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20 January 2015

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Case Study: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

ISO 9001

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) is the professional body for all Environmental Health Practitioners. It is a registered charity that also operates a trading subsidiary. They provide information, evidence and policy advice to local and national government and environmental and public health practitioners in the public and private sectors. As an awarding body, the CIEH also provides qualifications, events, and support materials on topics relevant to health, wellbeing and safety to develop workplace skills and best practice. They have held ISO 9001 quality management certification since 2008.

Why ISO certification?

As a revered body with more than 10,000 members, the CIEH wanted to demonstrate to both members and customers that they were committed to quality management. With ISO 9001 being an internationally recognised standard, the CIEH were able to confidently choose an established solution which has already been implemented by more than 1 million organisations worldwide.

As with most BAB clients, the CIEH didn’t have a dedicated representative for managing quality, so it was Administration Manager Dee Jones who took on the responsibility for implementing ISO 9001 through to achieving certification.

Why BAB?

BAB has over 40 years experience in the assessment industry, with their reputation established in 1969 as a specialist in certification scheme management. Over the last two years, BAB has been able to boast a 99% client recommendation rating and are customer service award winners. This was reflected in Dee’s reason for choosing BAB, referring to “the friendly and informative support they provide.”

BAB pride themselves on being as straightforward as possible in their service delivery. Providing a Fixed Fee quotation, clients are made aware of all the costs upfront. This price is also guaranteed; no matter how many audits are required, the cost will not increase.

The certification process

Once an organisation decides to go ahead with their certification, they are assigned a Lead Assessor who remains the principal contact throughout the registration process and beyond. Prior to a formal Audit, the Lead Assessor visits to explain the standard and undertakes an initial assessment of the organisation’s current arrangements. The organisation then receives a detailed report including all required actions and, together with their Lead Assessor, determines an appropriate timetable for the Audit Assessment.

Although new to the standard, Dee explained how straightforward the implementation process proved;

“It was much easier than I expected – everything I needed to do was clearly explained by the Lead Assessor and I found that our systems were already well on the way to meeting the standard.”

Once an organisation is ready and has filled the gaps highlighted in the pre-Audit report, they are visited once more for the formal Audit. This will reveal the effectiveness of the management system and whether it meets all of the requirements of the standard. Dee went on to explain how the Audit went against initial preconceptions, saying;

“I found the audit process relatively simple if you utilise the feedback given; which I found very useful.”

Now, three years on from initially gaining certification to ISO 9001, Dee commented the highlight of the service from BAB is “The support given in achieving and maintaining the standard.”

Benefits of implementation

Successful organisations recognise that their claims are only truly credible when their credentials are validated by a respected third party. ISO standards also help bring a more motivated workforce, less costly re-work and increased client satisfaction. Being certified can also help companies to gain external finance, qualify for tenders and set them apart from competitors. In fact, 1 in 5 of BAB’s clients see an increase in new orders as a direct result of achieving ISO certification; according to findings from their most recent client satisfaction survey. No wonder then that 96% of clients would recommend ISO certification to others.

With the CIEH’s motivation for ISO 9001 certification being more focused around demonstrating a high level of customer service and quality of service, Dee commented “Showing our members and stakeholders that our management systems meet the quality standard” was the overwhelming benefit of implementing the standard.

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It has opened up markets and we have been able win tenders, without the ISO's we are not even eligible to submit a tender. Fine Turf

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