Make you stand out


20 January 2015

Share this

Case Study: Clearwater Fire Services

ISO 9001

Clearwater Fire Solutions specialises in bespoke services to address commonly encountered problems within deluge fire protection systems and associated infrastructure. Based in Aberdeen, the company consists of a team of engineers, field technicians and highly competent in-house staff to deliver solutions both on and offshore.

With compliance at the heart of what the company provides, ISO 9001 was seen as a natural step. Thanks to previous experience with the quality standard, Clearwater achieved certification in under a month.

The challenge

For any new business, it’s imperative to have the right foundations in place so growth doesn’t become a burden. ISO 9001 is seen as a tried and trusted method of achieving this, whilst Clearwater Fire Solutions were also aware that the quality management standard would be a requirement in order to work with clients too. Managing Director Andrew Turl expanded on why he felt ISO 9001 was so important for his business;

Cleawater achieve ISO 9001

“As a relatively new business, we wanted to put the building blocks in place at an early stage. Achieving ISO 9001 at the beginning of the company’s life enables us to ensure our processes and procedures are correctly established and adhered to.  It also takes us one step closer to becoming FPAL (vendor approval process) registered which is an expectation for contractors to the Oil & Gas Industry. Achieving ISO 9001 is a statement of intention from our business as well as our first major milestone.”

Whilst Andrew and his team had many other challenges to overcome in order to get the company established, fortunately Andrew had previous experience in dealing with both ISO 9001 and BAB at previous companies. This meant that, even before BAB had arrived, Clearwater was committed to demonstrating that they provide a quality service. Andrew said;

“Having already worked with BAB on ISO 9001 certification for two previous companies it was an easy choice. They were extremely supportive and helpful so using any other certification body was never an option.”

The solution

The start of the certification process begins with an initial Stage 1 visit by a BAB assessor. As part of this, a Gap Analysis is included so new companies like Clearwater can ascertain exactly what areas they need to work on before they are ready for their formal audit. Andrew recalled the experience;

“Working on ISO 9001 for the first time was quite daunting; at that point we had no documentation or filing system in place so we had to start completely from scratch. Our assessor walked us through all of the requirements with great detail, enabling us to structure the business in a manageable way with the creation of appropriate processes and practices.”

As Clearwater were left to prepare for their certification audit, Andrew went on to explain the approach after their first visit;

“From that point on, we became so much more organised and efficient. Having already had good in depth knowledge of ISO 9001, this time round was somewhat easier. Although our Gap Analysis showed there were still some areas that require improvement, which is what 9001 is all about – continuous improvement.”

Once both Clearwater and their dedicated auditor were happy, they were then recommended for the all important Stage 2 audit. Whilst perfection isn’t expected, this is where ultimately companies must demonstrate they meet all of the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. Andrew looked back at his experience of the audit;

Clearwater specialise in the oil and gas industry

“Whilst straight-forward, we were fortunate to have an experienced and pragmatic auditor in Derrick Ross.  Whilst we felt we had covered all bases, when the audit went into greater detail, several keys areas were highlighted requiring more information. It showed the need for attention to detail and provided food for thought when it came to demonstrating continual improvement. We now see several areas in which we could implement processes to allow us to capture information, making us more cost efficient, whilst delivering a better service to clients.”

The results

In circumstances such as Clearwater’s, where achieving ISO 9001 quickly was important, good communication between all parties was imperative in ensuring certification was awarded in a matter of weeks. Now the company is in a strong position with those stable foundations in place. Andrew explained;

“The benefits of certification are going to be huge to our company. It allows us to install a management structure with areas of responsibility throughout the organisation. It shows a commitment to improvement and monitoring, which are key areas of focus for both us and our clients.”

Andrew added;

“The service we received from BAB has been outstanding. From the initial call through to our audit, the whole process happened quickly; around 4 weeks in total. There was plenty of dialogue between BAB and ourselves and we were kept informed of progress throughout.”

Find out more about us

Return to article overview

Have a look at our services

More about The British Assessment Bureau

Next entry:

Previous entry:


We have been able to show that we have the appropriate environmental management systems in place which has enabled us to win public sector contracts. Mascot Management

View all of our testimonials


Have a question or need more information?

Send us an email

+65 6733 6064