Operating in an industry which is very highly regulated
Ondine provides marine and aerial survey services to the offshore renewable energy sector. Operating since March 2022, they offer geophysical, ornithological, and marine mammal surveys with a focus on sustainability and delivering high-quality data. One of their main objectives is to meet the needs of developers while taking a low-impact, environmentally friendly approach.
Operating in an industry which is very highly regulated and governed by both local and international legislation, they quickly realised the importance of ISO certification. So, they promptly set about implementing and getting UKAS accredited certification for ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.
Kate Dempsey – CEO and co-founder of Ondine – tells us, “ISO is recognised worldwide as a mark of excellence. For our organisation to hold this level of certification is a clear demonstration to the industry that we are very serious about how we conduct our business.
“ISO certification for Ondine is a critical element in ensuring that our operations are conducted in a safe and sustainable manner and maintaining the highest level of quality to our clients. While Ondine is newly certified it is expected this certification will assist with building relationships of trust where our clients can be assured of the professional approach to all we do here at Ondine.”
Ondine has had a year of many firsts and many triumphs. They completed the largest ever offshore geophysical survey by a private company in Irish waters during 2022. Despite this huge achievement, Kate states that their biggest achievement to date is their ISO certification: “Our integrated management system is designed to support all that we do, protect our people, assets and clients while delivering on unquestionable quality consistently and sustainably. It has prepared Ondine for many more years of success.”
Amanda Lawson, Lead Auditor and ISO 14001 Sector Manager at ISOQAR, carried out both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits with Ondine. “Building a rapport with the team was key to working through the audit. The provision of evidence and supporting information was provided in a smooth and timely manner. The passion for the work they carry out was seen throughout the audit, with high levels of evidence in place, meeting both regulatory and standard requirements. I could go on, but they are a cracking team who show commitment to what they do and the standards at every level of the business.”
Due to the nature of the business, and the extremely competitive environment that they operate in, there have been many challenges, not least the effects COVID had on maintaining operations.
“We employ internationally so the logistical aspects of getting people safely to the mobilisation point when many countries were still in a state of lockdown was extremely difficult,” says Kate. “Added to that was the risk of introducing COVID to the vessel which in essence could have completely shut down operations for the safety of those crew members onboard. This was overcome by meticulous planning from our shore-based teams in addition to developing procedures and protocols.”
Any advice for those going through the certification process?
Ondine made a commitment to ISO certification very early on with one of the first positions they recruited being the QHSE Manager, followed shortly afterwards by a QHSE Advisor.
Kate advises, “During the process of preparing for certification we developed clear strategies and set goals, some would say ambitious, but always achievable. Having a target to aim for gave our people a sense of direction, and if we did not achieve that target in the set time we had allowed ourselves then we would discuss it and identify why we had not. ‘Lessons learned’ sessions are important, though equally important is listening to what your people are saying and responding by allocating resources. It’s an investment into the continued success of the company.”
Why did you choose ISOQAR?
“As with most businesses, networking and developing industry contacts is vital. It was through this networking that we were introduced to Fergus Napier at BV Solutions Marine & Offshore who provided marine inspectors for our offshore asset, the vessel ‘Ondine Jule’, and carried out a required interim survey for us to be able to be issued with a Certificate of Class for the vessel. Fergus recommended ISOQAR based on personal experience of having their own ISO certification carried out by them. In addition, ISOQAR are highly regarded for exacting standards and Ondine chose ISOQAR to ensure that our ISO certification was unquestionable in line with our aim for excellence in all that we do.”
If you are ready to start your certification journey, ISOQAR can give you a free no obligation quote.