Québec isn’t the only place fighting corrupt and collusive practices in government and private contracting, but it is about to become one of the first places in the world where companies and public bodies will be able to go to school to learn a new international standard for fighting corruption.
Enter two former top directors of the Sûreté du Québec, Jean Bourdeau and Serge Barbeau, who this spring will begin teaching a five-day course at École de technologie supérieure in Montreal that was developed for organizations that want to certify for a new anti-bribery ISO standard launched globally last fall.
The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, developed the new ISO 37001 with the help of an international panel over two-and-a-half years to address the fact that corruption and bribery are global problems.
“I think it’s the certification that will become the most popular because it addresses corruption,” said Bourdeau, who served as deputy general director of criminal investigations for the SQ from 1997 to 2001 and now runs a private investigation firm with Barbeau, a former general director of the SQ.
Those who are unfamiliar with ISO will have seen banners with the words “ISO 9001 Certified” outside some office buildings around Quebec. That’s one other type of certification, and it refers to a management system that was developed by the international standards-setting body to focus on customer service and satisfaction.
The new ISO 37001 specifies a series of internal processes and policies to help organizations prevent, detect and address bribery, including adopting whistleblower protection, developing ethics policies, appointing an internal compliance officer, providing training for employees to combat bribery, conducting risk assessments, setting up internal financial controls and developing procedures to report and investigate deviations.
“It doesn’t guarantee individual integrity,” Bourdeau said, “but it guarantees that the organization is taking measures to have overall integrity.”
An ISO-certified company is required to have continual internal and external monitoring and to provide documentation to demonstrate that it continues to comply with the international standards.
The organization must designate an internal auditor, who will have to be certified by an outside ISO-certified auditing firm, and the organization has to be audited regularly by an external auditor, who also has to be ISO-certified.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in an ISO certification, said Eric Lessard, general manager for Quebec-based PECB North America Inc., an international standards certification firm that developed the five-day course that Bourdeau and Barbeau will instruct at ÉTS.
“It’s not just about signing a code of ethics,” Lessard said. “It’s about having processes in place that are audited and documented. This is a controlled environment. This is not just simple basic policies and a whistleblower line.”
PECB has partnered with ÉTS Formation, the professional continuing education section of the École de technologie supérieure, to offer the course in French, which costs $2,795. The first session begins in May and a second course is already scheduled for September.
The English version of this training and certification is offered exclusively by ContinuityLink. Next session in Montreal is on 05-09 June. You want to become a certified ISO 37001 Lead Implementer? Book your seat today!
Source: Montreal Gazette