150 episodes

Blackmores is a pioneering consultancy firm with a distinctive approach to working with our clients to achieve and sustain high standards in Quality, Risk and Environmental Management. We'll be posting podcasts discussing ISO standards here very soon!

The ISO Show Blackmores UK

    • Business
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Blackmores is a pioneering consultancy firm with a distinctive approach to working with our clients to achieve and sustain high standards in Quality, Risk and Environmental Management. We'll be posting podcasts discussing ISO standards here very soon!

    #150 Why you should be aware of ISO 17021 ahead of your next Certification Body visit

    #150 Why you should be aware of ISO 17021 ahead of your next Certification Body visit

    If you are going for certification, or currently manage a certified ISO Management System, then you should also be aware of ISO 17021 ahead of any Assessments or Surveillance audits conducted by an accredited Certification Body.
    ISO 17021 sets out requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems. It ensures that Certification Bodies provide a reliable assessment of compliance with the applicable requirements, carried out by a competent impartial audit team, to achieve a consistent result for all clients.
    So, why should you be aware of this Standard in particular? ISO 17021 also establishes what you as a client should expect from your Certification Body.
    Steve Mason, Managing Consultant at Blackmores, joins Mel to discuss what ISO 17021 is, why you should be aware of it and the requirements related to expected service delivery from Certification Bodies.
    You’ll learn
    ●      What is ISO 17021
    ●      The difference between accredited and non-accredited certification bodies
    ●      A brief overview of the Standard and client related requirements
    ●      isologyhub
    ●      International Accreditation Forum
    ●      ISO 17021
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [01:40] Why are we talking about ISO 17021 now? In our internal Team Meetings, Certification Bodies are an established talking point. Highlighting the good and the bad, but in recent months it’s been more on the negative side. Steve had highlighted ISO 17021 as the Standard to look at in regard to expected service delivery requirements from Certification Bodies – so here we are!
    [03:00] What is ISO 17021? The reason for the standard is that it ensures that all certification bodies are delivering the same level of service to all customers. Certification Bodies don’t need to be certified to other standards such as ISO 9001, as ISO 17021 was specifically designed for the purpose of delivering certifications.
    It’s also the standard where you can find out what’s expected of Certification Bodies – like a Terms and Conditions or service level agreement.
    [05:00] The difference between accredited and non-accredited Certification Bodies - Go back and watch episode 19 to learn more.
    [06:10] Why is it important that the Certification Body is accredited? –  Accreditation proves that the Certification Body is being checked by another body. Accreditation is also recognised worldwide – it’s trusted as a gold standard of performance. There are many different accreditation bodies around the world, here in the UK it’s UKAS, but there are others such as ANAB in the US. Check out the International Accreditation Forum website to confirm the accreditation body for your country.
    [08:10] Ultimately, a Certification Body can’t offer accredited certification services unless they've actually been assessed by the applicable accreditation body to ISO 17021, and they need to do that on an ongoing basis like any other certification.
    They also may not be accredited to deliver every standard they offer – so make sure you verify with the certification body that they are in fact accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 27001 ect.
    [09:15] A brief overview of what’s included in ISO 17021 – A lot of the clauses before this are really about the management of certification body, but when it comes to clause 9, this is where the customer becomes a lot more involved in the requirements. It covers topics such as planning audits, conducting audits, certification decision making, maintaining certification, the appeals process, the complaints process and then keeping client records.
    Clause 9 in particular is where you, as a client, should focus.
    [11:00] What core principles are described in ISO 17021? - Impartiality, competence, responsibility, openness, confidentiality, responsiveness to complaints, risk based approach and legal responsibilities.
    [12:20] What personal beh

    • 20 min
    #149 10 reasons why ISO Standards help to win Tenders

    #149 10 reasons why ISO Standards help to win Tenders

    One of the most common reasons why businesses look to achieve certification is because a client or prospective client is demanding it.  Questions are often asked in tenders such as do you have an Environmental policy? A complaints procedure? Data privacy controls? And of course do you have ISO 9001 (the quality standard)? Or ISO 14001 (the Environmental Management Standard)?
    These answers accrue points and when bidding for a contract, the more points you can get the better chance you have of winning that lucrative contract, which could bring your company 1 – 3 years of high value revenue and profit.
    So why are ISO Standards, Policies and Procedures mentioned in tenders?
    And why should you look to align your business with quality, environmental and risk standards?    
    Join Mel on today’s episode as she shares 10 reasons why ISO Standards can help businesses win tenders.
    You’ll learn
    ●      Why are ISO Standards mentioned in Tenders?
    ●      The difference between accredited and non-accredited certification bodies
    ●      10 Reasons why ISO Standards can help to win Tenders
    ●      isologyhub
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [00:55] Based on 17 years of running four businesses relating to ISO standards, Mel estimates that 8 out of 10 businesses that look to achieve certification is because they want to win or retain a client contract.
    [01:35] If you've got your Policies, Procedures, Standards and systems in place, it does make the whole process of bidding for tenders a lot easier, in addition to giving you a greater chance of winning those tenders.
    [02:30] Reason #1: Proof that you have achieved the highest standards - Put yourself in your clients’ shoes – would you rather work with a company that pays lip service to protecting your valuable data? Or that they have over 100 controls to manage your data in the security? (Such as in the Standard for Information Security - ISO 27001)  
    One of the main reasons your clients will be looking for your company to be certified to an  ISO as because it demonstrates that you operate your business to the highest global standards.
    [04:00] Reason #2: Demonstrates independent 3rd party certification –  This means that its not just you that claims that your business has good health and safety controls in place – an ISO certified business has to prove that its compliant year after year.  Being certified is proof that you practice what you preach and that there is evidence to back this up.
    [04:50] Be careful – know the difference between accredited and non-accredited certification – Go back and watch episode 19 to learn more.
    [05:45] Reason #3: Recognised across the globe – Passport to trade – When organisations are looking to expand internationally, ISO certification is often a requirement to deliver services or provide products overseas.  This is because ISO Standards are recognised globally as they way businesses should be run.
    ISO’s aren’t just passports to trade internationally – they are also passports to trade in certain sectors.  For example in Construction – you aren’t going to get very far in tenders if you don’t have ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and ISO 45001 (Health and Safety).
    [08:40] Reason #4 – USP - Many organisations adopt ISO Standards to give them a competitive edge and score more points in a tender.  For example, let’s say you’re bidding for a public sector contract worth £2 million, and they are very keen on their suppliers verifying their carbon footprint and being carbon neutral. It would give you a massive competitive edge if you could prove this and demonstrate evidence, once such way would be to get certified to ISO 14064 (Carbon Verification) and PAS 2060 (Carbon Neutrality). If you’d like to learn more about those Standards, go back and listen to episodes 72 and 73.
    Note: PAS 2060 is set to become an ISO in the

    • 21 min
    #148 How Asynt are embedding Quality and Environmental management with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

    #148 How Asynt are embedding Quality and Environmental management with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

    Quality and environmental management are top priorities for many organisations, backed up by the increasing number of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates being issued every year.
    Aside from being a popular requirement on tenders, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 provide a robust framework for businesses to ensure they follow Best Practice, enhance their businesses performance and put measures in place to reduce their environmental impact. We often see these two Standards being implemented in tandem, as is the case with todays’ guest, Asynt.
    Asynt is a global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research, developed by chemists for chemists, their laboratory equipment responds to the real demands of industry and academia across the globe.
    Today we welcome Siobhan Ellwood, Sales Support at Asynt, as she explains their journey towards ISO 9001 Implementation, and how they embedded ISO 14001 along the way using our online learning platform – the isologyhub.
    You’ll learn
    ●      Who are Asynt?
    ●      How did Siobhan get involved with ISO Standards?
    ●      What was Asynt’s main driver for obtaining ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
    ●      What did Asynt learn while implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?
    ●      Siobhan’s experience using the isologyhub to implement ISO 14001
    ●      Asynt
    ●      ISO 9001
    ●      ISO 14001
    ●      isologyhub
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [00:55] An Introduction to Asynt - A global provider of world leading technologies and services for scientific research. Based just outside of Ely in Cambridgeshire, they just celebrated 20 years in business!
    [02:10] Siobhan’s role and how she got involved with ISO Standards: Siobhan is the Sales Support Manager for Asynt, she assist with raising quotations, managing sales orders and providing support for the warehouse.
    In January 2023, 3 members of the Asynt Team were tasked with researching and obtaining ISO 9001, with a view to adopt ISO 14001 later on. Siobhan had experience working with Quality Standards thanks to her previous work in aviation and automotive companies, and had even previously implemented the Standard. Naturally, she was a perfect fit to head the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 project at Asynt.
    [05:40] What did Siobhan enjoy most about Implementing ISO Standards? Initially, realising that she had a lot more knowledge about ISO than she gave herself credit for. Also, making use of the 5 Why’s to identify where something has gone wrong, implement a solution and preventing it from recurring.
    [06:40] What were the main drivers behind Implementing ISO 9001 and ISO 14001?: For ISO 9001 – Top Management saw the need to have proper procedures in place, to ensure that everything was written down and could be communicated and conducted by other staff if needed. Ultimately, they wanted a cohesive system where everything, included roles and responsibilities, were documented and managed.
    For ISO 14001 – Customers often ask for ISO 9001, but ISO 14001 was also starting to pop up in conversation more. Top Management at Asynt wanted to get ahead of the curve and make the move towards becoming more environmentally friendly. It was also seen as a stepping stone towards being in a position to calculate their Carbon Footprint and make further improvements.
    [09:50] The ISO 14001 Coaching Programme – Asynt were one of the first companies to go through our ISO Coaching Programme, hosted via the isologyhub. This programme combined the DIY digital platform with group coaching sessions, allowing all participants to work collaboratively towards creating their own Environmental Management System.  
    [10:20] Siobhan’s experience with the ISO 14001 Coaching Programme:  Overall Siobhan had a very positive experience in the coaching programme, a few highlights include:
    Sharing ideas: Other participants come from a wide range o

    • 29 min
    #147 How Haymarket are leading the way in Sustainable Event Management with ISO 20121

    #147 How Haymarket are leading the way in Sustainable Event Management with ISO 20121

    The UK events industry accounts for 35% of the UK visitor economy and is estimated to be worth £42 billion, yet it is still incredibly wasteful, with 68% of waste going directly to landfill.
    Haymarket Media Group is a global media data and information company, who offer a wide range of digital print, tech and live event services. Haymarket UK had been certified to ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 50001 (Energy Management) for a few years prior to 2019, covering most aspects of their business from a sustainability point of view.
    However, their live events still had many sustainability opportunities that were not being taken into consideration by their existing certifications. So, in early 2022 they embarked on their journey to gain ISO 20121 (Sustainable Event Management) certification. 
    Today, Gary Charlton and Natalie Harris from Haymarket join Mel to discuss exactly why they added ISO 20121 to their portfolio, the challenges faced with Implementing the Standard, and the benefits gained from certification.
    You’ll learn
    ●      Who are Haymarket?
    ●      What is ISO 20121 Sustainable Event Management?
    ●      Why did Haymarket choose to Implement ISO 20121?
    ●      What challenges did they face?
    ●      What are the benefits of ISO 20121?
    ●      Haymarket Media
    ●      ISO 20121
    ●      isologyhub
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [00:50] An Introduction to Haymarket Media Group - A global media data and information company, with offices in the UK, US, Germany, India and Asia. They produce live events (including award ceremonies, conferences and exhibitions), digital print, education data and tech services.
    [02:25] Gary Charlton is the Head of Procurement for the UK -  Part of his role includes supporting the Haymarket approach towards sustainability, to ensure their products and services are as environmentally and socially sustainable as possible.
    [02:45] Natalie Harris is the Procurement Executive at Haymarket – A lot of her role revolves around live events in addition to purchasing our products and services. Additionally, she advises the wider team on buying legally, sustainably and ethically. Both Natalie and Gary form a team, and were the main driving force behind the creation of their Sustainable Event Management System.
    [03:40] What is ISO 20121?: ISO 20121 was launched for, and named after, the 2012 Olympics, making it the worlds first sustainable Olympics!  The Standard provides a framework for managing events sustainably, that includes having the policies, procedures, registers and records to demonstrate that the events are being run in a sustainable manner. Being certified indicates that a company is not just paying lip service to sustainability, it's actually practicing what they preach. If you’d like to learn more about ISO 20121, go back and listen to episode 38.
    [05:30] What was the main driver behind Haymarket achieving ISO 20121?: Haymarket first contacted Blackmores about assisting with ISO 20121 Implementation in 2019. At the time, they were already certified to ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, so they understood the benefits that came with ISO certifications - including the framework to start making better decisions and accurately measure what you're doing.
    Their head of facilities had started the process of evaluating other areas they could improve with ISO Standards, particularly around sustainability. Live events are a large service offering for Haymarket, which has a significant environmental footprint, so a case was put forward for the benefits if reducing that impact with the help of ISO 20121. The team running their live events were very positive about the potential benefits presented, and the go ahead was given.
    [07:20] Sustainability is central to how Haymarket wants to operate – Implementing ISO 20121 would ensure that there was more standardisation across their proce

    • 32 min
    #146 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an Energy Management System

    #146 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an Energy Management System

    Energy Management can be a tricky topic to approach depending on your industry. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered to ensure that you are accurately monitoring and measuring your energy consumption.
    Thankfully ISO 50001, the Standard for Energy Management, does provide a lot of useful guidance to help you get started. As a reminder, ISO 50001 can help your business to continually improve its energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. Building an energy management system (EMS) based on the requirements of ISO 50001 will ultimately help you to understand, monitor and measure your use of energy.
    However, even with the guidance, we often see a few common mistakes companies make while managing their EMS. Today Darren Morrow, Senior Isologist here at Blackmores, joins us to share his top 5 mistakes to avoid while managing an EMS.
    You’ll learn
    ●      What is ISO 50001?
    ●      5 mistakes to avoid while managing an Energy Management System
    ●      How can you avoid these mistakes?  
    ●      isologyhub
    ●      ISO 50001
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [00:30] What is ISO 50001? ISO 50001 is all about continually improving energy performance, energy efficiency, energy use and energy consumption. By Implementing an energy management system, you will be able to fully understand and monitor and measure your use of energy. Like most other ISO’s, continual improvement is at the heart of ISO 50001, and It’s also based on the Annex SL format. So, it shares some similarities with Standards such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. If you’ve got ISO 14001, you’re already half-way there!
    [01:14] We have a more detailed walkthrough of ISO 50001 Implementation available in our steps to success podcast series, which are episodes: 84, 85 and 88
    [02:00] Mistake 1 – Lack of commitment from top management: This can be one of the biggest issues and can cause the most damage in relation to any management system.
    A lack of support from top management often leads to:-
    ·       A loss of motivation for improvement
    ·       A lack of financial support and resources – The EMS should be considered in budgets so you can account for any additional maintenance that needs to be done to ensure equipment is running optimally, or possibly investing in newer technology that is designed to be more efficient.
    ·       Lack of alignment of the EMS and organisational goals and objectives – Everyone in the business should be aware of the organisation’s goals, if energy management is included as part of those goals, then they are more likely to be fulfilled.
    Having a commitment from top management ensures that EMS is part of the business and not just a bolt on.  
    [03:25] Mistake 2 – Built by one person or department: If one person is deemed ultimately responsible, even if supported by top management, overall commitment throughout the business can be difficult, sometimes with comments such as 'that’s Bob's job'.
    With one person or department, there can be the lack of authority to make decisions, and inevitably they can become siloed from the rest of the business - not hearing about improvement opportunities, not being involved in internal projects, etc.
    Ensure that, even in a smaller businesses where one person may form the 'Energy Team',  that everyone is able to contribute.
    [04:20] Mistake 3 – Rushed Implementation of the Energy Management System: This can lead to confusion as to who is responsible and what responsibilities are shared. It can also lead to failures to record opportunities for improvement, or for monitoring and managing any deviations in energy consumption that may occur and require investigation.
    There is also the risk of a lack of awareness amongst staff if you’ve not taken the time to communicate roles and responsibilities in relation to the EMS.
    [05:30] Mistake 4

    • 11 min
    #145 The power of 10 minutes a day with Lorna Leonard

    #145 The power of 10 minutes a day with Lorna Leonard

    There are a lot of tedious tasks that we put off, or would rather just not do! Often, these types of tasks don’t take too long, but can cause delays if not completed. If you find yourself battling with this, it may be time to ask:
    Where could you save 10 minutes a day?
    That’s the exact question Lorna Leonard, Managing Director of Leonard Business Services, asked her team at the start of 2023. Focusing on tasks that were being put off for various reasons, Lorna found a potential time saving of 52 hours a month!
    Today Lorna joins us to share her story of how saving just 10 minutes a day can potentially lead to 8 days’ worth of time saved, in addition to the pitfalls and solutions she found along the way.
    You’ll learn
    ●      Who are Leonard Business Services
    ●      Why did the 10 minute initiative start?
    ●      The power of saving 10 minutes a day
    ●      What challenges did they face?
    ●      Leonard Business Services
    ●      Lorna Leonard’s LinkedIn
    ●      ISO 9001
    ●      isologyhub
    In this episode, we talk about:
    [01:25] An Introduction to Lorna Leonard and Leonard Business Services – a virtual finance department who are certified to ISO 9001. Lorna also joined us on a previous episode, Chaos to Calm, to talk about their experience working during the COVID pandemic.  
    [03:25] The challenge: Lorna started off with only 1 other member of staff, over the years they’ve grown to 7, with an increasing number of associates. With the organisation growing, Lorna was unable to be as hands on as she was before, so some things started to slip through the cracks. She wanted to ensure that was nipped in the bud early on.
    The nature of her business needs very specific qualities in individuals, ones that are hard to come by. So, she was seeking to save as much wasted time with her current team as possible.
    [04:50] Nothing is ever down to human error, it always comes down to a process – Some words of wisdom from Rachel Churchman, a Blackmores Managing Consultant who works with Lorna with on-going support. Processes change, they need regular review and updates to ensure they work well for you. Lorna found that a number of their processes created bubbles of inefficiency, which resulted in various 10-15 minute tasks that others found frustrating to complete.
    [05:50] Saving 10 minutes a day: As a result of the process review, Lorna decided to focus on just saving 10 minutes a day – taking baby steps to tackle a bigger problem. She asked all of her staff to think of any tasks they found frustrating, and added them to a log. She kept that log going until May, to capture a snapshot of the issues before tackling them. This is just so she could measure the results more accurately later on.
    [08:15] What tasks did Lorna’s staff highlight as frustrating?: A lot of problems were a result of software systems not talking to each other, meaning a lot of basic merging / collating of data had to be done manually between 2 systems.
    [09:25] How they calculated the potential time-savings: Using the log, they estimated the time taken for each task, including consideration for which other members of staff may be affected by the same issues. At the end of the May, they found that there was a potential time-saving of 54 hours, which amounts to a full 8 days of work!
    [11:25] Taking principles of ISO 9001 to heart:  Lorna has truly embraced one of the key elements of ISO 9001 – addressing non-conformities through looking at your risks and weaknesses. By taking a step back and shining a spotlight on the negative, you can work towards making a positive change, and continually improving your way of working.
    [13:30] How did Lorna’s team feel about the iniative: At the start, it was like pulling teeth. Many felt as if the wasted time was a reflection on their performance rather than a failure of processes and systems which wer

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

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Princessdandyrichbrandywine ,

Really appreciate these episodes!

Thank you for creating a great show that’s thought provoking and interesting!
Many thanks,

Alistair MacFadyen ,

Great ISO Podcasts

Thanks for the podcasts they all are informative, keep up the great work.

Thank you

Lorna@LSL ,

Opening Eyes to ISO

I have always seen ISO as a tool for big companies I have helped to achieve certification in this arena what I was not aware of was that Micro businesses can also benefit and for me that is a game changer these shows are informative but easy to listen too a definite call to action for any business and I would recommend it to everyone

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