Posted on: September 16, 2008 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 2

The  South African National HIV Standard – SANS 16001:2007 allows workplace environments including the public sector, the private sector, and the non-governmental sector, to immediately begin the process of implementing an HIV/AIDS programme that can be benchmarked against best practice. SHEQAfrica.com takes a look at what you will find inside the new standard.

“The standard consists of a coherent set of absolute requirements for achieving specific outcomes. The outcomes are achieved through actions deemed to be in line with the currently accepted best practice. In addition, these outcomes will be objectively verifiable by an auditor, who will ensure that the company is adhering to its stated policy,” explains Linzi Smith, Director of Education, Training and Counselling (ETC)

Different Lingo

She explains that the AMS 16001 and the SANS 16001 are based on the ISO principles of continuous improvement within the Deming Cycle – plan, do, check, act. The titles of the processes in the SANS 16001 differ slightly as the language used in the HIV field is different from that commonly used in the Safety, Health and Environmental fields.

Comparability with the PDCA (plan-do-check-act)

The Process Phases

In brief, the cycle processes of SANS 16001:2007 entail the following:

  1. Assess the risk of HIV to the company, the company needs, available HIV related services and systems and efficacy of such systems and services.
  2. Plan and develop a customised intervention based on the assessment, set targets and objectives and success criteria. Allocate responsibility and resources to carry out the intervention.
  3. Implement the customised solution to manage the identified risk, targets, objectives and success criteria.
  4. Monitor the monthly and quarterly statistics and project plan for achievement of targets and objectives.
  5. Evaluate the implemented interventions for efficacy, for achievement of Outcomes, achievement of success criteria and return on investment, as well as compliance to SANS 16001.

The following graphic illustrates the various phases in more detail:

Click for a larger image.

What Is Covered And What Is Not

“In essence, the standard uses established international techniques of quality management and environmental management. It is based on the SANS 9001/ISO 9001 (for quality management) and SANS 14000/ISO 14000 (for environmental management) series of standards” says Brad Mears, CEO of SABCOHA (South African Business Coalition on HIV and AIDS).

“However, it does not include clinical requirements or specific treatments for employees affected by HIV and AIDS. While based on the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, it does not include requirements specific to these and other management systems, such as those for occupational health and safety, and financial or risk management,” adds Mears.

In the next article in our series we will look specifically at the critical Assessment and Planning phases, followed by a closer look at Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation.

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