2 Feb, 2017
In this month’s edition read about the recent recognition for our apprentice scheme at the National Apprenticeship Awards, new funding opportunities for manufacturers and five reasons not to delay your ISO upgrade!
ISO Quality Services Ltd had a successful night on Friday 20th January 2017 at the National Apprenticeship Awards, as the company were Highly Commended in the category Small Employer of the Year. As finalists, ISO Quality Services Ltd are also once again to be featured in the Top 100 Apprentice Employers across the UK.
From the 1000 initial entries, 9 apprentices and 18 apprentice employers were chosen as finalists for the awards.
ISO Quality Services Ltd started their apprenticeship scheme in 2012 and have now supported six apprentices. In the last year, the business has taken on three new apprentices to join their growing team in St Johns, Worcester. They have taken on different roles in the company including Client Services, Finance, and Marketing.
They will be continuing to support apprenticeships in their area and are beginning to prepare for the upcoming National Apprenticeship Week running from 6th – 10th March 2017, another good opportunity to celebrate your apprentices’ contribution to the workplace.
Upon being awarded highly commended, Jennifer Appleton, Operations Director said:
“It is absolutely wonderful that we were able to make it to the national finals for the first time, and fantastic to be recognised as highly commended in this category. Myself and the team at ISO Quality Services Ltd would like to congratulate the winner of the Small Employer of the Year award, Ebsford Environmental Ltd, and also congratulations to Blu Sky Tax for making it to the final stage.
Our apprentices bring so many benefits to the business and it was a brilliant event to be a part of. I’d like to thank the National Apprenticeship Service and Unilever for sponsoring the Small Employer of the Year category.”
The standards are updated every few years to ensure they remain viable and reflective of the business practices of today. The standards are also revised to make sure core standards are in unison and similar aspects work together.
If you are currently running the ISO 9001 Quality Management System and/or the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System you now have until September 2018 to upgrade from the 2008 version to the new 2015 version.
Upgrading can be a bit daunting, and you could be tempted to put it off until as late as possible. But why would you? The standards are upgraded, based on feedback, to better the usability of the standard and make them more relevant.
There are many benefits of upgrading to the new 2015 versions, the top 5 being:
Your upgrade shouldn’t be feared, or seen as extra work – in fact the ISO 9001:2015 is designed to be simpler than its predecessor.
In order to upgrade, you simply need to familiarise yourself with the changes in the standards and devise an implementation plan – this could include additional training needs, organisational changes or new communication strategies.
If you are already a client of ISO Quality Services we will need to perform a gap analysis, from the old requirements to the new requirements and as usual will provide recommendations to help develop your policies and documents to be in line with the new standard. This can be done as part of your Internal Review and within 6 months you can be re-certified to the new standard.
If you already hold ISO 9001:2008 or ISO 14001:2004 and are UKAS accredited, we can also provide consultancy to help you transition towards the new version of either of these standards.
Grace is our resident upgrade expert and has already taken 150 of our clients through the upgrade procedure!
What is your biggest business asset? Your machinery? Your technology?
What makes your business different? You provide excellent customer service, or your products/services are of the highest quality?
But what powers your machinery, takes excellent care of your customer base and puts your products through rigorous quality controls – your staff. Your people are your most important asset, the real driving force behind your business, and they need to be developed. Sometimes they are the thing that can’t be replicated!
At a recent networking event a speaker used the analogy – you have a service plan in place for your photocopier, but what’s in place to maintain your staff that control the photocopier?
It is becoming increasingly important to maintain a good training plan for your staff and to focus on their learning and development. Not just for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the business as well.
Having regular and beneficial training, the investment helps the employees to develop in their careers whilst giving the business a highly skilled and flexible workforce. Training staff can result in better customer service, better work safety practises and improvements to productivity.
As well as this, businesses will demonstrate to their workforce that they value them enough to invest in them; this can increase loyalty and staff retention.
Training can take many forms and does not always have to be external. On the job training such as job shadowing can also be very beneficial. By spending time with an expert, it enables the employee to observe how they carry out their day-to-day duties and expand their competencies.
Training does not always have to be individual. Training as a group increases teamwork and can bring colleagues closer together. We offer bespoke courses on-site at your premises to help your whole team to understand certification and its impact.
To monitor staff development you could create a training register or simply a competency matrix to keep track of their learning. In fact, there is a requirement in the ISO 9001 standard for employees to be trained with the knowledge and skill necessary to do their jobs with quality.
Are your staff trained to manage their responsibilities within your ISO standards?
The funding is designed to support growth focused Manufacturing SMEs and can provide up to 35% towards the cost of new projects to facilitate growth. Through the program you could access funding in the region of £1400 towards the cost of supported projects.
The programme looks to support SMEs who are under 250 employees, have a turnover less than £50 million. In order to be eligible for the funding who also need to be able to show that you are looking to grow, either to increase turnover or aid in the creation of new jobs or products/services in your area.
The programme is looking to support SMEs based in the West Midlands; Yorkshire; and parts of the East Midlands and East of England.
Your application could potentially be processed 5 days after your grant application is completed, meaning that if applicable you could be able to stay working on projects within a week of receiving the go ahead.
This funding could be used to help with new machinery, ISO consultancy and certification or to help
implement new technologies.
For more information about the funding and to find out if you are eligible please contact Catherine Bray email@example.com.
How will your business cope with The Internet of Things, shift towards Personalised Products and Industry 4.0?
Location:Bristol & Bath Science Park, Dirac Crescent, Emersons Green, BS16 7FR
Wednesday 7th June
18 Hole Stableford Competition at Bransford Golf & Country Club, Worcester
The agenda for the day is a 9.45am registration with bacon butties, tea and coffee and the chance for networking before heading out to the course for a 10.30am tee off.
In the afternoon sit down to enjoy a one course meal followed by a prize giving presentation and charity raffle, before continuing networking until around 6.00pm.
The cost of the day will be £35.00 per player including a donation to our charity, the Midlands Air Ambulance.
On arrival, you will be given a complimentary pack of three ISO Quality Services golf balls and a limited number of buggies are available on a first come first served basis.
So if you would like to join us for a day on the green or for more information please email Hanna or call 01905 670303.
Also, share our Golf Day post on Twitter or LinkedIn and follow our page to be in with a chance of winning a 4-ball at The Vale Golf Club.
ISO news, training updates and offers, meet the ISO QSL team and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Receive a free case of wine or a £50 Marks & Spencer’s Voucher…..the choice is yours!
(To qualify for this you must refer a successful lead).
To offer your referrals please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01905 670303
ISO Quality Services Ltd are proud to specialise in the implementation and certification of the Internationally recognised ISO and BS EN Management Standards.
Alternatively, you can request a quote by filling out our enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.