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Following the government's ban on microbeads in cosmetics at the end of 2017 and the increase in awareness about the damage done by plastic found in our oceans, businesses and consumers will have to take up the challenge of reducing the pollution in our seas.

Plastic-wasteGlobal plastic production is expected to double over the next few decades.

There are already an estimated 11.1 billion plastic items entangled on reefs throughout the Asia-Pacific region*


With statistics like these, it is no wonder that governments and large corporations are now starting to act.

A variety of suggestions are being discussed including compostable plastic, eliminating single-use plastic and deposit return schemes.

China is now rejecting plastic waste from developed countries (since January 2018) due to most of the plastic being poor quality and ending up dumped or burned.

Therefore, solutions will have to be found quickly to reduce plastic pollution in our oceans.

ISO 14001 environmental management system
Organisations can contribute to reducing plastic pollution by implementing an effective system to manage the environmental impact of their operating processes.

ISO 14001 provides much more than a waste management system. It covers a broad scope to help you meet national and global environmental regulations and anti-pollution laws. Achieving certification to ISO 14001 will help you identify harmful effects on the environment caused by disposal of waste and set targets to minimise the impact. Additional benefits include:
  • Cost savings from reduced waste and consumption.
  • Providing an edge over your competitors when tendering.
  • Demonstrating your environmental credentials to your employees and customers.
The general public are more aware than ever about environmental issues and large multi-nationals are already seeing the benefits of being environmentally aware.

ISO 14001 proves your commitment to a cleaner world for all of us.

Integrating ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015
Revisions of two of the most popular standards are in place and all audits are now being done to the revised standard.

One of the changes in the revision was the ability to easily integrate different standards. If you already have ISO 9001 and would benefit from certification to ISO 14001, the common structure is going to be the same under the revised standards. This will make it much easier to meet the requirements under one integrated management system.

Now would be a good time to consider improving your environmental credentials by adding ISO 14001 to your certifications.

*Research by Cornell University
 
There are only 6 months to go before the transition deadline of the most globally recognised standards ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. New versions of ISO 9001:2015 quality management and ISO 14001:2015 environmental management come into effect in September 2018. Companies certified to the old standards ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 will be assessed to the revised standards from March 2018.

If your organisation relies on these standards to do business, this may affect your ability to supply your products or services to all your markets.  Your old certification will be invalid after September 2018.
Any audits you have booked between March and September 2018 will be to the revised standards.
Most businesses that rely on these standards should have moved to the new standards as their re-certification became due over the last 3 year’s transition period leading up to September 2018.

If your re-certification falls between now and September 2018 (or after September 2018) and you have not yet started your transition planning to the new standards, you need to talk to us straight away to start the process immediately.

Ideally, you need to have started planning for the transition already to allow enough time to take any corrective actions required.

It may not be too late, but time is running out.

What to do next
Talk to your assessor straight away and obtain a copy of the new standards.
One of the main areas of change is Annex SL.
Annex SL is a Guidance Document, explaining the new high-level structure/format that all new ISO Management Standards must now follow.
It dictates that the structure of all revised and future standards will change, by creating standards that have:
  • Identical clause and sub-clause titles and numbers
  • Identical text and common terminologies
  • Common core definitions
This common approach to ISO Management Standards will make it easier for an organisation to create a single Management System, known as an Integrated Management System (IMS).

Annex SL format
1. Scope
2. Normative references
3. Terms and definitions
4. Context of the organisation
5. Leadership
6. Planning
7. Support
8. Operation
9. Performance evaluation
10. Improvement

Call ACS Registrars on 0121 241 2299 to talk to one of our team

ISO_9001_2015_and_ISO_14001_15_transition
 
The transition to ISO 9001:2015 is now in its final year.

When ISO 9001:2015 was introduced in September 2015, organisations were given 3 years to update to the new version.

As the three-year transition for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 moves into its final year, IAF (the International Accreditation Forum) has passed a resolution that as of 15th March 2018, Certification Bodies must conduct all ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 initial surveillance and recertification audits to the new versions - ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.

ISO_9001_Review_transition_period_running_outWhat does this mean?
Any audits you have booked between March and September 2018 will need to be to the revised standards, as failure to achieve certification to the 2015 standards by the expiry deadline in September 2018 will result in your certification no longer being valid. This may affect your ability to supply to all your markets.

Time is running out, if you rely on ISO 9001 certification to maintain your supplier status with your key customers and you have not yet made the transition to the 2015 standard.

If you leave it too late you run the risk that your auditors will not be able to fit you into their increased workload.

UKAS accredited ISO 9001 certification
Not all Certification Bodies (CBs) are UKAS accredited. This means that the CB issuing your certificate has not been audited and accredited by UKAS.

This could have implications for future contracts and orders with your customers. For example, one of your customers may have won a new contract to supply a major project that requires them and their suppliers to hold UKAS approved ISO certificates. Not having a UKAS certificate could mean losing the contract or having to modify your existing procedures to comply with an audit to UKAS standards.

Many multi-national organisations and central and local government departments will require their suppliers throughout the supply chain to gain UKAS certification.

If you are thinking about the transition to ISO 9001:2015 and your current CB is not UKAS accredited, now may be a good time to move to one that is.

To find out if your certificate has been issued by a UKAS accredited CB, look for the crown and the tick.

UKAS is the sole UK national accreditation body recognised by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to assess against internationally agreed standards.

For more information or to get your transition started, please talk to one of our team on 0121 241 2299.

Gaining certification to any of the recognised standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 amongst others, requires time and resources. You will want to make sure that the Certification Body (CB) issuing your certificate is suitably qualified to provide the best service for your business.

Achieving certification will benefit your entire organisation and, if done properly, can improve the prospects and profitability of your company. It is therefore, important to check that your certification body is experienced and has been through regular audits themselves, like the audits you must go through.

UKASUKAS – United Kingdom Accreditation Service
If you do not see the UKAS tick and crown logo on your certificate, this means your Certification Body (CB) has not been Accredited by UKAS for the scope of your Certification.

UKAS is the sole UK national accreditation body recognised by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) to assess, against internationally agreed standards.

There is no legal requirement for a Certification Body to be UKAS accredited and some CBs choose to provide consultancy and certification under the same roof to streamline the process. However, UKAS and the IAF do not permit this and require UKAS accredited CBs to refrain from providing any consultancy services, to ensure that the value of Certification is kept as an impartial third-party process.

Checking that you are working with a UKAS accredited CB will ensure that your hard-earned resources are not wasted on certification that may not be recognised by your customers.

Why UKAS accreditation?
Not all certification is UKAS accredited. This means that the Certification Body issuing the certificate has not been audited and accredited by UKAS.

In the same way that you are regularly audited, UKAS is the auditor for UKAS accredited CBs who issue certificates.

By choosing a CB that has been UKAS accredited, you can be confident they are operating to recognised standards and are regularly audited to maintain compliance.

UKAS reviews the CBs management, policies and procedures for the standards they are audited on. They will only be audited on standards where they have proven industry knowledge. Any new industry standards they want to include in their portfolio have to go through the auditing process.

Benefits of UKAS accreditation
One of the many reasons for going through the process of certification is supplier demand. Many multi-national organisations and central and local government will require their suppliers to gain certification to maintain the quality of products and services throughout their supply chain.

For individual companies in the supply chain, this means establishing management systems and frameworks to meet the relevant standard, then continuously monitoring and improving processes to maintain certification.

The benefits to your business of achieving certification from a UKAS accredited CB include:

  • Quality of audit is based on recognised standards.
  • Audit will be impartial.
  • Auditor will have knowledge of your industry.
  • Management systems will be established using best practise within your industry.
  • Increased efficiency and cost savings.
  • Access to new markets at home and abroad because UKAS accredited certificates are recognised worldwide.
Contact us to find out more about ISO certification.
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.
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.
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.

 
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.
 
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).

 

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.

The ISO 9001 standard is being revised to ensure this internationally recognised standard maintains its relevancy to current business and industry requirements. ISO standards are reviewed every 5 years to decide whether a change is necessary and ISO 9001 is currently going through the drafting and voting process.

The Draft has now reached stage 5 of a 6 stage process and is currently going through the approval stage. Once members have approved the draft, a final publication will be expected by the end of 2015.

ISO_9001_updateWhat are the main changes?
We have covered a detailed review of the proposed changes on our website.

Nigel Croft, Chair of the ISO subcommittee revising the standard, said: "We are on the right track, and we are on schedule for publication.

"The new version is very strongly based on three basic core concepts: that process approach which was very successful in the 2008 version of the standard superimposed on that system of processes is the plan-do-check act methodology, and a third core concept which is new in the 2015 version is risk based thinking, aiming at preventing undesirable outcomes."

From what we know so far, these are the main changes:
  • To improve integration of ISO 9001 with other management systems
  • Risk management is given greater consideration and documented in most sections
  • Importance of effective communication throughout the organisation is emphasised

How does this affect you?
You don’t need to do anything until the new edition of the standard is published. We will then review the new standard and compare the changes. Keep reading our Blog for more information.
 

ISO_9001_international_standardThe leading international standard ISO 9001 is being revised and will be published around the end of 2015. With over 1.1 million certificates worldwide, ISO 9001 is one of the most recognised standards, providing organisations with a management system that will streamline processes, maintain efficiency and increase productivity.


ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) are responsible for a wide range of international standards covering all aspects of technology and manufacturing. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, they have published more than 19,500 international standards covering almost every industry.


ISO standards are reviewed approximately every 5 years to ensure they meet the changing marketplace and maintain compatibility with other ISO standards.


Keeping up to date with the latest standards will maintain your organisation’s competitive edge in today’s global marketplace.


What does this mean for ISO 9001 registered organisations?
You will have a 3 year transition period to prepare and migrate your quality management system to the new edition so you need not make any changes to your existing system until the final draft is published.


ISO 9001 is currently at the final draft international stage and awaiting comments; it will then be put forward to the member countries for voting.


We anticipate that existing management systems of ISO 9001:2008 should conform to the 2015 version with just some minor adjustments.


You may want to start planning for its implementation in advance; therefore we have created a short PowerPoint presentation to give you an overview of the expected changes. Please call Chris McMillan on +44 (0)121 241 2299 for a copy.


What is expected to change?
From the drafts that are available, we expect a shift in focus with three main changes being identified as follows:

Risk management

  • Identification of risk and risk control
  • Focus on risk based thinking

Standardisation

  • Improved integration and implementation with other management systems and standards


No exclusions

 

  • There is no reference to permissible exclusions in the 2015 revision
  • An organisation may decide if a requirement is not applicable, providing it does not result in nonconformity


For a more detailed breakdown please call Chris McMillan on +44 (0)121 241 2299 for a copy of our PowerPoint presentation.