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ISRS7: Incorporating industry best practice

A joint industry project has been established to create the world’s best system for improving safety, environmental and business performance. ISRS7, draws on the work of experts from DNV and the nuclear, chemical and petrochemicals industries worldwide. ISRS7 is the latest edition of the long established International Safety Rating System (ISRS).

The driving force behind the project is to develop a system that exceeds the expectations of organisation’s stakeholders. At a senior management level, there is an increasing need to demonstrate a management system to control risks is in place, and, moreover, to demonstrate the business performance of the organisation. There is also a need to test existing systems and to comply with international standards for safety, quality and environmental management. All managers want a system that is simple and easy to implement; a system that is motivational and promotes positive change. Shareholders and investors expect demonstration of a solid platform for future growth, assurance of management control and that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is considered and acted upon. Experience shows it is hard to drive business improvement through an integrated approach and find effective ways of providing assurance to all stakeholders unless one system can ensure all the various standards are complied to.

Scrutinised by industry experts

The first phase of the project involved a series of listening to customer seminars to solicit views of interested organisations in Asia, Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. Clients were invited to suggest content and review the ISRS7 prototypes. Their views were actively used in the development process and vital to the success of the project.

“Two pilot audits using ISRS7 have been conducted at the British Nuclear Group’s Calder Hall site at Sellafield, Cumbria and Sizewell A, Suffolk. Senior management and process owners scrutinised ISRS7. The results reported are extremely encouraging and positive,” says project manager Chris Urwin, DNV Consulting. Based on the input from the audits, further enhancements will be made to the system, and it will be available Spring 2005.



Project manager, Chris Urwin, DNV Consulting says “Developing ISRS7 in cooperation with industry experts means that the final system will incorporate industry best practice.
The 15 ISRS7 processes from Leadership through to Results and Review, describe all the activities  to successfully manage risk and drive continual improvement. It is an excellent system to assure  the health of an organisation’s business processes.”

ISRS over the years

DNV’s International Safety Rating System (ISRS) has been the foundation for developing and measuring management systems. A management system is a framework of controls for managing health, safety, environmental, quality and other business risks, which focuses upon continual improvement and involves a series of interconnected control activities. ISRS is not a management system itself; it is a system which helps organisations establish, develop and improve management systems. ISRS was first developed in 1976. Over the years, it has been regularly updated with the last edition, Edition 6, developed in 1994. Having fundamentally changed health and safety management practice across industry worldwide, ISRS has been introduced to thousands of client sites and many organisations have used ISRS as the basis for their own systems. The ongoing success of ISRS over quarter of a century is testimony to its sound vision and principles. To bring ISRS up-to-date in terms of management system thinking, and to realise the joint industry project’s ambition of creating the world’s best system, ISRS7 was born.

Why ISRS7?

ISRS7 includes all requirements for:
• ISO 9000:2000 – Quality Management
• ISO 14000 – Environmental Management
• OHSAS 18001 – Health and Safety Management
• PAS 55 – Asset Management
• Global Reporting Initiative 2004

ISRS7 is aligned with:
• BS 799 – Information Security

Benefits include:
• Systematic and effective risk control
• Advanced management decision support
• Improved safety, environmental and business performance
• The ability to meet and exceed regulatory requirements
• Optimised work processes using industry best practice
• Quantified goal setting
• Internal and external benchmarking
• Improved personnel behaviour and commitment
• Global co-ordination of performance for international organisations
• Single integrated management system to drive continual improvement

  ISRS7 processes
The tool is comprehensive and detailed.

The processes include:
1. Leadership
2. Planning and Organisation
3. Risk Evaluation
4. Human Resources
5. Compliance Assurance
6. Project Management
7. Training and competence
8. Communication and promotion
9. Risk Control
10. Asset Management
11. Contractor Management and Purchasing
12. Emergency Preparedness
13. Learning from events
14. Risk Monitoring
15. Results and review


Organisations today are faced with a fundamentally new and more complex risk reality. The tolerance for mistakes is being lowered among regulators, consumers and society at large. There is a need not only to achieve operational efficiency, but also to provide assurance of management control to create confidence among stakeholders. A joint industry project has been established between DNV and industry partners to meet this need. The ambition of the project is to create the world’s best system for improving safety, environmental and business performance. The system is ISRS7, based on the long established International Safety Rating System (ISRS).

Date: 2004
Author: Joyce Dalgarno
Source: DNV Forum no. 3, 2004