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There are over 1 million ISO 9001 certificates issued worldwide. Gaining ISO 9001 certification will open up new markets and customers for your products and services and will:
  • Enhance your management systemsISO_9001_transition
  • Improve the quality of your products and services
  • Increase customer retention and loyalty
  • Minimise complaints
  • Increase profit
Some businesses may view the process of certification as a time-consuming distraction to the focus of their business; however the additional time taken to gain certification is far outweighed by the many benefits that will help your business to grow.


Can you afford not to implement ISO 9001 into your organisation?
Many businesses will gain ISO 9001 certification because their customers require proof that the organisation has an audited quality management system.

Some companies will only work with suppliers with ISO 9001 certification. Public sector tenders, for example, will require certification. It will also give you an edge on your competitors when you are tendering for private sector contracts.

To achieve certification, you will have to pass a regular audit by an accredited certification body. This provides your customers with evidence that you are doing everything required to improve and maintain quality at a high and consistent level.

Continual assessment and improvement of management systems will ensure your entire business becomes more customer focussed, resulting in satisfied customers and better retention rates.

ISO 9001:2015 revision
The standard has recently been revised and organisations currently certified have until September 2018 to complete their transition.

The changes include greater emphasis on the importance of leadership from top management. Risk assessment and risk management have been prioritised and the high-level structure is more about managing processes and less about documentation.

If you are an existing client, ACS Registrars are not charging an additional fee for any of the changes required for the revision. Your usual fee for certification will still apply.

The sooner you start the process the more time you will have to make the necessary management system changes before your audit.

We are anticipating a late dash to get certified before the transition period ends in September 2018. Get your consultation booked before the rush starts.

To discuss your transition in more detail and to find out what the main changes are, call us on 0121 241 2299.
Climate change continues to make the headlines as global temperatures break previous records. February 2016 was the warmest February in 136 years of Nasa’s modern temperature records. Average temperatures in 2017, though not expected to be as warm as 2015 and 2016, are still going to be warm again.

The effects of global warming on populations around the world are already being felt at a personal level with health problems such as:
  • Respiratory diseases caused by poor air quality.Flooded_buildings
  • Infectious diseases spreading due to climate change and insect migration.
  • Hunger and lack of clean drinking water because of extreme weather events.
  • Death and injury from natural disasters caused by flooding.
To help organisations and businesses reduce their impact on the environment and establish effective environmental and energy management systems, there are a variety of ISO standards, one of the most popular being ISO 14001.

ISO 14001 environmental management standard
ISO 14001 provides a management framework for industry to combat climate change by reducing harmful emissions.

Certification also provides benefits to your organisation by reducing waste and improving energy management together with a range of other benefits that will help to increase profits and enhance relationships with your suppliers and clients.

If your organisation is involved in the events sector, ISO 20121 has been specifically developed to support event organisers, venues and suppliers. ISO 20121 improves efficiency and provides a framework to cut costs by improving energy and waste management.

Environmental responsibility
Government policies differ from country to country. Donald Trump is planning to dismantle some of the policies that Barack Obama put in place. However, in a recent keynote speech at the "Seeds & Chips - Global Food Innovation" in Milan, Obama stated that the private sector would be key to tackling climate change with clean energy being the driver.

Ultimately, it will be industry and individuals that will act to reduce carbon emissions and start moving towards a clean energy economy. A management framework that will help identify the most efficient and effective solution will not only benefit the environment; it will improve the organisation.
The government is aiming to make the UK “the safest place in the world for young people to go online” (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-launches-major-new-drive-on-internet-safety).

This is the latest of a long list of government initiatives put in place recently to combat cybercrime against the general public and businesses.

A recent report from the British Chambers of Commerce found that even though one in five businesses had been attacked in the last year, only 24% had security measures in place.

Cyber-InsuranceISO 27001
ISO 27001 information security management system provides businesses with a framework to identify, cope with and recover from a cyber-attack.

By implementing a companywide management process and recovery strategy, ISO 27001 goes further than other solutions such as Cyber Essentials to help your organisation combat cybercrime.

Cyber Essentials is a government initiative set up to help businesses protect themselves against cyber criminals. Achieving the badge will help to identify risks to your business and protect your organisation from common cyber threats.

However, Cyber Essentials is not a replacement for ISO 27001 but can be used to compliment your security management system. For example, if you are bidding for government contracts, this is a mandatory requirement for some ICT products and services.

Achieving ISO 27001 certification gives you a solid foundation and makes getting a Cyber Essentials badge more straightforward.

ISO 27001 rerelease 2017
Though the actual content of the standard has not changed, there has been a recent update to reflect the new EN status.

BS EN ISO 27001:2017 has now been ratified by each of the 34 CEN-CENELEC member countries.

If you already have ISO 27001 certification, this will not change any of your current management systems for the time being. Updates will be published in the future and we will keep you advised if anything changes.
Achieving ISO 20121 certification for organisations involved in the events industry will provide benefits to your business, the environment and your clients.

The standard was successfully used at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games in London to provide a sustainable event that would use resources in an efficient and responsible way.

What is ISO 20121
Aimed at all types of organisations involved in the events industry, the standard provides a management system that will control the environmental, economic and social impact that your event may have on the local community and society as a whole.

ISO-20121-Event-managementISO 20121 is internationally recognised and can be used by:
  • Event organisers for events of all sizes
  • Stand contractors
  • Stage builders
  • Sound and lighting engineers
  • Caterers
  • Security companies
Benefits of certification
From improvements in the way you plan and run your event to motivating and retaining your employees, ISO 20121 will help you to achieve cost savings and make your business more competitive.

Certification will also demonstrate your commitment to a sustainability programme that will help you to win future business. Tendering for work with local authorities and other event organisers may be a mandatory requirement for some events in future.

As well as the benefits to your organisation, your Event Sustainability Management System (ESMS) will provide the framework needed to reduce any negative effects on the environment that your event may cause. The desired outcome will be to achieve a commercial benefit whilst reducing the social and environmental impact on the wider community.

Benefits overview:
  • Improve planning
  • Employee motivation and retention
  • Reduce costs by better management of materials, waste reduction and energy management
  • Demonstrate your commitment to sustainability and the environment
  • Competitive tendering
  • Improve profitability
  • Better client, supplier and community relations
To find out more about this standard and how it can help your business, please call us or complete our information form.
Revision of these two key management system standards took place in 2015 and organisations will have to transfer to the updated standards by September 2018.

ISO_9001_and_14001_standardsExisting ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 registered companies should now be well into their planning to ensure a smooth transition to the revised standards by this date.

One of the benefits of the revision is to provide a common structure, text and definitions to make integration of multiple standards smoother and quicker to achieve. In the revised standard, Annex XL provides a framework to help achieve this.

Revision benefits
 
1. Integration
For organisations with both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards, taking this integrated approach will save time by streamlining the process of certification and removing duplication.
 
2. Risk management
One of the main areas of change is an increased focus on risk management and the establishment of an effective risk management plan. Risk is documented in most sections of the revised standards, so if you do not already have a risk management plan, this should be one of your first tasks. Typical risk processes include:
  • Risk determination,
  • Risk control,
  • Risk mitigation,
  • Acceptable level of risk.
By taking a risk based approach the intention is to prevent or reduce undesired effects, achieve continual improvement and provide action plans to address these risks and opportunities.
 
3. Management processes
Along with the new high level structure/format, the new standards require a higher priority be given to managing processes and less about documentation.
 
4. Leadership
Emphasis on the importance of leadership from top management will ensure that the organisation’s quality management system achieves the desired results.

Meeting the demands of today’s businesses
The new 2015 revisions reflect the vast changes in technology that have taken place during the last few years. They also aim to improve the speed and flexibility needed in a modern businesses management system to enable companies to compete in the global economy.

If you have any questions about how to plan your transition, call ACS Registrars to find out more.
International trade agreements are currently in the spotlight, following the US presidential election and Brexit. These agreements regulate trade between countries and establish import quotas and tariffs. By setting up free trade agreements between countries, trade barriers are reduced, which helps to increase the movement of goods and services.

Freight_forwarders_insuranceWorking hand in hand with trade agreements are international standards for health, safety and quality of goods and services, which help to facilitate international trade. By establishing standards between trading countries, products can move easily between borders because the same specifications have been adopted and accreditations achieved.

From what we understand, Donald Trump is going to have a different attitude towards international trade and globalisation. A move away from free trade to a protectionism strategy could follow. Brexit will change our relationship with the EU and we will have to negotiate new trade deals with European and global markets. So how is this likely to affect the way businesses keep up with international standards and accreditation?

Currently, EU regulations allow for one accreditation service provider per EU country. However, the United States currently has 4 organisations listed, with a 5th waiting to be admitted. Could Britain adopt the same policy?

International standards
ISO, the international organisation for standardisation, works closely with the World Trade Organisation to promote the use of international standards and increase free and fair global trading.
ISO is a network of National Standards Bodies (NSBs) in countries around the world. Businesses requiring assessment and certification to internationally agreed standards will need to be certified by their approved registration/certification body.

Accreditation Bodies
The IAF (International Accreditation Forum) is the world association of conformity assessment and Accreditation Bodies. Members are only admitted to the IAF MLA (Multilateral Recognition Agreement) following stringent evaluation of their operations.

The focus of the IAF is to develop a single worldwide program of conformity assessment – Certified Once – Accepted Everywhere.

When we are no longer restricted to EU law, will the Accreditation of Certification Bodies to certify goods and services be opened up to other Accreditation Bodies?

Accreditation in the US
One of the IAF MLA members in the US providing worldwide accreditation services is ANAB, who are jointly owned by the American National Standards Institute and the American Society for Quality.
ANAB provides accreditation to Certification Bodies, covering all of the most established standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 etc.

Uncertain future
We are going to see a period of change over the next 2 years and, just like our government’s negotiations with the EU, we need to keep all of our options open and plan accordingly.
A 17 year old from Norwich recently pleaded guilty to seven hacking offences relating to data breaches suffered by the communications giant Talk Talk.

The cyber-attack cost the company £42 million and it was fined £400,000 for security failings which enabled the teenager to access customer’s data “with ease”.

These breaches are becoming more frequent and with this in mind, the government has recently announced a new 5 year plan to tackle the problem. The government will pump £1.9 billion into a scheme to help fight cyber-crime and develop a world class cyber security industry and workforce.

Part of the strategy is to ensure organisations have the necessary processes in place to help prevent cyber-attacks.

Cyber-crimeNational Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:
“Britain is already an acknowledged global leader in cyber security thanks to our investment of over £860 million in the last Parliament, but we must now keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face. Our new strategy, underpinned by £1.9 billion of support over 5 years and excellent partnerships with industry and academia, will allow us to take even greater steps to defend ourselves in cyberspace and to strike back when we are attacked.”

Protect your business with ISO 27001
It is not only large corporations that are under attack; small and medium sized organisations are also being targeted and reporting a rise in cyber-attacks on their businesses.

One way of ensuring that your management team and employees are working to effective processes for minimising the risk of a cyber breach is to achieve ISO 27001 certification. The standard is internationally recognised and establishes processes for identifying data at risk, assessing threats and putting in place systems, controls and procedures to minimise the risk.

ISO 27001 will provide a strategic plan for your business that will ensure you and your workforce are capable and ready to deal with a cyber threat.

ISO 27001 certification will also demonstrate to your customers that you have implemented controls and procedures that will help to maintain continuity of supply and security of their data. In some cases, it may be a requirement when tendering for business, particularly in the public sector.

Find out more about what is involved in achieving ISO 27001 by talking to one of our experienced advisors.
ACS Registrars have again been accredited by UKAS for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

The process is on-going and not just a one-off achievement. Accreditation can be applied for by a variety of organisations such as testing laboratories, inspection bodies and medical laboratories as well as certification bodies like ACS Registrars.

UKAS (The United Kingdom Accreditation Service) is the sole national accreditation body for the UK and is recognised by the government as the body that provides oversight to ensure that accredited organisations meet the relevant international standards.

Working with UKAS and maintaining its accreditation is vitally important to ACS Registrars. UKAS accreditation demonstrates that ACS has been assessed for competence, impartiality and reliability to ensure the applicable international accreditation standards are met.

This is what the UKAS have to say about accreditation:

“Accreditation is the formal recognition that an organisation is competent to perform specific processes, activities or tasks (which are detailed in a scope of accreditation) in a reliable, credible and accurate manner.  The provision of accreditation must:
  • be objective, transparent and effective;UKAS_logo
  • use highly professional, competent assessors and technical experts in all relevant fields;
  • use assessors (and subcontractors) that are reliable, ethical and competent in both accreditation processes and the relevant technical fields.
Accreditation delivers confidence in certificates and conformity statements. It underpins the quality of results by ensuring their traceability, comparability, validity and commutability."

Note; not all auditing organisations are UKAS Accredited.

Relevant and beneficial to business
2016 is turning out to be a year of uncertainty; first Brexit, then the shock win for Donald Trump in the US elections. Businesses are going to need all of their resilience to maintain a competitive advantage.
Management systems such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 help businesses to establish procedures and processes to monitor and manage changing circumstances.

Risk assessment and risk management have been prioritised in the recent ISO 9001 revisions. This will provide management with the means to identify risks and plan how to control or limit the effect of these events on the business.

Whether internal issues or external events, such as the recent political turmoil, threaten to derail the organisation’s plans, having a robust management system in place will put you in a better position to cope more effectively.

A current example would be the recent drop in the value of sterling after Brexit and the impact it will have on manufacturers; whether you are importing raw materials or exporting finished goods. An effective management system will identify the risks and develop a strategy to minimise the effect.

For more information about UKAS and ISO standards please call us or fill in our enquiry form.

 
The speculation is over and the decision has been made to leave the EU. Now we have a new prime minister and the dust has settled, it is probably time for you to try and assess how this is going to affect your business.

BrexitMost commentators agree that we are going to go through a period of economic uncertainty; the recent currency fluctuations are already starting to have an impact and will probably affect us all one way or another.

The effect of these changes will increase the cost of imports so we can expect to see rises in the machinery and technical equipment (mostly imported), needed for our businesses such as industrial machines and computer hardware and software.

Industries that are expected to be most affected are construction, financial services and manufacturing.

ISO standards and Brexit
Many of our clients will be affected by the economic changes brought on by Brexit, some positively, others negatively. Cheaper exports for those companies selling abroad may help to balance the increase in costs.

With all of this uncertainty it is good to know that some things will remain constant.  ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 will remain effective and provide the same benefits during the transition to leave the EU and when we finally leave. ISO accreditation is international and the EU often adopts the ISO standard as the European Standard.

Any changes to this stability will depend on our new relationship with the EU. At the moment we have some influence over European standards which means that our manufacturing and service industries have easy access to sell products and services to all European countries by meeting these standards.
Currently our manufacturers save time and cost by only having to comply with one standard to trade with European and global markets.

We can only assume that the UK will remain committed to the European standards to allow our businesses to maintain ease of access, even though our influence over the standards may be diminished.

 
The growth in online business is benefitting companies throughout the UK, but there are risks involved with this continuing expansion.

UK businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to hacker-attacks that aim to steal data that can be sold on the open market to fraudsters. Hacking can also disrupt business operations and systems, this can have a devastating impact. The time and resources needed to recover from a breach, loss of data and damage to a company’s reputation can run into the millions of pounds.

However, it is not just large organisations that are at risk; figures indicate that 74% of small businesses have suffered a cyber breach (figures reported in 2014/2015).

How can ISO 27001 protect my business?

Cyber_risk_insuranceRisks can come from a variety of sources including:
  • Employees, deliberate act or accidental through lack of understanding
  • Hacker-attacks, on computers and servers
  • Phishing, via emails
  • Loss of hardware, such as laptop or removable media that get into the wrong hands
  • Home and mobile working, leading to a reduction in security levels
  • Malware infection
Any one of the above risks could cripple an organisation and lead to an expensive and time consuming recovery.

Certification to ISO 27001 provides an effective information security management system (ISMS) that can be implemented throughout the organisation.

An effective ISMS will identify potential risks and establish a management processes that will help to eliminate, or minimise the effect of an incident, when it occurs.

A disaster recovery plan is established to ensure organisations can get back to “business as usual” as quickly as possible following a breach.

Continuous monitoring and improvement of the system is carried out through annual audits to maintain your ISO 27001 certification. This will identify any new threats or gaps in procedures, to help you maintain a high level of protection.

For more information call one of our team to discuss how ISO 27001 can benefit your organisation.
 
ISO 45001 is the new international standard for occupational health and safety (OH&S).
The standard enables organisations to manage their risks and improve performance to minimise the effects their operations could have on employees, contractors or visitors.

OHSAS18001The International Labour Organisation estimated that there were 2.34 million deaths in 2013 related to work based activities. By improving the health and safety of its employees, organisations can benefit from improvements in productivity, employee motivation and, in some cases, can obtain lower insurance premiums by reducing risks.

The new standard is currently under review and publication is expected around the end of 2016.

ISO 45001
ISO 45001 is the first internationally recognised standard for OH&S that can be applied to all types of organisation.  

ISO 45001 is intended to be integrated into an organisations existing management systems and processes. With this in mind, the new standard will use Annex SL which is included in other ISO standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Annex SL is the new high level structure for the recently updated ISO management system standards that provides common terminology to make integration easier to achieve.

The aim is to tailor the OH&S management system to the needs of the organisation. For example, high risk businesses will need to implement a more detailed system to prevent injuries and ill-health in their workplace compared to smaller or low risk businesses. Employee participation will be encouraged in the implementation and maintenance of the system to ensure risks are managed effectively.

Benefits of ISO 45001
Achieving ISO 45001 certification brings a host of benefits to an organisation and its employees:
  • Improves productivity by reducing downtime
  • Reputation for safety
  • Employee involvement in OH&S
  • Better awareness of risks
  • Cost savings
  • Meets legal obligations
Whether you are already certified for OHSAS 18001 or are thinking about certification to the new ISO 45001 standard, call us to find out more.

 
2015 saw revisions to the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards. The next revision will be to OHSAS 18001 which is due to take place towards the end of 2016. The new standard for occupational health and safety management will be renamed ISO 45001.

One of the fundamental changes being made in these revisions is to the top level structure. These changes aim to deliver advantages by aligning various aspects of the different management systems to improve integration between standards. This structure is called Annex SL and was introduced by ISO to provide consistency throughout all of the ISO standards.

ISO 19001 and ISO 14001 are, for many organisations, the core of their management system and integration will save both time and costs.
  • Other benefits include:
  • Improved efficiency throughout the organisation
  • Less documentation
  • Better risk management
  • Involvement of all levels of the organisation
  • Adding value by maximising performance
  • Reducing duplication

Cogs_integrationAnnex SL
Annex SL will provide a common structure, text and definitions to make integration of multiple standards - ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 (later this year), smoother and quicker to implement.

By taking an integrated approach, documentation, training, audits and reviews will take up less resources and result in a more efficient and effective management system.

ISO 45001
Publication of the standard is expected around the end of 2016 when the transition from OHSAS 18001 can start.

Certification to the new standard will provide all of the integration efficiencies along with the existing OHSAS 18001 benefits to reduce accidents in the workplace and meet legal and regulatory requirements.

Other benefits of ISO 45001 certification include:
  • Improved productivity with fewer disruptions through absenteeism
  • Better employee relations
  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Lower costs connected with accidents in the workplace
  • Less risk of prosecution and HSE visits
  • Improved reputation with employees and stakeholders
To find out more please contact us.
 
One of the risks facing businesses in 2016 is the increase in cyber crime.

Balloon-popping-business-riskThe ISO 27001 international standard provides an effective information security management system (ISMS) focused on identifying areas of risk and developing a system for managing and minimising those risks.

Areas at risk include:
  • Computer hardware and systems
  • Data stored locally and off site
  • Intellectual property
  • Employees’ personal details
  • Data and equipment belonging to contractors
  • Suppliers’ assets
  • Customer information
Threats come from a variety of sources including natural disasters, hacker attacks, computer viruses and the consequences of stolen information.

As a result of an incident, an organisation could not only be faced with the costs of putting right the damage and coping with the effects on the business, but could face legal implications connected with the breach.

Costs can run to millions of pounds and with cyber attacks and unpredictable weather conditions increasing, it is more important than ever to manage the risks to your business.

How will ISO 27001 protect my business?
First stage is to appoint an experienced ISO 27001 consultant who will help you to set up an effective management system tailored to your business. They will identify the risks to your business and develop a process to manage those risks together with an ongoing system of monitoring and continual improvement.

Working with members of your team, your appointed consultant will be able to apply industry best practice and using their experience, provide a workable system that will:
  • Review current procedures
  • Identify risks
  • Assess threats to assets
  • Highlight gaps and areas for improvement
  • Establish a system of management and control
  • Provide processes and procedures
  • Continually improve the system with audits and reviews
ISO 27001 Certification
Once you are satisfied that your ISMS is established in line with the requirements of ISO 27001, you will be ready for auditing by an independent accredited certification body. In the UK, you should check they are UKAS accredited.

For more information contact one of our team.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference which started on 30th November and runs to 11th December 2015 will be discussing, amongst other things, the impact industrial development is having on our climate. With the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C, business and governments will be discussing climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the development of renewable energies.

On the 7th and 8th December, as part of the Conference, there will be a business focussed
event. The “Sustainable Innovation Forum” (SIF15), brings together participants from business, Government, finance, UN, NGO and civil society to “bolster business innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy”.

To add more pressure to the talks, we hear recently that the Chinese government issued a health warning to Beijing residents to stay indoors due to heavy smog.

There would seem to be overwhelming evidence that our climate is warming, with effects such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events. A natural cycle or human impact? Whatever you believe, can we afford to do nothing?

Green_footprintEvery business can help
The recently revised ISO 14001:2015 standard can help to reduce the impact that your operations may have on the environment. This is a global standard with certifications in 171 countries. The standard provides a framework for organisations to meet the challenges of climate change.
The benefits go further than improving the environment for all of us; they can deliver tangible benefits for your organisation:
  • Meet legal obligations
  • Engage employees
  • Improve performance through efficiencies
  • Reduce waste and increasing recycling
  • Provide cost savings
  • Increase profits
  • Enhance brand image

ISO 14001 certification and implementation can have a significant effect on an organisations profitability and performance. By adopting an effective energy management system you will gain a competitive advantage and contribute towards the climate change challenges the world will face in the future.

 
Companies continue to be vulnerable to hackers with the latest cyber attack affecting TalkTalk. This follows a number of other high profile incidents in 2015.

Breaches like these are not limited to large companies; small businesses are just as vulnerable. The latest report from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills - “2014 Information Security Breaches Survey” found that although security breaches were slightly down from 2013, the overall costs to deal with incidents was up:

81% of large organisations had a security breach (down from 86%* a year ago)

60% of small businesses had a security breach (down from 64%* a year ago)


£65k - £115k is the average cost to a small business of its worst security breach of the year (up from £35 - £65k a year ago)

Full survey available from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads

Cyber_security_policyISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS)
Every business should be taking precautions and assessing the risks of cyber crime by putting in place a written security policy.

The ISO 27001 information security standard is one way of protecting your business from future attacks. Certification will introduce a management structure to identify risks to your business. It will also establish a plan to recover from a breach should the worst happen.

Taking precautions to prevent a breach before it happens is more cost effective than recovering from an incident given the fact that costs for dealing with events are continuing to increase.

Direct costs to get your business back on track after a breach are not the only implications. Reputation with clients, compensation pay outs and, as in the case of TalkTalk, a drop in their share value, could have a devastating effect on the future of a business.

Certification provides peace of mind and demonstrates your company’s commitment to security of information.

 
ISO_CertificationCertification to any of the ISO standards provides tangible benefits for your organisation. If you want to grow your business, increase profits and operate more efficient working practices, achieving certification will help, as well as giving you an edge over your competitors.

Whether you operate locally or globally, the standards are recognised worldwide and are relevant to all sizes of business.

Other benefits include:
  • Improved internal processes and efficiency
  • Reduced waste resulting in environmental benefits and cost savings
  • Increased sales
  • Better access to new markets
  • Industry expert consultants providing guidance

Next steps

When choosing a certification body, it is worth pointing out that you should check they are UKAS accredited. UKAS has government recognition and is licensed by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). You can be sure to receive the most appropriate advice by choosing a UKAS accredited certification body. Your long-term success could be undermined if you use an independent evaluation service.

Continual improvement

After successfully completing your first audit, your assessor will set up a process to monitor and improve systems and arrange regular (six monthly or annual) surveillance visits.

These visits will ensure your management systems remain effective and continue to meet the standard.
Ongoing checks will help to maintain your conformity and make your next certification renewal assessment run as smoothly as possible.

To find out more call ACS Registrars (a UKAS Accredited Certification Body - No. 0229).

 
Many businesses operate quite successfully without being ISO certified; however in today’s crowded market place, being certified by a UKAS accredited certification body can give you a competitive edge. It may even be a requirement before you can start the relationship.

Goldfish_jumping_continual_improvementFor example, if you are looking to access new markets, getting certified will give potential customers confidence in your management systems and your ability to meet their requirements. The standards are international and are therefore recognised across global markets.

When you have a robust management system in place, your business will be able to streamline operations and improve productivity that will help to increase profits.

By assessing risks from natural disasters, accidents, cyber-crime or mismanagement, you will be able to mitigate their impact on your business.

Environmental disasters get much more publicity these days and keeping ahead of regulations and legislation is more important than ever. Demonstrating your commitment to reducing the impact that your operations have on the environment will enhance your reputation with your employees and customers.

There are a wide range of international standards available for organisations of all types and sizes and you can select the most relevant for your business.

The ISO standard or standards that you choose to meet your particular needs will help to meet the everyday challenges and risks faced by all organisations.

These are some of the more popular standards available:
  • ISO 9001     Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001     Environmental Management Systems
  • OHSAS 18001     Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
  • ISO 27001     Information Security Management Systems
  • PAS 43         Safe Working of Vehicle Breakdown and Recovery Operators
  • NHSS 17     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery at Highway Construction Sites
  • NHSS 17b     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery and Removal on Controlled Roads
  • PAS 80         Automotive Garage Services - Service and Repair of Vehicles
  • HACCP         Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems

The benefits to businesses are wide ranging and will provide a management system and structure that will help your business to become more efficient and sustainable.

Do you need ISO certification? Call us for a free, no obligation discussion to find out which ISO standard you need for your business. We are a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

 

megabus_italyLeading international transport operator Stagecoach Group launched a new network of inter-city coach services in Italy in June 2015 under its megabus.com brand as part of continuing expansion across mainland Europe.

The new network, launched by Italy's Deputy Transport Minister Riccardo Nencini, links 13 destinations across the country with bargain fares from just €1. The major new network of inter-city coach services covers Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Turin, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Sarzana (La Spezia) and Pisa. As part of its commitment to high standards of customer service, megabus.com has invested in an €11million fleet of 23 state-of-the-art coaches offering free Wifi, power sockets, air conditioning and toilets.

In addition to boosting public transport, tourism and the economy, megabus.com is investing in Italy by creating around 100 new jobs through the opening of new bases near Milan and in Florence.

megabus.com worked with ACS Registrars Ltd on certification to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system standard to support its entry into the Italian market.

Companies meeting the ISO standard consistently provide products that meet customer needs as well as relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. megabus.com carries more than 15 million passengers a year across Europe and North America. The number of passengers using the company’s growing coach network in Europe is up more than 60% in the past year.

Recent events have again focused attention on workplace health and safety, as investigators from the Health and Safety Executive have been questioning the owners and employees about a specific high-profile accident.

The latest statistics from the HSE website make grim reading:

•    1.2 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
•    2,538 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2013)
•    142 workers killed at work (2014/15)
•    78,000 other injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
•    629,000 injuries at work from the Labour Force Survey
•    28.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
•    £14.2 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2012/13)

("Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence". http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics)

OHSAS_StatsIf you are found guilty of health and safety offences in a magistrate's court, you could face fines of up to £20,000 and/or up to 12 months imprisonment. Conviction in a Crown Court can result in an unlimited fine and/or a period of imprisonment of up to two years.

Limit your risks and protect your employees
OHSAS 8001 is the internationally recognised management system for assessing and auditing occupational health and safety.

Achieving OHSAS 8001 will help protect your employees from work related illness or injury and help to ensure they don’t add to the above figures.

Benefits of OHSAS 8001 certification include:

•    Keeps your company up to date with the latest regulations.
•    Limits the risk of prosecutions and fines.
•    Confirms your commitment to the health and safety of your employees.
•    Improves your company’s reputation with existing customers and when tendering for new business.
•    Increases employee morale.

By implementing a robust management system you will minimise the risk of prosecution and improve productivity by reducing potentially expensive disruptions.

The standard applies to all industries and all sizes of business. For more information, call us to discuss the certification process.

 
What does ISO 14001 cover?
ISO_14001_environmental_managementThe standard has been developed to provide an audited management process to help organisations reduce their impact on the environment by recycling, saving energy and meeting regulatory requirements.

The ISO 14001 standard can be implemented across all industry sectors and from small businesses to multi-nationals. It will provide an Environmental Management System (EMS) that will benefit the organisation’s reputation, efficiency and customer relations as well as helping the environment.

Benefits of ISO 14001 certification
Achieving certification will establish better management systems for identifying environmental risks and minimising the impact of operations and processes carried out by the organisation. There are also economic benefits to be had from making these environmental improvements. As well as the obvious cost reductions from minimising waste, improving efficiency and lower use of natural resources, there are the intangible advantages of public, employee and customer perception of the organisation.

By communicating your commitment to achieving ISO 14001 and demonstrating a responsible attitude towards the environment, you will gain an advantage over competitors who are not certified, when tendering for new business. You will also enhance your reputation with existing clients. If you operate in global markets the standard is recognised throughout the world and will help you to meet their individual market environmental regulations.
Your organisation will benefit from a robust management system that will reduce risks, prevent incidents and increase awareness of environmental issues to your employees.

 
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