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What is ISO 37001?

ISO 37001 is one of the world’s first and best standards to create an anti-bribery management system, or ABMS. This standard is designed to cater to a wide range of organisations, including government entities, businesses, and NGOs. With its framework, it aims to combat the significant and consequential impacts that bribery has on the global economy.

Who needs ISO 37001 certification?

Bribery is commonly associated with governments and public entities. However, it is also rife amongst businesses and charities. ISO 37001 is a reputable and comprehensive standard that provides certificate holders with internationally-recognised credibility and transparency. As a result, it can benefit a wide range of sectors and industries.

Here are a few examples of how ISO 37001 can benefit different businesses and organisations:


Governmental organisations and authorities are under the constant scrutiny of locals and international observers. Implementing ISO 37001 is an important way to foster a sense of trust and international cooperation in an increasingly distrustful world.


Banks and other financial institutions are a prime target for bribes since they are gatekeepers to a country’s financial operations. By implementing ISO 37001, such businesses will have a systematic approach to carrying out due diligence and updating anti-bribery policies.

Large Enterprises

Whilst bribery is not limited to just large businesses, these are much more prone to it. ISO 37001 can reduce the costs and reputational damage caused by instances of bribery, either by internal employees or external stakeholders. This standard can set out measures and controls to minimise unlawful interference.

What’s ISO 37001 all about?

ISO 37001 is designed to prevent and manage instances of bribery by the organisation as well as bribery at the detriment of the organisation. This means that this standard does not discriminate between instances when bribery could cause damage to an entity or instances when it could benefit it. This is done because in any circumstance, bribery undermines effective institutions and equitable business

Obtaining ISO 37001 certification requires the applicant to fulfill certain criteria, including:

  • Carry out periodic risk assessments
  • Create or develop an anti-bribery policy
  • Carry out continued monitoring and reporting
  • Carry out due diligence on projects and business associates
  • Foster an aware environment through personnel controls and training
  • Investigate potential instances of bribery and issue review and reports
  • Take corrective action and seek opportunities for continual improvement
  • Get the necessary commitment and responsibility from the leadership team
  • Have controls on all contracts, financial transactions, and commercial agreements

As with all other ISO standards, ISO 37001 can be adapted to meet the needs of businesses of varying size and complexity. It is also a vital tool in the fight against bribery for governments and charitable organisations. Through the appointment of a responsible person and the support of the management team, ISO 37001 can address a destructive criminal activity that affects both nations and citizens.

The next step

If you would like to find out more about becoming ISO 37001-certified, you should get in touch with us today.

One of our experts will be able to answer your questions and provide you with a thorough explanation of the entire process.

    Aries Ltd offers management systems assessment and certification services in compliance with international ISO standards for businesses, government bodies, and NGOs.

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