ISO accreditation requirements: Do you need a DSE assessment?

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DSE assessments

Health and safety should be at the heart of any business. After all, not only does protecting your team reduce staff absences and ensure workplace productivity but it also makes your workplace a more pleasant and enjoyable environment.

ISO accreditation is the international standard for demonstrating health and safety compliance in the workplace. But how exactly does it work? Let’s take a look at ISO accreditation in the UK — specifically at ISO 45001 requirements and how a DSE assessment can help you meet ISO standards for workplace health and safety.

 What is ISO accreditation?

ISO stands for International Organisation for Standardisation, and this independent, international body develops standards for systems, products and services. ISO accreditation shows that your organisation has met third-party safety, efficiency and quality standards. 

Other benefits of ISO accreditation include the following: 

  • Risk reduction
  • Lower costs
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased business credibility 

To achieve ISO accreditation, an organisation must meet specific standards for certain activities — for example, workplace safety. As a result, your business will be granted ISO certification to demonstrate that your systems, services or products meet your customers' needs.

How many ISO accreditations are there? 

There are thousands of ISO accreditations! In fact, there are currently over 24,000, covering everything from healthcare and technology to health and safety. You'll need to undertake a third-party audit by an ISO accreditation body to achieve ISO certification. 

Who needs ISO certification?

ISO standards help ensure consistency, both nationally and internationally. In addition, ISO requirements are constantly under review to ensure they meet the needs of a changing world. However, ISO certification remains voluntary, except where it's mentioned in specific legal directives by organisations like the World Trade Organisation and EU. So, for example, ISO 45001 can help your business demonstrate legal compliance with health and safety laws.

In the UK, most businesses benefit from ISO certification to demonstrate their commitment to quality, efficiency and safety. 

What is ISO 45001, and what are the requirements?

ISO 45001 is the international standard that improves employee safety in the workplace. It’s not mandatory, but if your business requires that you have health and safety management procedures in place, it provides a solid framework for best practices. If those systems are already functioning, then adopting ISO 45001 can be straightforward.

Gaining ISO 45001 accreditation demonstrates that your organisation:

  • Can manage and reduce workplace risks
  • Is compliant with health and safety laws
  • Prioritises the well-being and health of your workforce
  • Is focused on evaluating and improving performance

All organisations have a legal requirement to ensure health and safety in the workplace. However, achieving ISO 45001 accreditation has particular value for high-risk industries, including logistics, transport, manufacturing, energy and construction.

Using the ISO 45001 standards framework for your business has several benefits, including:

  • Increasing health and safety awareness and engaging employees in taking an active role in ISO 45001 occupational health and safety. 
  • Improving management of compliance issues and reducing downtime and overall costs.
  • Managing health and safety risks to eliminate or minimise them from the workplace, protecting employees and reducing absentee rates. 
  • Enhance your business reputation by demonstrating your commitment to your employee’s health, well-being and safety.
  • Reduce your insurance premiums by demonstrating that efficient risk-reduction strategies are in place.

The ISO accreditation requirements for achieving ISO 45001 certification are as follows:

Organisational context

What are the internal and external factors impacting ISO 45001 occupational health and safety compliance? What type of business or organisation are you? And what are the expectations and needs of employees and third parties, e.g. contractors? 


Clear roles, responsibilities, and commitment are essential for successfully implementing your occupational health and safety policy. Are leadership roles assigned and understood? Are systems and resources in place to enable employees to implement ISO 45001 standards? 


This requirement includes implementing systems for identifying and minimising workplace risks. How will these systems be managed, and how do you plan to achieve them? And how will your organisation identify its legal requirements and keep them current? 


Your organisation must provide employees with the resources, tools, and training to implement, maintain and improve your ISO 45001 occupational health and safety systems. For example, you may need to provide essential training or specialist equipment for team members to achieve these objectives. 


How will your organisation implement and action the new occupational health and safety management system? For instance, how you will identify and respond to opportunities, risks and emergencies with compelling and actionable risk assessments. 

Performance evaluation

Performance evaluation is critical for achieving ISO 45001 standards. You’ll be required to continually monitor, measure and analyse the performance of your occupational health and safety systems.


How will your organisation meet future requirements and continue to improve performance through regular evaluation and monitoring? 

Do you need a DSE assessment for ISO 45001 accreditation? 

Obtaining ISO 45001 accreditation means you meet the international standard for best practices in health and safety. In addition, as part of meeting the ISO 45001 requirements, you must demonstrate that your organisation can identify and mitigate risks to employees' safety and well-being. 

Unlike ISO accreditation in the UK, DSE (Display Screen Equipment) assessments are a legal requirement under HSE legislation. A DSE assessment is required for any workers using laptops, PCs, smartphones or tablets for a continuous period of one hour or longer every day. 

ISO 45001 standards require performance evaluation and improvement through self-auditing. A DSE assessment should be considered an essential part of your occupational health and safety toolkit and must be undertaken:

  • Whenever a new workstation is set up
  • Whenever changes are made to a workstation setup
  • When onboarding a new user
  • When a user complains of pain or discomfort

Need more details on DSE assessments? Take a look at our guide.

Do any other ISO standards require DSE assessments? 

ISO 9001 and 9004 relating to Quality Management Systems, require businesses to provide a safe working environment based on thorough risk assessments. 

You may also require DSE assessments to meet the following ISO accreditation requirements:

  • ISO 27001 (Information Security)
  • ISO 22301 (Business Continuity)
  • ISO 14001 (Environmental) 

A full DSE assessment will help you meet your ISO accreditation requirements while corresponding to EU regulations.

DSE assessments from Workhappy

At Workhappy, we’re the UK’s leading DSE assessment provider. Our assessments help you achieve ISO 45001 requirements while making work safer and more comfortable for your employees. Want to learn more? Feel free to contact the Workhappy team today with any questions and book your DSE assessments today.