With hundreds of millions of learners all over the world, and with millions of educational organizations, there is a critical and continuous need for educational organizations to evaluate the degree to which they meet the requirements of learners and other stakeholders, and to improve their ability to do so. This is where ISO 21001 – Educational Organizations Management systems, seeks to provide help.
The ISO 21001 standard was released in May 2018 and it is the first edition of the international standard for management systems for educational organizations (EOMS). It aims to benefit mainly educational organizations and learners worldwide by assisting educational organizations in delivering better educational services and products. However, the list of beneficiaries is not limited to these two, as other stakeholders who might prosper from the use of ISO 21001 include the government, the labour market and the society as a whole.
Written in line with ISO requirements for management system standards, the ISO 21001 standard follows the high level structure, where clauses 4 to 10 (Context of the organization, Leadership, Planning, Support, Operation, Performance evaluation, and Improvement) present the requirements for a management system for educational organizations (EOMS).
ISO 21001:2018 specifies guidelines for a management system for educational organizations (EOMS), through which these organizations can demonstrate the acquisition and development of competence through teaching, learning, or research. Much like other ISO management system standards, it employs the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, enabling organizations to understand their context while emphasizing leadership and social responsibility
Why implement ISO 21001 – Benefits
- better alignment of objective and activities with policy (including mission and vision)
- enhanced social responsibility by providing inclusive and equitable quality education for all;
- more personalized learning and effective response to all learners and particularly to learners with special education needs, distance learners and lifelong learning opportunities;
- consistent processes and evaluation tools to demonstrate and increase effectiveness and efficiency;
- increased credibility of the organization;
- a means that enables educational organizations to demonstrate their commitment to effective quality educational management practices;
- a culture for organizational improvement;
- harmonization of regional, national and proprietary standards within an international framework;
- easy alignment/integration with other management system standards that follow the high level structure such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 etc.;
- widened participation of interested parties;
- Stimulation of excellence and innovation.
By implementing ISO 21001, educational organizations can benefit by delivering a more impactful and relevant learning experience that is aligned with their own mission and vision. Learners, on the other side, can benefit even more by receiving personalized and customized educational products and services.