Re: Poll on ISO 30401 KMS visibility and applicability - feedback #poll #standards

Santhosh Shekar

I guess Nick has covered most of the points. I can add a few points regarding ICEE and something I believe in ;  

Currently, ICEE is the first organization to provide certification on ISO KM standard, and I am not sure about any other accreditation bodies.  ICEE was launched by Dr. Ron B. McKinley and Lee S. Webster, the founders of the ISO working group 260 that created the first four human resources standards.  Dr. Ron was also part of the ISO KM working group, who screened and bestowed the accreditation on me. You can visit the website for more details. ( )

For me, the critical question is why standard at all? Is it necessary for all organizations? Why Should I use km standard if we already have KM function? Why should I want an external certification?

Well, it depends - if you are starting KM newly, then the standard will provide you a systematic way of approaching your knowledge problem. Identifying the key stakeholders, learning their business problem, developing business case, and KM Framework/solution, KMS could be a mix of IT, Classic, multi-pronged approach. To operationalize KM, you need resources; to get the resource, you need management support. To get management support, you need to have a business case with probable KPI's being measurable. To showcase the effectiveness of this KPI's you need to monitor the usage qualitatively and quantitatively; trained teams to manage operations, training, continuous improvement; communication and engagement with users for change management; planning the entire lifecycle of KM and monitoring it and reporting it to management; Last but not least - documented what you say and do what you document.  

In a nutshell, practitioners' known knowledge is not necessarily common with every individual or company. At the same time, this is our natural way of doing things; the same has been represented in the standard. If a company says its ISO 30401 compliant, we as a general audience can understand those important Knowledge components are addressed, managed, and continuously improved. You can always do more...

The same understanding and requirements could be scaled up for small projects or startups to large MNC's to national level KM.

We need a common language, shared understanding, we need a way to acknowledge, what is unique in every knowledge entity, yet have specific standard parameters that everybody can relate to; I believe the standard provides that. Is it perfect? Not yet, only based on our feedback can the ISO working group develop a newer better edition.

Many organizations have perished with many certifications due to Pandemic; I think the question is how many organizations can manage knowledge using or adopting the standard and succeeds in what matters to them !! Long term I see a whole new eco-system emerging out of this standard ;

The important reason also to support standard is - it costs less, you can buy it on ISO standard ; share with management; no affiliation towards any specific individual entity. It's easier to get buy in from management to start developing KM at any level; If the value is generated out of these KM projects or programs; one can always create an eco-system where organizations can come out and declare themselves to be ISO compliant. (By the way, I have a full-time job, so not worried ) On the contrary, demand for KM products and services will proportionally increase too !!  

As a passionate KM lifelong student, these are my thoughts. Again , external certification is not the end of it all; the process of building effective KMS, creating value for the business is the key; Whether you have built the most futuristic KMS or simple paper and pen-based, value creation is the key! And to create value, you need to develop/design a KM system, and standard does not tell us what to do. We still need to do everything. Of course, Document it along the way!

An external auditor can only provide a neutral view of KM areas - what's working well and what's not working according to the standard requirements; if organizations need to benchmark their strengths and weakness, then external assessment could be helpful. Again, it is not necessary to go for certification after the external audit. They can declare their organization as ISO compliant too. Preparation, Internal Assessment, External Assessment, and Certification are the natural progression of getting ISO Certified with ISO logo for the organization.  Again I can't speak on behalf of anybody on the certification. I can only share from ICEE Perspective.

Santhosh Shekar

On Mon, Oct 5, 2020 at 12:18 PM Nick Milton <nick.milton@...> wrote:

ISO 3040:2018  is a Type A MSS (management system standard) so it is written in such a way that it can be audited and certified against, if you so wish. It is therefore different from a Type B MSS, which provides only guidance.  


The standard can be used in many ways, and there is no requirement for any organisation to audit against the standard, nor, if they want an audit, for that audit to be to be certified, or conducted by an external party, or even for the external party to be particularly qualified.


However if the organisation wished to claim authoritative external certification, then it makes sense for the auditors to be a) qualified auditors, and b) trained in the requirements of ISO 30401 by a recognised certification body.  The ideal would be for that certification body to be c) accredited by an official accreditation body (ANAB in the USA, for example) for certification against ISO 30401:2018.  





From: <> On Behalf Of Eli Miron
Sent: 04 October 2020 20:51
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Poll on ISO 30401 KMS visibility and applicability - feedback


I quote: " As far as I am aware, ISO 30401 is not subject to certification"


From: <> On Behalf Of Brett Patron
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 10:49 PM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Poll on ISO 30401 KMS visibility and applicability - feedback




That is not Louis-Pierre's question. 


His question is how one certifies as an auditor through [for example] ICEE.




On Sun, Oct 4, 2020, 3:35 PM Eli Miron <emiron@...> wrote:


See for example




From: <> On Behalf Of Louis-Pierre Guillaume
Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2020 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] Poll on ISO 30401 KMS visibility and applicability - feedback


Dear Santhosh ,


Could you tell us more about the "accreditation as ISO 30401 KMS Auditor certificate from ICE" you have received.


As far as I am aware, ISO 30401 is not subject to certification (no obligation for an external audit).

It provides only a general framework for the integration of a knowledge management system and explains its advantages.



Best Regards

Louis-Pierre Guillaume  LinkedIn - Twitter



Le ven. 2 oct. 2020 à 22:45, Santhosh Shekar <santhoshshekar@...> a écrit :

Greetings to the KM community, 


I had started a poll on ISO 30401 KMS visibility and applicability in organisations few days back on my linkedin. I am trying to extend the survey in every possible avenue to gather inputs from one and all.


Please click here to cast the vote.


I am thankful to those who have already filled the poll.


The background to this survey was to determine the traction of KM standard in the industry, as I am in process of editing my book on practical implementation of KM standard requirements.  The poll result is open for anybody to see. I will share my views on it after the poll ends.


I am not sure, whether I had written anything in this forum from the times of yahoo group. But this community has always enriched my learning experience, thanks to Stan for being such an amazing fountain of wisdom for seekers in KM field. 


To those who do not know me, I am Santhosh Shekar, working as KM practitioner for over 20+ years in various organisations and still going strong. I do not have consultancy business. I am from Bengaluru, India; but based out of Oman at present. 


 I did receive second accreditation as ISO 30401 KMS Auditor certificate from ICEE this year. 

I do understand there are several school of thoughts with regard to the KM standards. Regardless of that, please do participate, I guess every voice is covered in the option. 




Santhosh Shekar







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