Soldiering on: From Army to Auditing

Jonathan Lee is a Lead Auditor at Alcumus ISOQAR. Here we speak to him about his transition from Military to Auditing and what he enjoys most about the role.

Top 5 nonconformities in ISO 45001

During an ISO 45001 audit, auditors evaluate an organisation’s compliance with the standard’s requirements. Nonconformities may be identified during these audits, and addressing them is crucial for maintaining an effective OH&S management system.

Nurturing Mental Wellness in the Workplace: A Journey of Progress and Potential

In the not-so-distant past, conversations around mental health in the workplace were often shrouded in silence and stigma. Employees grappled with stress, anxiety, and personal challenges alone, fearing judgment or repercussions if they dared to speak up. However, over the last decade, we’ve witnessed a gradual shift. While strides have been made in destigmatising mental […]

The Power of Silence: Honouring Personal Boundaries in Mental Health

We live in a world that often encourages constant communication and oversharing, the value of silence is often overlooked. When it comes to mental health, the pressure to vocalise our innermost thoughts and feelings can feel daunting, leading many to retreat into silence. However, it’s essential to recognise that silence doesn’t always signify a lack […]

The business case for prioritising psychological health

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of psychological health and safety in the workplace. Investing in this area can lead to numerous benefits, including improved employee well-being, productivity, and organisational performance.

Top tips for implementing ISO 45001

Implementing ISO 45001 can be a transformative journey for any organisation, offering a pathway to a safer and healthier workplace. In this blog, we explore some of the key tips for the journey of implementing ISO 45001.

ISO 9001: Your Competitive Edge

The international marketplace demands quality and excellence as standard. To succeed and prosper, it’s essential that organisations can give the quality assurance that customers expect. ISO 9001, the internationally recognised standard for quality management, provides that assurance. A distinctive competitive advantage In today’s markets, customers, partners, and stakeholders are discerning, with high expectations. With more […]

World Quality Week 2023: Achieving Excellence with ISO 9001 Certification

In 2023, it’s a time not only to celebrate the pursuit of quality but also to recognise the power of ISO 9001 certification in achieving excellence. ISO 9001 is more than a set of standards; it’s a pathway to quality-driven success. So, what is ISO 9001? ISO 9001 is a globally recognised standard for quality management. It […]

Quality Conscience: Doing the right thing with ISO 9001

An organisation that delivers outstanding outcomes for customers and stakeholders is at the heart of ISO 9001. A globally recognised standard for quality management, it helps introduce policies, processes, and procedures to provide products and services that meet both regulatory and customer needs. With powerful principles such as customer focus, people engagement and evidence-based decision making, […]

Do you need BS EN 1090?

It’s well known now that CE marking to BS EN 1090 is a legal requirement for structural steel products sold in Europe. All organisations who design and/or manufacture structural steel components must adhere to this standard. There are, however, many companies still not registered. Often, this is because some are a little bit intimidated by the perceived […]

Who should you put in charge of implementing ISO 27001?

You’re only as good as the company you keep, so the saying goes. Without doubt, one of the most important things to get right when implementing the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System is building the right team for the project. It’s Not Just IT All too often, people think ISO 27001 is all about IT and […]

What documents are required for ISO 9001?

If you’ve not yet developed your Quality Management System, or you’ve thought about implementing one and been put off by the idea that you basically need to put everything in writing and keep it in neatly organised files, you may want to think again. The idea that you need folders full of documented procedures that […]

How can ISO 50001:2018 help businesses comply with ESOS?

The UK government established and introduced ESOS in order to implement Article 8 (4-6) of the EU Energy Directive 2012/27/EU. ESOS is a mandatory assessment aimed at organisations who in the UK: employ more than 250 members of staff; have a turnover that exceeds €50m; a balance sheet exceeding €43m; or are part of a […]

When ‘Nice to’ Becomes ‘Needs to’: Embracing sustainability with ISO 14001

Organisations across industries are realising the significance of incorporating sustainable practices into their operations, not just for the environment but also for their own long-term viability. One powerful tool that enables businesses to navigate the sustainability landscape effectively is the ISO 14001 standard. In this blog post, we will explore how ISO 14001 transforms sustainability from a […]

BS EN 1090-2:2018 for Steel and Aluminium Structures is Published

Report by Colin Bracewell, Sector Manager for Structural Steel at Alcumus ISOQAR, a Notified Body for EN 1090. BS EN 1090-2:2018 Execution of Steel Structures and Aluminium Structures – Technical Requirements for Steel Structures has been published and companies certified to the earlier standard need to take note of some important changes. For those of you […]

What is ISO 9001?

Once your Quality Management System (QMS) is audited for conformance to the ISO 9001 standard, you’re issued a certificate that demonstrates you’re compliant. It’s an indication that you’re a trustworthy organisation which aims to meet and exceed the needs of customers by providing high quality products and services. It’s one of the best routes to […]

ISO 50001:2018 is Published

The updated version of the ISO 50001 standard for Energy Management Systems has finally been published. ISO 50001:2018 was released on 21 August 2018 and contains important if not ground-breaking updates that holders of ISO 50001 certificates need to be aware of and make adjustments for. There are four key changes: The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has confirmed […]

How to determine the scope of your ISO 27001 certification

One of the first and most important things you will have to do when thinking about implementing ISO 27001 is identify the ‘scope’ of your Information Security Management System (ISMS). The scope defines how far the system will extend within your organisation. It also states what will not be included and why it is not included. Tendering for Contracts It’s vitally […]

Transitioning Careers: From the Armed Forces to Auditing

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I’ve spent what feels like a lifetime in engineering across various sectors, but the majority being with the British Army. After leaving the army, I worked as an engineer within the food industry at various levels for businesses including Morrisons and Vale of Mowbray. So you were […]

ISO 45001 update – international ballot approved

The process of developing ISO 45001 has taken longer than originally forecast, due to the demand for amendments and redrafting. The international ballot approval means that the second version of the standard, DIS 2 ISO 45001, can now move to the publishing stage if it is agreed that a final draft standard (FDIS) is not required. The […]

What is ISO 27001? Who needs it? Why?

Now, it’s true to say that in this day and age most organisations store the bulk of their information digitally – but by no means all of it. Look around your own work place and you will be surprised how much is still kept in paper files and even in people’s brains! The way we […]

Quality Objectives and ISO 9001

If the Quality Policy is the document in the organisation that sets out the overall intention and direction of the organisation with regards to quality, then the quality objectives can be seen as the milestones that steer the organisation in the right direction. But why are quality objectives so important? As an auditor, it’s always […]

The benefits of implementing ISO 45003

In today’s fast-paced and competitive business landscape, organisations are now recognising the crucial link between employee well-being and overall success. Prioritising mental health and creating a supportive work environment not only enhances employee satisfaction but also drives productivity, reduces absenteeism, and fosters innovation. Understanding ISO 45003: ISO 45003 is a standard developed to help organisations address […]

Mental Health and Productivity: How prioritising employee well-being can benefit your business

While many employers prioritise productivity, it’s essential to understand that also prioritising employee well-being can have a significant impact on the productivity of your workforce. By creating a positive work environment that supports the mental health of your employees, you can create a more productive, engaged, and loyal team. ISO 45003 is a new international standard […]

What is ISO certification?

Those of us working in the certification industry sometimes forget that the outside world doesn’t have a clue what we’re talking about. So, if you don’t know anything about ISO standards, management systems or UKAS accredited certification, read on. What are ISO standards? Generally speaking, an ISO standard is a document created by a panel […]

How the PAS 3002 Code of Practice Supports Workers Through the Coronavirus Crisis

PAS 3002 is a code of practice on improving health and wellbeing within an organisation. It’s an ideal framework for helping your organisation deal with people challenges during the coronavirus crisis and for managing their return to work. The code covers the issues that join together HR and H&S. No longer is the health and wellbeing of employees […]

What is a Health & Safety Policy and how do I write one?

It sets the agenda for everything else that follows. The main purpose of your OHSMS is to help you achieve what you set out in your Health & Safety Policy. A Health & Safety Policy is a very brief statement and you should be able to complete it without any difficulty. It’s a lot easier […]

Common information security breaches in business

When you’re building your information security defences, you obviously need to prioritise where to focus your energy and resources. This means you need to know where to look for weaknesses, understand the kinds of things that typically go wrong, and then identify where your vulnerabilities are. Obviously you’ll do this as part of your risk […]

How to use ISO standards to win new business

In my experience, I would estimate that 8 times out of 10, organisations seek to achieve ISO certification to win new business, not necessarily to improve their business – sadly.  So, what is it about ISO standards that is so attractive to prospective clients?  Why are they like gold dust in certain industries? And in some cases, […]

Notes on Coronavirus and Business Continuity Planning

When faced with a crisis, ‘Don’t Panic’ may seem like an inadequate response. But it’s an appropriate one. Not only does it emphasise a certain type of British sangfroid, it’s actually good advice. This certainly applies when looking at Business Continuity and especially an organisation’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Careful planning and thinking things through will hopefully stop […]

ISO 45001 – What you need to know

What you need to know about ISO 45001 It encourages best-in-class risk management The purpose of the standard is to prevent work related injury and ill health and provide a safer environment to work in. Forward-thinking aspects of ISO 45001 include the identification of health and safety threats and opportunities, the consultation and participation of workers, and […]

ISO 45001 could be set to replace OHSAS 18001 sooner than anticipated

Progress has been made towards launching the much anticipated ISO 45001 standard, following a recent meeting of the Project Committee’s Working Group in Vienna. ISO 45001 is intended to replace OHSAS 18001 and create a truly international standard for occupational health and safety management systems. ISO Project Committee 283 (PC 283) has been tasked with the […]

Top 10 non-conformities with ISO 27001

The ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS) has rapidly increased in popularity in the last few years. The primary driver is, of course, concerns about the security of digitally stored data. But with ISO 27001, it’s not just about online hacks; the system encompasses all information in whatever format it’s held. And as well as the […]

Cybercrime: The third largest economy and the scale of threat to UK businesses

Back in 2020, it was reported that if it were measured as a country, then cybercrime would be the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and China. So it’s hard to overstate the significance of the issue. Looking at matters on a more local level, the Government’s own statistics show that 39% of UK […]

Why ISO certification from a UKAS accredited Certification Body is so important

Many businesses get ISO certified only to regret it. Why? Because they got certified by a certification body that wasn’t UKAS accredited. Many organisations enter onto their ISO certification journey with just a little knowledge of what ISO certification is but with big hopes that it will open doors otherwise closed to them, for example in tendering […]

Top ISO 9001 Management System Non-conformities: Avoid these common pitfalls

Alcumus ISOQAR conducts thousands of ISO 9001 audits every year. As the Head of Technical at Alcumus ISOQAR, where we review reports from our Auditors who have visited all sorts of businesses, I get to see exactly what’s going on at the ground level. What I see is the same nonconformities cropping up time and […]

An introduction to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and why its time has come

As someone who’s been in the ISO certification business for many years, it’s interesting to chart the rise of standards and reflect on how they found such popularity. And right now, it’s the turn of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Back in the 1970s and 80s, British industry looked on with envy at the burgeoning Japanese manufacturing sector. […]