How long will it take to get triple certified?

 

Government and corporate clients often require or prefer their suppliers to have certified management systems for Quality (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001), and Health and Safety (either OHSAS 18001 or a national standard such as AS/NZS 4801). Certification can provide a competitive edge that makes all the difference in the marketplace.

We are often asked "How long will it take to get certified?" That is never an easy question to answer because it depends on a number of factors. A Qudos client has recently achieved triple certification in just a short space of time. This article gives you the details.

Government and corporate clients often require or prefer their suppliers to have certified management

systems for Quality (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001), and Health & Safety (either OHSAS 18001 or a national standard such as AS/NZS 4801). Whilst having a formal management system in place offers many advantages to businesses, certification of the system can provide an extra competitive edge that makes all the difference in the marketplace.

We are often asked “How long will it take to get certified?” That is never an easy question to answer because it depends on a number of factors, including:

• The size and complexity of the business
• The level of risk involved in its activities (particularly in relation to safety and environmental issues)
• Any systems already in place (however informal, it’s likely that any well-run organisation already has some required controls in place)
• The level of commitment by senior management
• Available resources (internal and external)
• The method chosen to develop and maintain the system

Realistically, an organisation should probably allow anywhere up to 18 months for the project – depending on the factors listed above. However, in the case of Waterstop Solutions, their system was developed, implemented, and certified in just 6 months! The following is a brief summary of their story.

Waterstop Solutions is a specialist leak sealing and concrete repair contractor, based in Brendale, Queensland. Since its inception in 2009, the company has grown into a well-respected specialist (being involved in such notable projects as the Kimberley Park and Eildon Hill reservoirs, and Brisbane’s Clem 7 and Airport Link tunnels).

Waterstop Solutions approached Qudos in late 2012 for advice and assistance in developing an IMS (Integrated Management System) for the business. Qudos consultant Heather Adcock performed an initial gap analysis, and then guided Waterstop management and personnel through the process of system development and implementation. She said: “The commitment shown by the Management Representative and Senior Management was crucial to the success achieved. When I suggested that something was done, the next time I visited - it was done”.

Relevant policies and procedures were developed, and then implemented – with workers being introduced to them via regular toolbox meetings. A number of small – but important - practical measures were put in place to ensure health & safety compliance, and improved environmental protection. After a training session, a series of internal audits and a management review were performed. These are essential steps in fine-tuning the system and achieving continuous improvement (and mandatory to attain certification). Just before Easter 2013, an audit was performed by SciQual International and certification to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and AS/NZS 4801 was granted.

Waterstop Solutions’ Management Representative, Marilou Bone said “We couldn’t have done it without the support and guidance of Qudos. Their professionalism and continuous support has been invaluable”.

The system is managed using a cloud version of Qudos 3 software. The Waterstop success story illustrates that - with the right approach - implementing a system through to certification can certainly be done in a relatively short period of time. Even more importantly, it can be significant asset to maintain a marketing edge and sustainable business throughout the economic cycle.

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