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ISO 9001: 2015 – Act now not Later!

March 26, 2015

The new 9001 standard is likely to be published sometime in December 2015. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until January 2016 to start to think about the changes you need to make to your management system.

The new version of the standard is a huge improvement, and means that ISO 9001 will become the business management and improvement standard that it was always intended to be.

So why wait until 2016…or later? Yes, you will have 3 years to make the full transition, but the benefits of the new standard far out weigh the effort needed to update your management system.

Currently, I am actively working on 3 separate projects that include ISO 9001, and each one incorporates the new version of the standard. It really is a fantastic update, and my clients deserve the best management system that is as future-proof as possible.

So what are you waiting for?

Benefits of the new ISO 9001: 2015

March 23, 2015
  • Bringing Quality and Continuous Improvement into the heart of your business

The revised standard will ensure that quality management is now completely integrated and aligned with the business strategies of your organisation

  • Leadership

Greater involvement in the management system by the leadership team will ensure the whole organisation will be motivated towards the organizations goals and objectives.

  • Introduction of Risk & Opportunity Management

Reinforces use of the management system as a governance tool and will help identify business opportunities that contribute to bottom line improvements.

  • An Integrated Approach

With the new structure applicable to all new ISO management systems standards it will be much easier to implement multiple, integrated management systems.

The new ISO 9001 standard

March 20, 2015

I have been asked several times recently about the proposed changes to the ISO 9001: 2008 standard, and so, in response I will post a series of communications that summarise these changes so that you are aware of what is coming and potentially, the plans you need to be making.

For now though, the key changes in the proposed standard for ISO 9001: 2015, based on the Draft International Standard, published in May 2014, are:

  • The emphasis on leadership
  • The focus on risk management
  • Emphasis on objectives, measurement and change
  • Communication and awareness
  • Fewer prescriptive requirements.

Keep an eye on my blog for more detailed information soon.

Client Feedback

January 7, 2015

This week I congratulated a wonderful client from 2014 whom I had the pleasure of working with in Durham, in the health industry. This was Paula’s (Director) response:

Thanks for the congratulations Alistair and many thanks for all your support in achieving the ISO9001 – Looking forward to advertising the fact that we can apply for all NHS contracts now as well as boosting the full status of NIHP in Durham ! We really do take sports injury and back pain very seriously and professionally. Contact us if you have been in pain and want a rapid and effective treatment package. Thanks again Alistair Pleasure working with you.  Paula Esson.

Why You Should be Working with Standards

December 9, 2014

standards1There are 1000’s of standards out there, covering almost everything imaginable. Last week I read about how the bungee-jumping industry is creating a standard to standardise best practice and mitigate risks! So it is very likely that standards exist for whatever it is that your business provides.

Business standards exist to provide confidence in our products and our services. They influence decision-makers.

Here are 7 considerations for you:

  1. Using standards helps organisations improve the quality of their products and services, leading to more satisfied customers and a more profitable business.
  2. Standards are an effective way to convince potential customers that you meet the highest and most widely respected levels of quality, service and reliability.
  3. Complying with standards provides businesses with competitive advantage when bidding in a tender process.
  4. Standards help protect your reputation, for example, data protection, environmental responsibility and business continuity.
  5. Increasing your standards will improve productivity and efficiency. You will experience fewer mistakes, less fire-fighting and reduced workplace stress.
  6. Using standards is the best way to ensure your business meets the necessary regulation requirements. Keep legal, and keep peace of mind!
  7. Finally, if you are considering exporting, goods need to meet specifications defined by EU directives, and perhaps bear the CE mark – standards help with this process by making sure you understand what is required and providing a blueprint to follow.

So, perhaps in 2015 you will consider the use of standards to improve your business internally, but also externally and use them to attract and win new contracts, tenders and new customers.

How Resilient is your Business?

December 1, 2014

bs65000Introducing BS 65000:2014 – Guidance for Organisational Resilience

Resilience is crucial for any organisation to survive and prosper. But what exactly is resilience and how can it be improved?

The answer is contained within a new standard, BS 65000, which describes the nature of resilience and ways to build and enhance resilience in your company.

BS 65000 defines organisational resilience as the ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to events – both sudden shocks and gradual change. That means being adaptable, competitive, agile and robust. I struggle to think of a company who wouldn’t want to be resilient!

One way to improve resilience is by integrating and coordinating the various operational disciplines in an organisation, and so BS 65000 draws on other standards relating to these disciplines (such as ISO 22301). The standard recognises that it is essential to build resilience not only within an organisation but across networks and in partnership with others.

In short, BS 65000:
• clarifies the meaning of resilience
• highlights the key components of resilience
• helps an organisation to measure its resilience and make improvements
• identifies good practice found in other disciplines and defined in existing standards

BS 65000 will be very valuable to anyone responsible for building resilience in their company. Potential benefits of working with this new standard include:

  • Adapt/improvise successfully to unforeseen and disruptive changing business environments
  • Gain a competitive edge by identifying gaps and taking advantage of opportunities
  • Be more agile and innovative by learning from trends
  • Reduce costs and increase efficiency by avoiding potential pitfalls
  • Obtain a better understanding of risks and opportunities
  • Preserve and improve your reputation by being seen as vigilant and robust
  • Create trust amongst external clients and internally amongst staff
  • Promote a culture of shared purpose and values

For more information on the standard and how to gain these benefits, contact me on or 07986 442979

How to Use Process Documentation

November 4, 2014

In my last post I described how to document a business process. If you need help with understanding what to document, and why, visit this post and you will be ready to use the information you have captured.

So what now?

Documenting a process is the first step towards taking control of how things are done. By creating the document, you are creating transparency. That means that you have captured the best way to perform a series of activities, including how to do it, who performs it, etc. Implementing the process then generates consistency, meaning every time the process is performed, it is always executed in that way.

Here are a few ways to ensure your process documents add real business value:

  1. Transparency ensures that there is no hiding place! We can all see who is involved and how things are done. Use the documents to improve communication and eliminate the possibilities of people not knowing who/how.
  2. Manage risk. Risk is everywhere. We can’t eliminate it, but we can manage it. Your process documents highlight business risks, so implement solutions to mitigate them and prevent problem further down the line.
  3. Identify improvements. Now you know what’s involved in a process, identify what is taking the most time/where the bottlenecks are, what causes the stress and frustration felt by staff, what we can do more efficiently (making better use of IT for instance), and what activities we can stop doing.
  4. Train staff. Use the documents to train employees effectively. Being able to see how processes operate provides the basis for first class training.
  5. Challenge people to change/improve/re-design their processes.
  6. Build a library – a business management system, consisting of every process in the business, and measure performance.
  7. Use the documentation as the foundation for business standards, such as achieving certification to ISO 9001.
  8. Audit the processes. Follow them in real-time and see how they are performing. Bring a fresh pair of eyes to each process and identify better ways to work.

Are you using your process documents effectively? How are your processes adding value?


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