Talk Talk

There's been a lot of talk about online security of late. You've probably heard about the 'cyber attack' that wreaked havoc on TalkTalk's database last week, leaving customer's personal details potentially vulnerable; today, it's being reported that private customer details were, for a short while, visible to people using the Marks & Spencer website.

At the present time, it's not clear whether or not the M&S website was breached by external forces, but the TalkTalk incident alone is proof enough that information security must be a crucial concern for all modern businesses. Customer details, if held, must be held securely; failure to do this may result in a loss of trust, a loss of business, and a loss of revenue in the event of a data breach (for instance, a lot of TalkTalk customers have been frantically trying to change their phone and broadband suppliers in the wake of the attack).

In this respect, recent events all serve to highlight the importance of a robust information security management system. The global ISMS standard is ISO 27001, and working towards ISO 27001 certification is a very good way to ensure that your company's information is safe, secure, and protected at all stages by an airtight management process.

If you want to avoid a data breach of your own, we recommend that you contact NPT Management Systems today - we will help you design and implement an ISO-compliant information security management system that keeps your information (and, more importantly, that of your clients) safe from security breaches and leaks.

For less experienced individuals, implementing an ISO-compliant quality management system and applying for ISO 9001 certification can be a complex and involved process. It can often be time-consuming, requiring numerous changes to behaviours and processes with an organisation, and the best approach is usually to collaborate with an experienced ISO consultant. A chartered quality professional will be able to make sure that your QMS is set up efficiently, supporting the strategic direction of your company; they will also ensure that your application for ISO certification is properly submitted and provide additional support during your ISO 9001 certification audit.

However, if all you need for now is a general idea of the ISO 9001 requirements, here's a rough list of what's needed:

  • Quality Policy. A well-written Quality Policy, in alignment with strategic direction of the company, helps to set the scene for interested stakeholders and communicates a strong message of intent.

  • Although it is not a requirement of ISO 9001:2015, we still recommend the use of a Quality Manual. The Quality Manual (or equivalent document) should set out the aims and scope of your quality management system and provide general guidance on the structure of the QMS.

  • Documented quality management procedures. To quality for ISO 9001 certification, you must be able to demonstrate that you not only have a quality management system in place, but that it also supports the business. This is quite often done via careful documentation, which must meet the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. Documented procedures also make great training documents, which brings us to the next requirement...

  • Staff training. Part of implementing a successful quality management system is identifying and delivering any training that may be required by the people involved. This can mean anything from an informal training session that brings all staff up to date with the company's quality management processes to accredited ISO training that helps employees to take active involvement in the procedures of the QMS.

If you would like to achieve ISO 9001 certification for your business, please contact NPT Management Systems now - our experienced ISO 9001 consultants will help you to meet all the necessary requirements and get certified first time.

The family of standards known as ISO 9001 was recently revised for the first time since 2008 (read our blog about it here). The new version, dubbed ISO 9001:2015, is now in effect, meaning that your quality management system will need to meet the updated standards for your business to retain its ISO 9001 certification.

As of ISO 9001:2015's introduction three weeks ago, ISO 9001-certified businesses have three years to update their practices and migrate their quality management systems to ensure that they are in full compliance with the new set of standards. Failure to do this within the allotted time period will result in the expiration of your business's ISO-certified status, so it's a good idea to make any necessary changes and get re-certified sooner rather than later (just to be on the safe side!)

If you're ready to review your quality management system and bring it into line with ISO 9001:2015 standards, we at NPT Management Systems are the people to call. Our qualified ISO 9001 consultants will help you to identify and implement any necessary changes; we will also assist with the re-certification process, ensuring that your business retains its ISO certification for the forseeable future.

Click here to get in touch with NPT Management Systems, or visit our ISO 9001:2015 page to learn more about the new set of standards.

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Based in Southampton, we at NPT Management Systems are the top ISO 9001 consultants in Hampshire. We help businesses throughout the county (as well as in Dorset, Sussex and the surrounding areas) to design and implement quality management systems that comply with the requirements of the ISO 9001 standard. After implementation, we then help those businesses to achieve ISO certification with a UKAS-accredited certification body such as BSI, LRQA, SGS or ISOQAR.

We are more than just Chartered Quality Professionals - we are also experts in Process Improvement techniques such as Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma.

Why choose NPT Management Systems?

  • Our principal ISO 9001 consultant, Neil Peattie, is a Chartered Quality Professional and a Lead Auditor for ISO 9001 series

  • We are conveniently located in Southampton, and our office is easily accessible from anywhere in Hampshire

  • We have helped numerous businesses to achieve ISO certification, and we cover a diverse range of sectors (including defence, recruitment, marine, engineering, and manufacturing)
  • We have a fantastic track record - just visit our Testimonials page!

Click here to get in touch with NPT Management Systems, or find out more about the ISO 9001 certification services we provide throughout Hampshire and beyond.