stewardship
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For decades ISO standards have helped to ensure the quality, safety, reliability, and efficiency of products and services. However, organisations now need to tackle a range of longer-term strategic challenges to address stakeholders’ expectations of good governance, environmental stewardship, sustainability and social responsibility.

When the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) begins developing a standard, leading minds gather to debate issues such as strategic risk management, environmental performance, quality assurance, supply chain management and socially responsible behaviour to achieve global agreement on organisational best practices, expectations and guidance.

Sustainability starts with Governance & Risk Management

ISO 31000:2018 Standard on risk management takes these issues into account and supports sustainability by providing direction on how organisations can integrate risk-based decision-making into governance, planning, management, reporting, policies, values and culture.

The ISO 31000:2018 definition of risk is different to the traditional approach to financial risk management, in that the Standard defines risk as being the effect of uncertainty on objectives. These effects can be either a positive  or negative deviation from the objective, and may result in opportunity or threat. Sustainable-thinking helps organisations to set responsible objectives, and the Standard’s risk assessment process supports this approach. Unlike the financial approach that restricts risk management to loss, ISO 31000:2018 adopts the concept of a positive outcome as well.

The Standard helps to embed sustainability into the core business to allow teams to collaborate using the principles, framework and process of risk management in ISO 31000. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) promotes this thinking on risk to CFOs, and states that accounting is fundamentally a social practice and not a technical one.

“When we understand the full dimensions of accounting we also get to appreciate how morality is at its core.” – IFAC

The benefits of Environmental Stewardship

Morality is central to the concept of stewardship, which is the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. Environmental stewardship recognises that we cannot live without the many and varied benefits of ecosystem services, such as benefits derived from agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems.

For some corporates, stewardship represents how they are defining their role in environmental management challenges. Water is the ultimate shared resource. But water can only be managed sustainably if all users work together to ensure that it is responsibly governed and shared. A collaborative approach helps to build trusted relationships between multiple sectors as well as across silos within government and industry, and allows for the type of technical, behavioural and political changes necessary to improve water governance at global, national and community levels.

Case study: The Coca-Cola Company

Clean water is the vital ingredient in Coca-Cola’s beverages, and for various processes in the manufacturing cycle. The organisation’s approach to water stewardship is written into the corporate water strategy, which aims to return as much water to nature and to communities as it uses by 2020. Coca-Cola has applied the same  comprehensive risk assessments that the organisation uses for its strategy to understand global water challenges. The strategy takes into account water management at bottling plants and extends to catchment management, sustainable communities, and raising awareness to inspire other people and organisations to act.

Community & Global Partnerships

To meet the goal of replenishing all the water it uses, Coca-Cola invests in community water partnership projects. One of the largest collaborations is with the United States Agency for International Development and local bottling companies to protect and improve sustainability of catchments, increase people’s access to water and sanitation, and improve water use in 23 countries, including Africa. The company raises global awareness of water stewardship through The 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG), and the CEO mandate.

Reducing water use across the organisation

The company manages its water use ratio through a system-wide sustainability standard. Bottling plants assess water used to make beverages, and water usage in by surrounding communities.

The benefits from water stewardship for Coca-Cola include, watershed protection and conservation; expanding community drinking water and sanitation access, and improving water for productive use.

Coca-Cola is an ISO champion

Coca-Cola is the largest user of ISO management system standards, integrating ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and ISO 26000 into its total management system. To establish a governance process, businesses within the system implement, document and maintain a safety and quality system aligned to the organisation’s total management system.

For ISO 14001 alone, the organisation’s achievements for water sustainability, energy-savings, reducing CO2 emissions and total waste to landfill are impressive.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) and services would best suit the needs of your organisation, please email Risk ZA at or contact us on 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Achieving Energy Efficiency through ISO 50001:2011

ISO 50001:2011

The ISO industry is constantly changing and adapting in accordance with the latest innovations and developments in the business sector. With each updated version of international standards, we see special provision being made for technological advancements, environmental awareness and social changes, within organisations.

On February 5th, Carte Blanche aired an episode on a radical new development in the energy industry – a substance that cools down when exposed to sunlight. This substance provided exciting possibilities, from paint that can cool your car down in the sun, or clothing fibres that can cool you down in the heat. Perhaps one of the most relevant to organisations was the application of paint on buildings to cool down in the summer, cutting down energy costs on air conditioning. Innovations like these combined with the principles of ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management provide organisations with endless tools and strategies to achieve optimum energy efficiency while reducing their energy costs.

ISO 50001:2011 in practice

In an age where conservation of resources is of optimum importance (for example, Cape Town’s day zero of the water crisis), organisations are aware now more than ever of the importance of conserving our natural resources. As we have mentioned in a previous blog post: Energy Management with ISO 50001:2011,  an energy management system establishes the structure and discipline to implement technical and management strategies that significantly cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions—and sustain those savings over time.

With the inclusion of ISO 50001:2011 into business practices, and constant research undertaken into innovations in the energy industry, organisations can not only significantly reduce their energy costs, but also their impact on the environment. If all organisations adopted ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management, it could influence up to 60% of the world’s energy use across many economic sectors. From a purely business perspective, the incorporation of ISO 50001:2011 makes great financial sense as energy can be an organisation’s largest controllable cost. Organisations will now have the ability to maximise the use of their energy sources and energy-related assets, thus reducing energy cost and consumption. Organisations may also find that they will now comply with carbon reduction initiatives and therefore enhance their corporate environmental practices.

Implementing ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management

As the research above states, implementing ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management is greatly beneficial to all organisations. This energy standard is applicable to organisations both small and large, public and private. ISO 50001:2011 has also been structured to be aligned with other popular industry management system standards such as ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems – Requirements. This allows organisations to integrate an Energy Management System together with their existing management systems.

Implementing ISO 50001:2011 through Risk ZA

Risk ZA offers both training and consulting services. Training courses for ISO 50001:2011 include:

  • Senior Management Energy Awareness Level 3
  • Introduction, Developing and Implementing an Energy Management System
  • Internal and Supplier Auditing to provide strategic guidance, understanding and advice.

Our specialised skills will allow you and your organisation towards achieving an efficient Energy Management System.

Companies certified with ISO 50001:2011 will soon need to prepare to transition to the updated version of the standard, due to be released later this year. The update will not only ensure that the standard meets the rapidly changing needs of the energy sector, but also include the addition of the HLS (High-Level Structure) and closely linking with the new ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems.  

In conclusion

Part of energy efficiency involves researching and keeping up to date with innovations in the industry. This, with the implementation of ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management can help sustain an organisation that chooses to continually improve upon the reduction of their energy costs. One of the organisations that continues to track major developments in the global energy efficiency industry is the Wisconsin based WECC (The Western Electricity Coordinating Council). They reported that two of the major developments in the energy industry would be the implementation of a cleaner electrical grid, through wind and solar power and the rise of electric vehicles used by organisations such as HP, German DHL and Metro AG.  Although most of these developments are occurring internationally, we hope to see its implementation in the near future in South Africa as more organisations become environmentally conscious.

Conferences like Energy Efficiency World Africa taking place in Sandton, Johannesburg on 27th-28th March 2018, is a step in the right direction towards energy consciousness in Africa. This conference is the leading marketplace and ideas exchange platform for the energy efficiency market and is an excellent avenue for innovative and efficient solutions. Along with this event and innovations in the ISO industry for energy management, we are excited and hopeful for the future of energy conservation for the world.

For more information or guidance on which ISO standard(s) would best suit the needs of your business, please email RISK ZA at: or contact us on: 0861 Risk ZA / +27 (0) 31 569 5900

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Why do we need ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management?

ISO 50001

To safeguard the future of our environment and ensure the sustainability of our organisations, businesses might be required to strategise and find ways to reduce their energy consumption. Satisfactory Energy Management is fast becoming a requirement for organisations as they are urged to monitor energy consumption and identify areas to reduce consumption. One of the best ways to achieve satisfactory Energy Management is through the use of the standard, ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Systems – Requirements. We explore what this standard entails and how it can benefit organisations around the world.


What is ISO 50001 Energy Management?

The ISO 50001 Energy Management standard provides a framework for industrial facilities, commercial facilities, or entire organisations to manage energy. The system is designed to establish a structure and discipline to implement technical and management strategies that significantly cut energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The framework includes requirements for organisations to:

  • Develop a policy for a more efficient use of energy
  • Identify Significant Energy Uses (SEUs) and plan consumption reduction
  • Implement management arrangements to sustain low levels of consumption
  • Evaluate performance
  • Review the effectiveness of the system
  • Improve the system


What type of organisations use ISO 50001:2011?

The Energy standard is applicable to organisations both small and large, public and private. ISO 50001:2011 has been structured to be aligned with other popular industry management system standards such as ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems – Requirements. This allows organisations to integrate an Energy Management System with their existing management systems.

ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 50001:2011 both deal with the impact that organisations have on the environment. ISO 14001 helps organisations identify and manage all of the significant causes of environmental impacts in a broad sense. ISO 50001 specifically focuses on energy management and consumption.


Why do we need it?

Energy efficiency makes good business sense as it cuts down costs and optimises the use of resources, whilst reducing waste.

Further benefits include:

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint
  • Assists in compliance with current and future voluntary and/or mandatory energy efficiency targets and related legislation
  • Improved brand reputation and credibility among stakeholders
  • Informed decision-making processes from system design, through to operation and maintenance
  • Increased energy awareness among staff members at all levels
  • Improved operational efficiencies and maintenance practices


How do I implement ISO 50001:2011?

Risk ZA offers both training and consulting services. Training courses for ISO 50001:2011 include:

  • Energy Management Awareness Level 3
  • Introduction, Developing and Implementing an Energy Management System
  • Internal and Supplier Auditing to provide strategic guidance, understanding and advice.


In conclusion

The economic growth of organisations relies on energy, amongst other contributing factors. As developing countries embark on industrial growth and global trade, there will be an increasing demand for energy. We can all benefit from proper energy management and ISO 50001:2011 is one of the best ways to achieve and sustain this. To enquire about our consulting and training services, please email us on

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World Quality Day

Work Quality Day

This Thursday (9 November 2017) marks World Quality Day across the globe. The aim of the day is to raise awareness on the importance of quality performance, in all organisations – for consistent innovation, sustainability and growth. It was first introduced in 1990, by the United Nations, to encourage organisations to partake in various activities that bring the focus back onto quality in business.  

In organisations, quality has the prime function of protecting and enhancing reputations, improving profitability and driving change. It is essentially a distinct characteristic of an organisation which has satisfied all its stakeholders. The Chartered Quality Institute categorises quality in 5 main areas: governance, assurance, improvement, leadership and context.



Good governance helps position organisations for sustained quality and success. Its intent is to ensure that organisations effectively fulfill their purposes, on behalf of the people to whom they are accountable. This could unfold in the transparency of the business processes and a clear understanding of the organisation’s purpose and value to their stakeholders. Organisations should demonstrate keen commitment to their stakeholders, through:

  • Evaluation and reporting
  • Both supporting and encouraging its governing body to make the right decisions
  • Sustaining the organisations values in meeting its objectives.

5 points towards good governance:

  1. Accountability – An organisation of high quality is answerable for the consequences of decisions made, with evidence and reports to sustain its business choices.
  2. Transparency – For both the benefit of staff and clients, transparency should be practiced within the organisation and with the decision-making processes. It should be easily accessible and understandable for those to clearly see how and why a decision was made.
  3. The Rule of Law – All organisational decisions must be consistent with relevant legislation or common law, to ensure equality and fairness in the business.
  4. Responsiveness – Organisations must aim to balance the needs of their business in an appropriate and responsive manner.
  5. Effectiveness and Efficiency – Organisations should follow business processes that use the best available people, resources and time to ensure the highest quality of results.


The standard, ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems, has been implemented by organisations all around the world and shows commitment to delivering quality products and services, to customers. One of the aspects of ISO 9001:2015 is quality assurance. This specifies how an organisation would meet the requirements of various stakeholders, in a systematic and reliable manner.

Organisational assurance refers to businesses providing accurate and current information to the stakeholders, about the efficiency and effectiveness of its policies and operations, and the status of its compliance to statutory obligations. To ensure a high quality of products and services, organisations need to manage and monitor their quality control and quality assurance systems. The difference between the two lies in their function – quality control is fulfilling the organisational quality requirements and quality assurance provides confidence that quality requirements are fulfilled. An effective balance of these will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation on a continual basis. For more information on ISO 9001:2015, read our blog Putting Quality first with ISO 9001 where we break down the Seven Principles of Quality Management.



Improvement is one of the seven principles of quality management in ISO 9001:2015. It requires that organisations align improvement activities by empowering people to make improvements within the organisation. These improvements then need to be measured to ensure that there is continual growth in the organisation. In further detail and particularly within the management context, continuous improvement requires a sustained effort to expose and eliminate non-conformances.

Drivers of continual improvement are:

  • The improvement of internal efficiency
  • Individual customer requirements
  • The level of performance that your industry expects



Also featuring in the seven principles of quality management, in ISO 9001:2015, is leadership. Leadership requires an organisation to recognise employee contributions and to empower employees. Organisational leaders need to establish a set vision and direction for the business, through setting challenging goals and, often, remodeling organisational values.

This years theme for World Quality Day is one that celebrates everyday leadership. In order to sustain good quality, Top Management are required to demonstrate commitment and leadership, by taking responsibility for the effective running of the organisation’s Quality Management System (QMS).

Leaders can achieve this through:

  • Taking accountability for the effectiveness of the organisation’s QMS.
  • Ensuring that the quality policy and quality objectives are compatible with the strategic direction of the organisation.
  • Leaders should also promote a risk based thinking approach in all levels within the organisation.
  • Assign adequate resources for the objectives of the QMS.
  • Assign focus on products/services meeting customer requirements within statutory regulatory requirements, with risk and opportunities adequately addressed.



The ‘context’ of an organisation is a new clause in ISO 9001:2015 and requires organisations to consider both the internal and external issues that may impact their strategic objectives and how they plan their QMS. Organisations should focus on factors and conditions that can affect products, services, investments and stakeholders. Context assures that consideration has been undertaken with regards to how the QMS is designed and uniquely adapted to the organisation.


In conclusion

All organisations should be in pursuit of increasing their level of quality. A greater focus on quality can lead to higher profits, efficient business processes, a decrease in non-conformances and satisfied staff and clients. If you would like your organisation to embark on a journey of continual improvement, through ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management, you can email us on to enquire about our training courses.

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The taxing reality of Food Fraud on South Africa’s economy and consumer health

Risk ZA ISO 22000 Food Fraud

In early August, we created a post discussing the issue of food fraud. We spoke of how ISO 22000:2005 Food Safety Management Systems assists organisations in controlling various elements of the Food Supply Chain.

Carte Blanche recently aired a report about a popular South African butcher-chain that has been committing the illegal act of re-labelling food products. This report reinforced the importance of the issues faced by the food industry. Carte Blanche stated that the butcher-chain had been adjusting the sell-by dates on meat products and then proceeded to reshelve them. Risk ZA has decided to explore Food Fraud in further detail, looking into how the implementation of ISO 22000:2005 can curb this frightening reality.


What is Food Fraud?

Food Fraud is the act of purposely altering, misrepresenting, mislabeling, substituting or tampering with any food product, at any point along the farm to fork journey. This can occur in any phase of the process – in the raw material phase; with a particular ingredient in the final food product; or, in the packaging of the  food product. Well-known examples of Food Fraud would be Britain’s ‘Horsegate’ scandal in 2013, which exposed that horse meat was being used in a number of products, such as burgers and frozen lasagne. Other examples include honey that has been sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup; fish and chicken injected with brine; and, old, gray olives dipped in copper-sulfate solution to make them look fresh and green.

Food fraud is an intentional deception to consumers through any of the following, and more:

  • Dilution or additions to a raw material or food product
  • A misrepresentation of the material or food product
  • Intentional contamination through use of a variety of chemicals
  • A substitution of one product for another

The fraudulent tampering of foods is an issue of global proportions. It is estimated that Food Fraud can cost a legitimate food retailer a staggering R200 billion a year.


How can ISO 22000:2005 curb Food Fraud?

Food Fraud goes beyond the doctoring of ingredients – it can potentially claim lives. In China, powdered baby milk containing melamine lead to fatalities and thousands of infants falling ill.

It is for this reason that ISO decided to standardise food safety management requirements, on an international level.

ISO 22000:2005 assists companies in producing safe food and gaining the trust of its customers. The standard assists manufacturers in ensuring food safety, through traceability. It guarantees the origin of ingredients used in the products. ISO 22000:2005 requires transparency in and by organisations as product labelling must be explicit. An ISO 22000:2005 compliant company is committed to meeting high standards of food quality and safety.

ISO 22000:2005 – Food Safety Management Systems, deals directly with the management arrangements that an organisation must implement, in order to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards and potential risks. This ensures that products are safe for consumption. Organisations are also assured that their food production methods meet regulatory requirements and satisfy the demand for food quality, food safety and efficiency.


Revision to ISO 22000:2005

According to ISO, users along the supply chain have been facing new food safety challenges, since the first publication of ISO 22000 in 2005 – spurring a need for the standard to be revised.

The changes to this standard follow a similar pattern to that of the new ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 standards. Amongst the major proposed changes are the additions of the new High Level Structure, Risk-based thinking, the PDCA cycle and a clear description of the Operation Process. ISO 22000 was available for public consultation and voting, until 3 July 2017, whilst it existed in Draft International Standard (DIS) stage. It is expected to be released as an Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) version within the year, with the expected publication in June 2018.


The way forward

Whilst ISO 22000:2005 is a revolutionary standard that will assist in curbing the rise of food fraud, we as consumers still have to be vigilant when buying and consuming food products. Carte Blanche’s episode highlighted the need to properly check product’s labels and to confront the appropriate management about any possible food fraud that could be taking place.

Risk ZA offer a variety of courses for individuals and organisations wishing to introduce Food Safety Management systems and/or measures. Amongst our offerings are the following courses:

  • Awareness Level 1 English/Zulu/Xhosa
  • HACCP and PRPs
  • FSSC ISO 22000 Overview of requirements
  • Internal and Supplier Auditor, based on ISO 19011
  • Developing and Implementing a Food Safety Management System

Visit our website to see more information

Should you wish to understand more about Food Safety Management Systems or any of our courses, please contact our team by emailing or by giving us a call on +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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Taking the lead in Quality Management

Taking the lead in Quality Management

We aim to be industry leaders in the field of ISO Management and we believe that the key guiding principle, of long-lasting success, is the mastering and understanding of business processes. Gaining the title of a Lead Auditor is amongst the most prestigious in the ISO market. Qualifying as a Lead Auditor demonstrates that you have an unmatched understanding and knowledge of the relevant ISO standards and competence towards enhanced business improvement.


What does being a Lead Auditor mean?

A Lead Auditor is a professional qualification for audit team leaders. A Lead Auditor can be employed by a certification body or appointed to perform internal and supplier audits within an organisation. Through proper training, a Lead Auditor will develop the knowledge and skills required to conduct a competent audit on any of an organisation’s management systems.

The benefit that this qualification brings to an organisation is invaluable, as a Lead Auditor encompasses the requisite skills and expertise to perform internal, supplier and third-party certification audits competently and accurately.


How will becoming a Lead Auditor be of benefit to my organisation?

Becoming a Lead Auditor will provide you with the skills and capacity to plan, conduct, report and follow-up on an audit against a given ISO standard. This level of competence is an extremely valuable resource in terms of assurance, in that it adds credibility to organisations who self-regulate.

In the field of Quality Management, a Lead Auditor is able to identify the purpose, aims and benefits of the Quality Management System within their organisation. A certified Lead Auditor possess the ability to grasp the application of risk-based thinking, leadership and process management.  

A Lead Auditor has an informed understanding of the latest audit techniques and a keen knowledge of how to apply these techniques appropriately and effectively, so as to improve the organisation’s processes and outcomes. An additional benefit of becoming a Lead Auditor is that it builds stakeholder confidence by managing processes in line with the latest requirements.


Becoming a Lead Auditor against ISO 9001:2015

Risk ZA has developed an ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor training course that is in line with the requirements of the Southern African Auditor and Training Certification Authority (SAATCA).

We are proud to hold the SAATCA registration number 001 for our ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor course. SAATCA is accredited to ISO 17024, ensuring that successful Learners gain the international credibility the scheme offers. The course is based on the requirements of ISO 19011 and ISO 17021-1, which means that delegates will gain the knowledge and skill required for certification body audits.

Should you wish to attend our SAATCA Registered ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditor course, visit our website to see when the next course is scheduled.

For more information, contact our team by emailing or give us a call on +27 (0) 31 569 5900.

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