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Raising the Bar: Why the Standard is Being Revised

Mar 28, 2016

By now you have seen many references to the RIOS™ revision. We have sought your feedback, and now we are beginning to provide educational programming so that you, the implementers, are prepared for what's coming. Before we get too deep into the details, it is important to first understand the purpose behind the revision. 

There are many types of standards that exist. They cover a wide range of industries and topics, and serve different purposes. Some require regular updating as best-practices evolve, and some have been tested over time. RIOS™, as a QEHS management system standard is on the latter end of that continuum. It is based on a plan-do-check-act cycle that has been around for decades. Even then, as industry develops and evolves, so too must standards.

It has been nearly ten years since the first version of RIOS™ was released, and in that time ISO has released changes to their standards, and are going through a comprehensive revision as we speak. R2 and e-Stewards, which are likely to change more rapidly as the electronics recycling industry continues to grow and evolve, have both released two versions of their standards. With all of these changes, the time is now perfect for RIOS™ to also engage in this process.

The revision process will not only put a fresh date stamp on the standard, which does have some value, it will make RIOS™ a state-of-the-art management system. The revision will allow RIOS™ to harmonize with the standards that are already in existence so that you, as the adopters, can easily obtain multiple certifications while maintaining one management system. Finally, the revision accounts for technological advances within the industry and changes in best-practices, and ensures that your management system meets or exceeds requirements that may be placed on you by customers, governments, or other stakeholders.

The RIOS™ Board of Directors, staff, and everyone involved in the revision process know that any change to the standard will require time and effort at facilities all over the world. It was with careful consideration that the decision was made to revise the standard, and the revision process was done deliberatively, carefully, and with your best interest in mind. When the new standard is released later this year, we are confident that it will make RIOS™ facilities and the industry even stronger.

Over the coming months there will be several ways that we will prepare you for what is coming. This process will start with a pre-conference workshop at E-Scrap, and continue with a series of webinars that will begin later this year. It is our goal to make this transition as easy as possible, while also providing the greatest possible benefit to your company.