The prospect of gaining certification (often wrongly called accreditation) to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 or other standards fills most people with foreboding. Yet, many companies have started to realise that they will lose out if they do not have certification and we know of many who have already lost business because they are not certified.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult.  The comments shown here are just three of the many we receive from companies we have helped gain certification without the fuss and extra workload that people perceive that will encounter.

Health & Safety, Environmental and QA Services and Systems


ISO without the agony

Far from being a burden, sensible ISO systems can be used as a tool to drive improvements and gain major benefits for your business.

And, with well over 150 certifications under our belt, Strategic Safety Systems is the company who deliver the goods with the minimum of fuss.

So what are the perceived problems?

“ISO 9001 will involve us in lots of extra work.”
No, it’s not necessary for there to be lots of additional work.  It’s simply a case of “saying what you do and then doing what you say.”  And the INTACT system, which is unique SSS software, does the hard work for you and gives meaningful management information.  What’s more, it enables you to have a paperless system.
“I've heard about ISO systems and they involve masses of paperwork and time.”
This is a common myth and is what I call the BS 5858 curse. Once upon a time, this may have been true and you do find people out there who seem to love complex (and unworkable) systems. We, at SSS, cut through all of that and provide systems that require little effort to run and enable you to derive some major benefits. In fact, a reasonable proportion of our 9001 business involves mending existing systems. 
We end up with a big, thick, wordy manual.”
No, SSS systems use simple flowcharts and the manual is quite slim. For example, a procedure for a key manufacturing process may be only a couple of pages.  The most lengthy procedure we did, for a company producing complex capital equipment, ran to 9 pages of mainly flowcharts.

So, what is the SSS approach and what will SSS do for us?

The SSS approach involves us:

  • Working with your people to understand and document your existing
    processes, and fill in any gaps.
  • Providing software to manage issues that may arise.
  • Helping with any internal audits or training, if desired.
  • If required, liaising with the certification body

What does the software do?

INTACT, which is an Integrated Action management system is used to manage:

and to provide action plans and management information arising from these. So, you don’t have to have lots of documents and spreadsheets one often sees in typical ISO systems.
And management information is the click of a button away.

What are the steps?

Essentially there are two steps to gaining certification:

  • Setting up and implementing management systems as described above.
  • Being audited by a UKAS-accredited certification body.  This requires initial certification visits and then repeat visits to maintain certification.

How long does it all take and what are the costs?

Not very long, really, but it does of course, depend on the size of the company. We aim to get you started in the first month and then there is a UKAS requirement that you have to have the system running for 3 months. After that, there are 2 external audits, typically spread over a month. So, you should be aiming at 5 or 6 months from start to certification.
Costs obviously depend upon the compexity of the operations and the number of standard to be covered. An indicative cost would be that, for a company of say 25 people with simple operations, then the costs for ISO 9001, including INTACT would be of the order of £2500 to £3000.

Can systems be integrated?

Yes, the approach that SSS take from the outset is to structure systems so that they can be an integrated system to cover, or can be extended to cover, any combination of ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and other standards like FSC, PEFC or ISO 27001. 

How do I get more information?

More information is available as:

Or you can contact us.

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By Phil Chambers