The Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) has unveiled what is the first ever international benchmark for good governance in organisations—the new standard, ISO 37000:2021, Governance of organizations – Guidance.

“We are living in rapidly changing and challenging times and, more than ever, governing bodies are being called on to ensure that their organizations act with purpose, sustainability and society in mind,” the TTBS explains in a news release.  

“The foundation for long term success of organizations is built upon principles of good governance, as this ensures that organizations contribute to the protection and restoration of social, economic and natural environmental systems. It is through the building and maintenance of trust that good governance contributes to improved business performance as well as to sustainable social and environmental welfare,” the Bureau added.

The new standard was developed by experts and trusted voices from a wide range of organizations in over seventy (70) countries around the world.  According to the TTBS, ISO 37000 provides a single, globally accepted reference for all kinds of organizations, regardless of size, type or location. 

ISO 37000 also provides comprehensive guidance for Boards of Directors by distilling governance into eleven principles, which are the bedrock of successful organizations, which serve to ensure that they are well governed, well managed, and socially responsible.

Governance of Organizations — Overview (ISO 37000). Image courtesy TTBS.

ISO 37000 was developed by the ISO technical committee ISO/TC 309, Governance of organizations, whose secretariat is held by BSI, the ISO National Standards Body for the United Kingdom.

TTBS, in its capacity as the National Standards Body and a Full Member of ISO, twinned with BSI to co-lead the development of ISO 37000.

Dr Axel Kravatzky, Vice-Chair of ISO/TC 309 and WG 1 Co-Convenor, also leads the team of national experts on the TTBS’ National Mirror Committee (NMC) who have provided their expertise in the development of ISO 37000.

The NMC comprises stakeholders from the:

●          Public Sector

●          Private Sector (including Chambers of Commerce and Trade Associations)

●          Financial Sector

●          Not-for-Profit Organizations

●          Academia

●          SMEs and family-owned businesses

“The remit of many governing bodies is ever expanding and increasingly complex. ISO 37000, however, will help them to navigate and fulfil this through an integrated governance framework and system which empowers all governing groups and organization actors,” Dr Kravatzky stated.

TTBS Executive Director Derek Luk Pat sees ISO 37000 as key to moving T&T’s development agenda forward.

“ISO 37000 has both global and national importance. It can assist us all in building robust governance systems to mitigate risks, improve transparency and hold ourselves accountable in the face of heightened scrutiny from all levels of society,” he said.

He added: “ISO 37000 provides a clear roadmap for organizations to strategically achieve their purpose and value and improve overall accountability at all levels. Governing bodies should ensure that their organizations remain viable and perform over time without compromising the needs of future generations, as we strive to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as Vision 2030, the National Development Strategy for Trinidad and Tobago.”