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ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems

ISO/IEC 27035-1:2023-Information security incident management

What is ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems?

ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems is an international standard, it provides guidelines for establishing, developing, implementing, managing, as well as improving a compliance management system within an organization. Unlike standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001, which are designed for certification, ISO 19600 is a guidance standard and is not intended for certification, accreditation, or contractual purposes.

Furthermore, the standard is applicable to all types of organizations, regardless of their size, nature, or industry. It helps organizations to understand and meet not only the legal requirements but also other criteria to which the organization subscribes, such as internal codes of conduct, industry standards, or ethical guidelines. It is based on the principles of good governance, proportionality, transparency, and sustainability.

Key Components:
  • Context of the Organization: ISO 19600 emphasizes the importance of understanding the external and internal factors affecting compliance objectives.
  • Leadership and Commitment: Effective compliance management requires commitment and leadership from the top-level management of the organization.
  • Planning: This involves setting objectives, identifying risks, and allocating necessary resources for compliance management activities.
  • Support: This includes all the resources, competence, awareness, and communication channels required to support a robust compliance management system.
  • Operations: Addresses how the organization identifies its compliance requirements, how it achieves and maintains compliance, and how it addresses non-compliance.
  • Performance Evaluation: The standard provides guidance for regular monitoring, measuring, analyzing, and evaluating the effectiveness of the compliance management system.
  • Improvement: Encourages organizations to take corrective actions based on internal and external audits, thereby facilitating continual improvement of the compliance management system.
Utilizing ISO 19600:2014 can also help organizations to:
  • Reduce the risk of non-compliance
  • Foster a compliance culture
  • Ensure transparency in governance
  • Improve stakeholder relationships
  • Enhance their reputation for ethical behavior

Also, organizations like Pacific Certifications, which are accredited to issue various management system certifications, are well versed in providing guidance in the development and improvement of management systems, even if ISO 19600.

What are the requirements for ISO 19600:2014?

ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems is an international standard that provides guidelines for establishing, developing, implementing, managing, provides guidelines rather than requirements, as it is not a certifiable standard. Nevertheless, the guidelines are designed to be adaptable and can be applied to various types of organizations, regardless of size or sector. The standard is structured in such a way as to offer a framework for a compliance management system (CMS), addressing several key areas for effective compliance management. Here are some of the main components of the framework, elaborated to clarify what an organization may consider when aligning with ISO 19600:2014:

Context of the Organization

  • Understanding the organization and its context, including legal, cultural, and social considerations.
  • Understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders, such as employees, clients, regulators, and the public.
  • Commitment from top management to foster a culture of compliance.
  • Defining roles, responsibilities, and authorities within the CMS.


  • Defining the scope and objectives of the CMS.
  • Addressing risks and opportunities related to compliance, such as legal risks, financial risks, and reputational risks.


  • Ensuring sufficient resources, including human, technological, and financial, are allocated for the CMS.
  • Raising awareness and training employees about compliance issues and responsibilities.


  • Planning, implementing, and controlling the processes needed to meet compliance objectives.
  • Establishing procedures to regularly identify, assess, and keep up-to-date with compliance obligations (e.g., laws, regulations, contracts, voluntary commitments).
  • Setting up processes to assess compliance performance, including audits and reviews.
Performance Evaluation
  • Monitoring, measuring, and analyzing compliance performance data.
  • Conducting internal audits and management reviews to assess the effectiveness of the CMS.


  • Taking corrective actions in the case of non-compliance or ineffective performance.
  • Continually improving the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the CMS.

Although ISO 19600:2014 is not intended for certification, organizations looking to build or improve their CMS may find it beneficial to consult with a certification body that specializes in management system certifications, like Pacific Certifications. Such organizations can provide expert advice on best practices and offer external audits to evaluate the effectiveness of a CMS, even if they cannot certify to this particular standard.

What are the benefits of ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems?

Adopting the ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems guidelines offers several benefits to organizations. Here is an overview of some of the key advantages:

Enhanced Risk Management

  • Implementation of ISO 19600 can help identify, assess, and also mitigate compliance risks, reducing the likelihood of legal penalties, fines, or other sanctions.

Strengthened Governance

  • The standard promotes the integration of compliance management into business processes and decision-making at all levels, thereby enhancing corporate governance and improving transparency.
Increased Stakeholder Confidence
  • Demonstrating a commitment to compliance helps build trust with stakeholders, such as investors, customers, and regulatory bodies, potentially leading to increased business opportunities and market share.

Cost Savings

  • Effective compliance management can result in financial savings by avoiding fines and reducing operational and legal costs related to non-compliance issues.

Fostering a Compliance Culture

  • ISO 19600 guidelines encourage leadership commitment and employee awareness, fostering an organizational culture that values compliance, thereby affecting behavior and decision-making positively.

Better Decision-Making

  • Having a robust compliance management system in place ensures that management has access to relevant information in a timely manner, aiding in more informed and prudent decision-making.

Competitive Advantage

  • A robust compliance management system can serve as a unique selling proposition, distinguishing an organization from competitors who may not have similar systems in place.
Business Continuity
  • Compliance with regulations and internal policies is essential for business continuity. The framework provided by ISO 19600 helps organizations maintain operations even under challenging conditions by preparing them for legal and regulatory requirements.

Facilitated Auditing and Monitoring

  • The standard lays the groundwork for systematic auditing and monitoring of compliance activities, making it easier to identify and address issues before they become major problems.

Global Alignment

  • ISO 19600 is recognized internationally, and implementing its guidelines can help multinationals operate more seamlessly across different jurisdictions by standardizing compliance practices.
Continuous Improvement
  • The guidelines incorporate principles of continuous improvement, encouraging organizations to constantly refine and enhance their compliance efforts, staying adaptive in an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

In summary, ISO 19600:2014 provides a structured approach for establishing and maintaining a compliance management system, which can be beneficial for organizations aiming to navigate complex regulatory environments effectively. Though the standard is not intended for certification, organizations can consult with accredited certification bodies that specialize in management systems, such as Pacific Certifications, for expert guidance on best practices in compliance management.

Who needs ISO 19600:2014?

ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems is a versatile standard that can be applied to organizations of any type, size, or industry. It provides guidelines for establishing, developing, implementing, evaluating, and maintaining a compliance management system (CMS). Here are some entities that might find ISO 19600:2014 particularly beneficial:

Corporations and SMEs

  • Businesses operating in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, pharmaceuticals, finance, and energy can benefit from a structured approach to compliance.

Government Agencies

  • Public sector organizations can also use these guidelines to ensure that they are in compliance with a wide range of legislative, regulatory, and ethical standards.

Non-Profit Organizations

  • Charitable organizations and NGOs can employ ISO 19600 to show stakeholders that they are responsibly managing funds and operations in compliance with relevant laws as well as ethical standards.
Educational Institutions
  • Schools, universities, and other educational bodies can use this standard to manage compliance with educational laws, accreditation standards, and best practices.

Healthcare Providers

  • The guidelines can also help hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare providers ensure they are compliant with healthcare laws, patient privacy regulations, and best practices in patient care.

International Organizations

  • Companies with a global footprint can use ISO 19600 to standardize compliance management across different jurisdictions, which can be especially useful for understanding and fulfilling different regulatory requirements.

Financial Institutions

  • Banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions can benefit from the guidelines to manage their compliance with complex financial regulations effectively.

Technology Companies

  • Organizations dealing with data, especially personally identifiable information (PII), can use this standard to comply with data protection and privacy laws.
Supply Chain and Logistics
  • Companies involved in the production, transportation, and distribution of goods can also utilize ISO 19600 to ensure that they comply with international trade laws, safety regulations, and environmental standards.

Consultants and Auditors

  • Individuals and firms specializing in compliance, governance, or risk management may find ISO 19600 a useful framework when advising their clients on these matters.

Overall, the standard offers guidelines to robust framework that can help organizations manage their compliance obligations effectively. Companies looking to implement a CMS may benefit from consulting with a certification body that specializes in management system certifications, such as Pacific Certifications, for expert advice and potential audits to evaluate the system’s effectiveness.

At last, Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, you need more support with ISO 19600:2014 Compliance management systems, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

Also read: ISO 37301:2021-Compliance management

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