Anchor Systems wanted a winning quality management system that would support their daily operations and integrate with the business as a whole. Here's how we helped them...

Anchor Systems (International) Ltd supply high-quality ground anchoring systems across the UK and in many countries throughout Europe. They first implemented a QMS (Quality Management System) back in 2007; this system met the requirements of ISO 9001 certification, but the company's management identified that, if the QMS was improved, it could be used to help them achieve their business objectives.

We were initially contacted by Hadley Smith, Operations Director at Anchor Systems. He tasked us with helping to design and implement a new, simpler to use QMS that would be embraced by the whole company and integrated with day-to-day operations.

Now, we're pleased to announce that we successfully achieved Anchor Systems' goal. Here's an excerpt from the five-star review we recently received from Hadley:

"We would 100% recommend NPT Management Systems. Neil's knowledge, enthusiasm, and ability to help implement our new QMS were quite frankly amazing.

"We have successfully been recommended for on-going ISO 9001 registration at our recent recertification audit, but more than that, we now have a QMS on our company server that is used by the whole company on a day-to-day basis.

"Our staff now have the system, tools, and training necessary to help us deliver the right products on time to our customers. Great job NPT."

Click here for more reviews from our previous clients, or contact us if you need help with your own quality management system.

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.

Following on from last week's big news (the ISO 14001 standard receiving its first update in over a decade), we're excited to announce that the latest edition of ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management systems, has now been published as well. This new revision, dubbed ISO 9001:2015, was released earlier today, and standards experts the world over are already poring over the changes that have been made.

What's new in ISO 9001:2015?

Here are some of the differences between ISO 9001:2015 and the previous version of this standard:

  • Enhanced compatibility with other management systems. One of the main aims of this revision is to make ISO 9001 more compatible with ISO 14001 and other management systems such as ISO 27001. The new version of ISO 9001 has a higher-level structure than its predecessor, making it easier for businesses to use multiple ISO management systems in conjunction with one another.

  • Stronger emphasis on "risk-based thinking". Official ISO literature highlights this as one of ISO 9001:2015's core concepts. A risk-conscious approach, the organisation has suggested, will help businesses to prevent "undesirable outcomes".

  • Less prescriptive, more performance-based. ISO 9001 has been growing less prescriptive with each new update; over the years, focus has gradually shifted away from rigorous documentation and towards the management process itself. ISO 9001:2015 continues in this tradition, with the revision touted as being less prescriptive than ever.

If you would like to learn more about the ISO 9001 update and what it might mean for your business, please get in touch with NPT Management Systems - we can help you to make sure that your management systems remain fully certified in the wake of this revision.

Image Credit: Isaac Bowen

Quality managment systems

Achieving ISO 9001 certification for your business doesn't need to be a nightmare. Here's a simple step-by-step guide to the entire process:

  • The first step is to get in touch with an ISO consultant such as those here at NPT Management Systems. Navigating the ISO certification process without expert assistance can be very difficult; an experienced consultant will walk you through the whole procedure, ensuring that you cover all bases and get certified on your first attempt.

  • After an initial consultation, your ISO consultant will help you to review your current business processes and design a quality management system that suits your enterprise. Ideally, the proposed system will fit around your existing processes, requiring minimal upheaval on your part.

  • The next step is to implement your quality management system. Again, a good ISO consultant will assist with this, ensuring that the new system is properly integrated at every step of your business's processes.

  • Once your ISO-compliant quality management system is in place, your ISO consultant will help you to choose and liaise with a UKAS-accredited certification body. They will assess your new system and, if all standards are met, award you ISO 9001 certification.

The above process also applies to other ISO standards such as ISO 14001 and ISO 27001. If you would like to achieve any form of ISO certification for your business, contact NPT Management Systems and arrange your free consultation now.