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20 January 2015

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Case Study: North Tyneside VODA

ISO 9001

North Tyneside Voluntary Organisations Development Agency (VODA) is a registered charity providing advice, training, information and support to volunteers, voluntary and community groups working in North Tyneside. VODA’s role is to support, inform and represent volunteers and the voluntary and community sector in North Tyneside, and helps to encourage and develop networks and partnerships between the voluntary and community sector and others.

VODA has successfully maintained ISO 9001 certification with The British Assessment Bureau (BAB) since 2008.

The challenge

North Tyneside VODA imageAs Operations Manager, Phil Bagnall is responsible for monitoring and evaluating all aspects of VODA’s work. Phil brought his experience of implementing quality systems in the private sector over to VODA when he joined the organisation 12 years ago. With the recent economic climate and associated spending cuts, charities are facing increasing competition for limited funds. In addition to improving their internal systems, VODA realised the competitive edge that ISO certification could bring in securing future funding.

“Funding has become increasingly scarce over recent years and there has been a change in the way organisations like VODA are funded. ISO 9001 gives us a competitive edge when bidding for funds.”

The solution

BAB is proud to work with a large number of third sector organisations, and our service standards such as transparent, fixed-fee pricing and award-winning customer service make the process of implementing a quality management system far less daunting.

“We looked at a number of companies, but when we contacted BAB their response was very friendly and relaxed. We didn’t feel we were being pushed into buying their service and they seemed to understand how charities worked.”

Having worked with quality management standards in the private sector, Phil was initially wary of the amount of work involved in implementing the standard, however, he soon came to realise that BAB were on hand to allay those fears.

“I must admit to letting out a bit of a groan when our Board asked me to implement ISO 9001. However, the way in which the standard is applied and audited has changed significantly – it has become much simpler but without compromising the quality. So with the help of a dedicated BAB auditor the process was relatively straightforward.”

Once ready for a formal audit assessment, an assigned lead assessor made the required arrangements for an Audit to take place. Phil says of his experience;

“ISO 9001 is all about continually improving your service, and that is how we approach the audit. If the auditor can suggest ways to make our processes better then we’ll always take that on board.”

The results

BAB is committed to helping clients progress and achieve outstanding results through the application of effective standards and management best practice. The benefits of this include a more motivated workforce, less re-work and increased customer satisfaction. Clients tell BAB that gaining certification can also help to gain funding, qualify for tenders and set them apart from competitors. Phil says,

“ISO 9001 gives us extra points when tendering for contracts. We have also been approached directly by a number of funders and I think the certification gives them confidence that we are going to do a good job which, in turn, reflects well on them and their ability to reach their social objectives.”

The final word

“I think the BAB are just so easy to work with – it makes a world of difference.”


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