“Is ISO 31000 fit for purpose” is the headline above a debate published in the June edition of Risk Management Professional – for online version click here. The “debate” consisted of an abbreviated version of my blog – “ISO 31 000: Dr Rorschach meets Humpty Dumpty” -‐ and a “rebuttal” by Grant Purdy, one of the principal authors of the ISO Standard.
“Debate” and “rebuttal” have been enclosed in quotation marks because a serious debate did not take place. The rebuttal is entitled “Never perfect, but inclusionary, practical and widely accepted”, and consists mostly of an explanation of (and excuse for) any imperfections that it might have.
It observes that:
- “standards may not reflect the ‘best available’ practices and leadingthinking.”
- “a standard can be biased because of prevailing influences in the committeethat prepared it.
- “significant compromises are often required to obtain consensus in acommittee.” and concedes that
• “it would be naïve to think that ISO 31000 could not suffer from any of the problems described above.”
The rebuttal further acknowledges “some fudging” and “some unnecessary complexity”. None of these admissions of possible imperfection are related to any specific parts of ISO 31000; readers are left to work out for themselves where within the document they might be found.
Is it fit?
But let’s move on to the purpose of ISO 31000. … read the full essay here