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Posted on Monday 6th Feb 2017

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 We cannot on this one page answer all your questions about what Acton Jennings LLP is able to do to assist you with certification so any queries that remain unanswered please do not hesitate to contact our offices.

The procedure for dealing with the three standards we offer, ISO 9001 (quality standard), ISO 14001 
(environmental standard) and OHSAS 18001,  is essentially the same. 

Obtaining certification for any of the ISO standards develops through definite key stages. To be meaningful and to have a positive impact on your organisation there needs to  be a partnership between us and you. There are outfits that advertise certification for a fixed fee as though money were the only criterion to getting certification. It isn’t. What counts is a commitment to the process. It’s something we have. You have to decide if your organisation is also able to give that same level of commitment in terms of time and effort to achieving the standard.  That is something we can help you decide  by explaining just what work is needed for your organisation to achieve certification.

What this means in detail is set out below.

We arrange a face to face meeting with your nominated personnel to discuss your  requirements, outline the required levels of commitment, timescales and discuss costs.

At this meeting, we ask that you designate a staff member as liaison for the duration of the contract. 

Where you are and where you need to be - Gap Analysis
We would conduct an initial visit to your workplace to determine the current position as opposed to where you need to be to meet the requirements of the ISO Standard. At this visit we would Identify any previously completed work carried out by the you – for example policies, documented procedures, work instructions, risk assessments etc.

We then compile report setting out our findings.

There is a set fee for this meeting and report.

If the results of the feasibility study are positive, we would arrange a second meeting with your liaison manager and with other personnel as necessary to plan/schedule document review. How many further support visits are necessary is a matter for discussion between you and our ISO specialist. For example some clients would want our ISO specialist present at the external accreditation meeting. 

System documentation
Many of our clients will have produced documentation for use internally which is suitable for certification purposes. However as part of our service we can provide you  with examples of the necessary level of documentation to enable you  to incorporate this documentation into your own procedures

Implementation of the documented system

Having been provided with the necessary ISO required documentation, it is your responsibility to ensure the actions needed to implement the documentation are carried out within the timescales and to be able to demonstrate staff compliance at all levels of the business.

We would then agree timescales and the third party assessment process.

You are free to choose your own certification body from the number of organisations that offer the service e.g. Lloyds, BSI, SGS Yarsley. We have mostly worked with BSI.  Once the certification body is selected and we are all agreed that implementation is deemed to be ready, you should  contact the assessment body to begin the audit/assessment process. 

Implement the Internal audit process
Whilst working towards the first “external” assessment, the client should begin their own internal audit process. Acton Jennings is able to assist with this, if required. This is to allow the business to detect any problems first and correct them before the external assessment takes place. 

It is important to avoid the further costs incurred if a second assessor visit to your premises were required so money spent on an internal audit may be money well spent. 

Positive recommendation
A positive recommendation is given if all requirements are met. If Non-Conformances are identified and raised, further visits to close out Non-Conformances will be necessary until a positive recommendation can be given.

Certificates are usually available to download electronically within a few days of receiving the positive recommendation.

Once accredited businesses usually go into a three-yearly assessment cycle, with surveillance assessment or Continuing Assessment Visits - CAVs carried out every six to twelve months, depending on staff numbers and/or size of the business. After three years, a Strategic Review is conducted (essentially a recertification assessment) to determine continuing compliance.

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