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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_standards_1Existing 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-crime_1National 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.