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[Complete Guide] Everything about ISOIEC 42001

[Complete Guide] Everything about ISO/IEC 42001

ISO/IEC 42001 - Artificial Intelligence Management System is a recent standard that emerged due to the advancement of AI usage. Learn everything about ISO/IEC 42001.

What is ISO/IEC 42001?

ISO/IEC 42001 is an artificial intelligence management system standard that arises in a context where major global players, including governments, research teams, and technology companies, unite to understand and shape the future of AI. This standard is a response to the growing use of AI in various sectors, which, according to ISO itself, is expected to become one of the main drivers of the global economy.

According to global surveys, some of the main challenges related to the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are: Lack of understanding of the ethical aspects of using AI algorithms and data; Lack of a minimum security standard in AI; Need to define minimum requirements for AI projects.

Thus, the main goal of ISO/IEC 42001 is to help organizations responsibly perform their functions regarding AI systems (using, developing, monitoring, or providing products or services that utilize these technologies), bringing requirements for the establishment of a management system that seeks to ensure transparent, reliable, secure, and responsible application.

The AI management system should be integrated into the processes and overall management structure of an Organization. Thus, specific issues related to AI will be considered in the design and development of processes, information systems, and controls. The ISO/IEC 42001 standard provides guidelines for the implementation of applicable controls to support these processes.


Who is ISO/IEC 42001 for?

The adoption of an AI management system should be a strategic decision for the Organization, stemming from the need to find the right balance between governance mechanisms and innovation.

It is intended for organizations of all sizes and sectors, from small businesses starting to use AI, like chatbots in HR, to large corporations with AI processes integrated across various areas.

The application of an AI management system can involve issues such as:

  • The use of AI for making decisions automatically in a transparent and clear manner;
  • The use of data analysis, insight, and machine learning, instead of human-coded logic, to design systems;
  • AI systems that perform continuous learning, changing their behavior during use.

In other words, the ISO/IEC 42001 standard is relevant for any Organization that uses AI and wishes to demonstrate behavior within global ethical and regulatory standards.


What are the benefits of implementing ISO/IEC 42001?

Implementing this standard brings confidence and security to companies and their stakeholders. It ensures that organizations are aligned with the principles of ethical and responsible AI, reducing risks and promoting a safe and trustworthy relationship among stakeholders in this market.

Besides facilitating regulatory compliance monitoring, implementing ISO/IEC 42001 offers benefits such as the possibility of being audited by a third party and receiving a certification. An Organization’s certification in compliance with ISO/IEC 42001 provides evidence to the market about its responsibility, accountability, and process controls concerning its AI operations.


How does ISO/IEC 42001 relate to other standards?

ISO/IEC 42001 applies the harmonized structure (HLS – Annex SL) developed to enhance alignment among ISO management system standards (identical clause numbers, clause titles, common text and terms, and basic definitions). This common approach facilitates implementation and consistency with other ISO management system standards (MS), for example, those related to quality, safety, and privacy.

Examples of requirements and clauses that can be shared and related to other MS include:

  • determination of organizational objectives, stakeholder engagement, and organizational policy;
  • risk and opportunity management;
  • processes for managing concerns related to the reliability of AI systems, such as security, protection, impartiality, transparency, data quality, and the quality of AI systems throughout their lifecycle;
  • processes for the management of suppliers, partners, and third parties that provide or develop AI systems for the organization.

The standard also provides guidelines for the implementation of applicable controls to support these processes.


How to Obtain ISO/IEC 42001 Certification?

Similar to other ISO Management System standards, an Organization wishing to obtain certification in this standard should contact an external Certification Body, such as QMS Certification, which will conduct an independent external audit and determine if the organization’s management system meets the criteria of the ISO standard.

During the audit, it is essential to demonstrate the effectiveness of your management system. If it complies with the requirements of the standard, a certificate valid for 3 years will be issued. To maintain the validity of this certificate, the certifying body conducts an annual supervision audit, which ensures the management system’s continuous adherence to the ISO standard requirements.

If desired, you can contact QMS Certification for a non-binding quote.


Which Professionals Can Implement ISO/IEC 42001?

Some companies decide to hire a consultant to assist them in the process of implementing a management system. Through their expertise, this consultancy can guide them on the requirements of the ISO Standards and help them develop the necessary tools. It should be noted that hiring a consultancy for this is optional, and this service is not offered by QMS.

Implementing ISO/IEC 42001 requires professionals with knowledge in AI, Management Systems, and sector regulatory compliance. As a standard that addresses both technical and strategic aspects, it is necessary to involve professionals who understand both the technical controls and AI governance, including the company’s strategic leadership, IT managers, software engineers, and others.


How Long Does It Take to Implement ISO/IEC 42001?

The implementation time will vary depending on the size and complexity of the Organization and its relationship with AI systems. Additionally, the current maturity level of processes and controls related to AI will also impact this timeframe. An Organization that already has other ISO Management Systems implemented (such as Information Security, Data Privacy, and Quality, for example) should have an advantage in integrating this new management system, as the ISO/IEC 42001 standard follows the high-level structure of Annex SL.

A detailed analysis is recommended to estimate these factors. QMS Certification can support this assessment in your company by conducting a gap analysis (pre-audit) of the current conditions for meeting the necessary requirements.


How Much Does ISO/IEC 42001 Certification Cost?

The costs associated with the implementation of controls, processes, competent people, monitoring, and improvements in a Management System will also vary according to the size and complexity of the Organization, as can be understood.

The costs of certification are more easily estimated and will vary mainly according to the complexity, risk level, and size of an Organization. Contact us for a more detailed budget for your needs.


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QMS Certification

QMS is an accredited third party certification body, it is currently present in 33 countries and focuses on the certification of management systems. QMS America is managed by the US office and has consistently grown in market recognition by technical level, customer satisfaction and competitive pricing.

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