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The International Organisation For Standardization (ISO) gave a transitional period in which comes to an end on the 15th September 2018. 9001:2008 & 14001:2004 were withdrawn in 2015. This was because of a new publication written by ISO. Certification bodies will no longer be able to certify to the 2008 & 2004 standards.

 Do I need to upgrade?

Come September 2018 A lot of businesses may find that their customers or supply chain partners will no longer accept the 2008 & 2004 versions of these standards. If you’re a business that tenders for work, you may find that your application will not be considered.

ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 bring many benefits that the old standards either covered briefly, or didn’t offer at all;

  • Follows Annex SL structure to align with other ISO management System standards – Allowing integration a lot easier
  • A stronger focus on risk-based thinking
  • Ability to address risk & opportunities in a more structured way
  • Supply chain management is addressed in a more effective way
  • More involvement from top management

What do I do next

If you would like to transition the latest standard, here’s what you’ll need to do;

  • Identify the areas of your current management system which no longer comply to the requirements of the standard
  • Update the management system to align with the latest standard
  • Train staff and management on the new changes and processes involved with your current system
  • Book an audit with a certification body
  • Receive your certificate of approval


We’d highly recommend sourcing a professional to help you with the transition. You could try and do the work yourself, but you run the risk of failing the transitional audit. By hiring a qualified consultant, it can be more cost effective and allow the business to implement the best practices.

If you would like to speak with a qualified consultant about upgrading your current management system or anything else ISO related, please contact us on sales@uksmes.com or 01625 569 474.

Across all industries there are several standards which your competitors will have, For example in the construction sector you can be CHAS or Constructionline accredited. If you’re a transport company you can hold FORS (Associate, Bronze, Silver or Gold). Maybe you work within the Security sector, you would probably be looking for NSI Gold. I could list all of the accreditations within every industry sector, but this would be a very lengthy article.

As the title of the blog states – Does my Business really need all these accreditations. The answer is no, you don’t “need” all these accreditations. Let me explain a little further. If you do not want your business to grow or expand past the point of where it is currently then you probably aren’t going to benefit from accreditations. If you do not want to win any more business and gain new clients, then you probably wouldn’t want any accreditations. Let’s look at this on the other hand; If you’d like to employ more people, generate new business, win big contracts, make more profit and match your competition then implementing accreditations is going to benefit your business.

Regardless of which industry you’re in, it’s a volatile market. In recent months we’ve seen the collapse of one of the worlds largest Facilities Management Company, Carillion. One of the wider known accreditations, The ISO 9001: 2015 can be implemented into any organisation. One of the elements of 9001 is it’s focus on Business Continuity. In a nutshell, what is your Plan B, C & D when Plan A fails. Sit back and look at your business for second and ask yourself this question;

“If something goes wrong tomorrow, what is my back up plan?”

If you can’t answer this question straight away, it’s probably a good time to make some change within your business. ISO 9001 is basically a Blue print of your company. By having something like this in place, it maps out all of the policies and procedures for every aspect of your organisation. Not only is good for internal morale and making your Business a lot better; It’s also a great way to show current and future clients your commitment to delivering an overall quality service.

ISO 9001:2015 is just a starting point. Please see below a list of several different accreditations that maybe beneficial to your Business;

ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management

This standard has a focus on how environmentally friendly your business is. Not only are you taking a positive stance on have a good carbon footprint, you also identify areas on where you can save money.

ISO 45001:2018 – Occupational Health & Safety Management

In recent days we’ve seen OHSAS 18001 transition to a completely new Internationally recognised standard, ISO 45001:2018. It follows many of the same principles and it will outline not only to your clients but also to your employees that your organisation has taken the time to implement the correct policies & procedures to run a productive & safe working environment. Health & Safety is a crucial element within any organisation so regardless of which sector you’re in this would have a positive effect.

CHAS & Constructionline

These are accreditations focused more towards tradesmen such as Builders, construction, Facilities Management and other similar industries. With a strong focus towards Health and safety, this is a great starting point for any business if you don’t currently hold any accreditations.

There are lots of other accreditations that your business could benefit from. If you would like to learn more about any mentioned above, the cost, Time frames or learn about anything specific to your business your more than welcome to contact one of our team today.

01625 569 474


It’s national Apprenticeship week! Last April we took on Megan as our Apprentice. She’s become an integral part of the team & we thought during a week that recognises apprentices and the hard work they put in, It’d be great to learn a little more about Megan & what her apprenticeship involves.

So Meg, tell us a little bit about the apprenticeship you’re on.

The apprenticeship is through Macclesfield college. it’s a 12 month course & at the end of t I achieve an NVQ Level 2 in Sales.

Why did you chose to do an apprenticeship?

Because of my experience from hairdressing, I felt the best way to progress in a new job role would be to go down the apprenticeship route.

What were you doing before the apprenticeship?

I was a hairdresser at Paul George hair & beauty in Poynton.

Through the apprenticeship, what do you think you’ve learnt? 

I’ve learnt good customer service skills, I’ve picked up good product knowledge & I’ve been able to perfect my time management with my day to day work load

What’s been your favourite thing about your time with UK SME Support? 

There’s always different incentives which is good for morale & also we have a few team day outs as well.

Asides from work, tell us a little bit about meg? 

I go on family holidays to Marbella -I like spending time with my family & I really enjoy the sun. I like going on dog walks in the countryside. My dogs called princess & it’s a pug.

You’re on a desert island, & you can take one famous person (dead or alive), one item of food, & a personal item – what are you taking

I’d take Beyoncé because I love her singing.

Pizza because its my favourite food.

My Grandma gave me this really nice ring which has sentimental value to me, so I’d probably take that.

Obviously we’d love to have you here at UK SME Support for a very long time – But we do understand that people do move onto different roles. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I don’t know it’s a difficult one. I’d like to be some form of a consultant where I can help & train people.

Give us a motivational quote!

It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.

Would you recommend an apprenticeship to other people? If yes, why

If you have no experience in a certain work environment it’s well worth while because you learn a skill, build a career & get a qualification at the end of it.

What advice would you give people in your shoes before doing the apprenticeship.

Have a look a different options, don’t rush it anything as you may regret it. Remember your still young, there’s loads of opportunities that will be available.

Any final words?

Id like to thank the team for putting up with me, I don’t know how you do it!




Fire everybody & do the work yourself… Is probably not going to work.

Every Business owner will always look for different avenues for the company to save money & hopefully make money. Ultimately this is one of the major elements for any Businesses growth. After reading a few different articles on the Internet, here are some of the suggestions (in which we don’t necessarily agree with);

• Packaging services for a larger rate – This is going to generate a higher profit margin, which ultimately will make your business more money. What you need to be aware of, this may lead to those potential customers going to a competitor because they’re cheaper.

• Add Higher End Services – Depending on the nature of your business you could create a product/service for the high-end clients. You need to understand your true demographic & be confident this will work. By offering product/services that is designed towards more affluent clients could jeopardize your relationship with current clients.

• Lead Generation – Having alternative ways of generating leads is always good. Sales is a numbers game, which hypothetically means the more leads = more sales. Generating leads will cost money & although you may have leads, they’re not guaranteed money. Be diligent when looking at different ways for lead generation.

There was a fair few others I could of mentioned. After reading different articles, I feel there is one key element they’re all missing. This is Tendering for work. There are 100’s of new tenders available every day. Some of these contracts can be worth over £1,000,000. The actual tender process can be quite rigorous & unfortunately not enjoyable, but with hard work comes great reward. With a lot of tenders a business will need to hit certain criteria. Quite often your business will be asked if you hold certain accreditations. Different business sectors do have ones specific to them such as NSI, FORS or CHAS. However please see below some accreditations which are relative to most of businesses;

• ISO 9001:2015 – Quality Management
• ISO 14001:2015 – Environmental Management
• OHSAS 18001:2007 (ISO 45001) – Health & Safety

Not only can these accreditations help your Business win 6 & 7 figure contracts, it also a great way to demonstrate that your business runs an effective management system.

If you would like to learn more about ISO & the process that goes into implementing it. You can contact any of our team members & we’d be happy to talk to you about the process that needs to go into it.

01625 569 474


There’s an old phrase that really resonates in my head during my time in the health & safety industry. This is;

“you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur”.

I remember in my first month of working with UK SME Support, I spoke with a lady who was looking to implement ISO however didn’t really have a budget for it. After explaining what we do & how we do it she was very excited to start work with us. We then discussed cost options & this is where our conversation went dry. She decided that she “knows a guy” who can do it all for £500. 4 months later & £1500 out of pocket this lady gives us a call & asked us for our help.  Admittingly the first thought that came into my mind was “HA, I told you so” but of course to the customer I was very sympathetic & I went out of my way to make sure she got a great service, value for money, & somebody who knew what they were doing.

No matter who you are if there’s an opportunity to save money we all probably will.  We need to be aware if saving money is going to benefit you in the long term. I’ve found some great examples in the work place that cost them in the long run.


In November 2014 HMG Paints who are the UK’s leading independent Paint Manufacturer were fined £80,000 & had to pay costs of nearly £40,000. The employee complained about the it being difficult to clean the floor & allowed him to purchase an industrial floor scrubber to carry out the task. It was the electric motor on the floor scrubber which ignited the cloud of flammable vapour in the spray booth. The incident caused over 25% burns to the workman who required treatment at a specialist hospital burns unit.

They employee had never been trained to clean the floors, nor did he have the correct supervision when doing so.

2). Caltherm (UK) LTD

On 18 January 2008, a 22-year-old was helping to move an industrial steam-heated DMT liquid oven weighing 800kg (over three-quarters of a ton). As the oven was being moved, it fell from the two pallet trucks that were being used for the move, and the employee sustained Multiple bones to be broken & dislocated several parts of his ankle. His injuries were sufficiently serious to cause some long-term discomfort and adversely affect his work capabilities.

There had been no risk assessment had been conducted for the movement of ovens on the premises. Caltherm (UK) Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay court costs of £3,377.

3). Vinyl Compound LTD

IN February 2015, a 19 year old male was crushed & killed by a forklift truck. After investigation, it was found that the individual was not adequately trained to use the forklift truck. It was also found the company did not inform their employees of the speed limit on-site, had not put measures in place to control the speed of vehicles, and failed to have adequate lighting and edge protection in place to avoid FLTs overturning.

Vinyl Compound LTD were fined £450,000 & order to pay costs of nearly £72,000. Although a lot of money you cannot put a price on the life of another human being.]

4). RWE npower and contractor AMEC Group Ltd

A maintenance worker fell to his death at a South Wales power station. The agency worker fell around 12 metres through an unprotected opening in a platform at Aberthaw Power Station. RWE npower Plc, of Swindon, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £250,000 and ordered to pay £30,000 costs.

The principal contractors, AMEC Group Ltd, of Knutsford, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 11(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. They were fined £200,000 with costs of £30,000. Again, this a lot of money but it still doesn’t cover the costs of human life & the effects it has on the individual’s family.

Everyday there’s accidents in the work place that have a negative impact on so many individuals. We’re all aware of the right & wrong procedures but we’re often blinded by our own ignorance. It’s easy to say, “these things won’t happen to me” or “My staff know not to do that”.  Implementing the correct procedures & processes is one of the most important things a business can do! I understand that the cost of hiring someone externally can seem like an unnecessary expenditure that could be spent better elsewhere. However, a small investment now could be reason you don’t have nearly half a million pound in fines in the future.

If you’d like any advice on Quality, Environmental, Health & Safety, anything to make your work place a safer environment for you & your employees your more than welcome to get in touch with UK SME Support today & if we can’t help you we will make sure we put you in touch with someone who can.

01625 569 474




UKSMES are based in Cheshire and specialise in ISO, OHSAS & CE Marking.

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E: sales@uksmes.com
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Registered Office: 17-19 Market Place, Macclesfield, SK10 1EB