Barely three years old, the international standard for anti-bribery management systems is quickly becoming one of the key management systems standards across the globe. In this article, we will explain why so many companies are currently deciding to get certified.

1. Corruption is a problem – in every country

Many people think corruption is restricted to low-income economies. A survey by professional service firm Ernst & Young presents a different picture. Let’s take Germany as an example: the study indicates that one in six German companies experienced a case of fraud and corruption in the last two years – a number that is higher than in the previous report from two years ago. Statistics like these clearly show that bribery remains widespread across the globe.

2. Better safe than sorry

ISO 37001 provides minimum requirements and supporting guidance for implementing an effective anti-bribery management system. The implementation considerably reduces the risk of malpractice because the standard was designed to help you prevent bribery.

3. Protection in the event of (alleged) bribery

In case of legal investigations, the implementation of ISO 37001 will help organisations to prove that reasonable measures to prevent corruption were put into practice. We have already seen the first court cases where certification was considered a mitigating factor and a basis on which to offer a reduction in sentence. Conversely, however, lack of certification can also be interpreted as an indication of negligence.

4. Proportionate measures

Large companies often have entire departments that focus on compliance. SMEs, however, lack the resources to be equally rigid. Fortunately, ISO 37001 states that the anti-bribery measures must be proportionate to the size of the organisation, the location and sectors in which it operates, as well as the scale and complexity of its activities. Because of this principle of proportionality, companies do not need to worry about excessive bureaucracy.

5. Competitive advantage

An anti-bribery certification leads to competitive advantages, as it is a strong signal towards buyers, clients and consumers. The formal and strong commitment in the fight against corruption also helps protect the reputation of your company.

6. No surprises with business partners

Due diligence is a central aspect of ISO 37001, especially the review of business partners. The implementation of an effective anti-bribery management system helps ensure that your organization will not be negatively affected by issues in your supply chain.

7. Stakeholder trust

ISO 37001 contains binding requirements and a firm commitment of the top management. Thus, the certification provides assurance to investors, customers, employees and other stakeholders that the company is making every reasonable effort to avoid bribery.

8. Positive effect on company culture

The implementation of an anti-bribery management system contributes to a culture of integrity and transparency. It also ensures the protection of whistleblowers, making it more likely that issues are detected before the damage has been done.


DQS is your partner for ISO 37001 certification. We schedule audits without hassle, rely exclusively on experienced auditors, create added value with intelligent audit reports and guide you through the entire certification process. To learn more about the standard and the certification process, please click here.


Source: DQS CFS website ( For more information, please send email to