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peter gotch  
#1 Posted : 31 October 2020 16:53:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Posted by something written on another thread......

Is there any REAL value in getting multiple ISO accreditations?

OK, I can see some virtue in getting your accreditation in the 9000 series, usually 9001, but it would be easy to apply this to all the management systems deployed by an organisation in an integrated approach.

I can probably see value in ISO 14001.

But I am much less sure about ISO 45001, let alone the proliferation of other accreditations that are being marketed.

There's one for energy management. Wouldn't that be part of ISO 14001.

Another on security management. So much of this is about document control - Isn't that the key component of 9001?

Now I can see that getting another accreditation can sometime make it easier to jump through some of the hurdles set by those doing all sorts of generic prequalifications etc.

But the value?

Suppose you get your 45001 - audited by an "independent" company but are they really independent? If you don't like what they have to say, you can shop around, so to some degree their income is dependent on NOT annoying you too much!

So, your 45001 says that you have health and safety management systems that can be audited against the parameters set in the standard, but usually the terms of audit are precisely that - audit against ISO 45001 and not also against whatever legal requirements apply to your operations.

As example, you need a system for risk assessment. As long as your system is there and you can show that it is implemented you can get away with producing absolute rubbish in the actual risk assessment (which might well be the product of some electronic management system versions of which are touted by many, who may know VERY little about real life health and safety problems).

So, is there a very real danger that getting that accreditation will influence complacency such that you let your guard down until something goes wrong and someone decides to audit you against legislative requirements rather than the standard (whether that be 14001, 45001 or whatever)?

Is it time we started looking for less paperwork, not more?

If answering, please indicate your potential conflict if you make money out of accreditations!!

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
aud on 03/11/2020(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#2 Posted : 01 November 2020 21:07:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is less the organisation that seeks "ISO" accreditation merely a response to the demand of lazy customers.

Customers have a perception of needing to be "seen to be doing something" (sound familiar?) to validate their supply chain but rather than excercising their own due diligence become enticed to the easy path of asking for certificates and accreditations without any input in the physical world of actual supplier validation.

Construction is rife with such schemes - Achilles, CHAS, ConstructionLine, SafeContractor ....all supposedly saving the pain of PQQ but instead adding to the proliferation of supplying slightly different answers to the same question.

A recent example involves the "Modern Slavery Act" where a major fashion chain player was caught out because they rely upon the paper chase as opposed to the physical inspection - Nike, Addidas, Apple.. there have been many global examples of failing to control the supply chain and yet we still fail to properly engage.

It will get worse as the machine switches to pursuing perceived carbon neutrality and fails to determine how much carbon they actually facilitate again relying upn the various schemes to provide industry its "pat on the back" that they are a particpant rather than what they truly are the spectator.

Ark B will also include accreditation schemes.

Roundtuit  
#3 Posted : 01 November 2020 21:07:23(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

It is less the organisation that seeks "ISO" accreditation merely a response to the demand of lazy customers.

Customers have a perception of needing to be "seen to be doing something" (sound familiar?) to validate their supply chain but rather than excercising their own due diligence become enticed to the easy path of asking for certificates and accreditations without any input in the physical world of actual supplier validation.

Construction is rife with such schemes - Achilles, CHAS, ConstructionLine, SafeContractor ....all supposedly saving the pain of PQQ but instead adding to the proliferation of supplying slightly different answers to the same question.

A recent example involves the "Modern Slavery Act" where a major fashion chain player was caught out because they rely upon the paper chase as opposed to the physical inspection - Nike, Addidas, Apple.. there have been many global examples of failing to control the supply chain and yet we still fail to properly engage.

It will get worse as the machine switches to pursuing perceived carbon neutrality and fails to determine how much carbon they actually facilitate again relying upn the various schemes to provide industry its "pat on the back" that they are a particpant rather than what they truly are the spectator.

Ark B will also include accreditation schemes.

A Kurdziel  
#4 Posted : 02 November 2020 14:24:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

 I think that ISO standards are better than the CHAS etc scheme as they are a) universally applicable – any sort of operation can use them not just one sector like construction or facilities and b)  they provide a full framework  for creating a management system as opposed to just a checklist.  If the auditor knows what they are doing they will be looking beyond just documentation but looking at implementation and evidence of that implementation. So just saying we have regular consultation with employees in a policy document is not enough, they will want to see minutes from regularly held safety committees where issues are raided and dealt with. That is more difficult to fake but there are people out there who probably can manage that.

Are they worth it? It depends on who you are trying to impress but generally an organisation that manages health and safety well does the other stuff well too.

peter gotch  
#5 Posted : 02 November 2020 15:35:49(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

AK - I think one could go further than your last sentence.

If an organisation doesn't do everything else well there is virtually no chance that they will do the H&S well, and vice-versa. 

N Hancock  
#6 Posted : 06 November 2020 11:44:50(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
N Hancock

Going to sound cynical here but I think they display how good your relationship is with the auditor. 

A Kurdziel  
#7 Posted : 06 November 2020 11:56:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

That’s harsh for the ISO standards. You definitely need a relationship with the auditor as they might understand the standard inside out, but they don’t understand how the standard applies to your business. That is part of the conversation. Remember that the auditors for ISO type standards must themselves be accredited by UKAS, and if you have had dealings with them you will realise they are nobodies friends!  

I have only had limited contact with other schemes like CHAS but have the impression that they are only paper exercises often without any sort of on site audit: you pay your money and get your badge. They also don’t recognise the ISO standards. So having sweated blood to comply with the ISO standard, you have to fill in questionnaire answering a question like “To demonstrate your H&S approach to health and safety send us a copy of  your risk assessment” Not which risk assessment just risk assessment and saying that we comply with any standard cuts no ice with them. That’s when the whole things feels like a waste of time

stevedm  
#8 Posted : 06 November 2020 15:35:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

...as an auditor and former chas assessor...I must say it does actually depend on the quality of the auditor...if you cannot provide objective evidence that you comply then it is non-compliance..whether that is paper based or face to face...the companies that complain the most about this are generally the companys who don't do EHS very well...

Alabaster  
#9 Posted : 08 November 2020 12:53:04(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Alabaster

ISO standards can be implemented in any way the organisation sees fit. Implementing a standard doesn't necessarily require mountains of paperwork - quality over quantity. 

The majority of non-UKAS accredited systems that I have seen have been extremely poor quality, generic and audited badly.

If implemented and integrated correctly management systems can benefit the business significantly. 

Accreditations such as Achilles, CHAS, Avetta etc. are utter nonsense the majority of the time. I've seen nothing but 100% pass marks from Achilles UVDB in the last 12 months or so... 

andybz  
#10 Posted : 08 November 2020 13:22:11(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
andybz

Peter

A lot of what you say is true but people have been saying it to my knowledge for at least 25 years, and probably longer. Quality standards have definitely resulted in some things that are useful but a lot of good stuff that companies had before the standards came along was lost. This was because people chose to do the minimum to get the standard instead of making the standard work for them.

I can't comment on CHAS and the other safety accreditations, but I know Achilles is an absolute joke. I really with procurement departments would wake up to this.

peter gotch  
#11 Posted : 09 November 2020 15:43:07(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Andybz

Agreed the debate has been going on a VERY long time.

However, the rationale for the debate has not gone away - quite the reverse - more possible ISO accreditations than ever!

Ian Bell2  
#12 Posted : 10 November 2020 00:02:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

For most of my time in h&s - 20+yrs, I've always thought such accreditations are pretty worthless and just money making schemes. But they have become the 'norm' and its almost h&s heresy to object to them.

Mark-W  
#13 Posted : 16 November 2020 07:54:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

My client is SafeContractor, Constructionline, but a new client has specified CHAS. So there is now an inhouse study being conducted to calculate the return for CHAS and the time to complete every year.

It seems that once a company has specified their choice for acreditation it matters not that you have 2 or 3 other certificates.

It is a scam, they are all much of a muchness. I can't think in the last 5 yrs that anyone from Safe contractor or constructionline have ever visited my client to conduct a real audit.

chris42  
#14 Posted : 16 November 2020 11:27:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

I think an important aspect that no one has commented on is that the cost of checking subcontractors is taken from the bigger companies and passed down the supply chain. Regardless of what scheme is used. Agree with others I remember one audit from Achilles, where because we had done no work for Network rail (not our fault as we had not been awarded any work), I sat and discussed the auditors caravan in west wales for almost the whole duration of the audit!

In a previous company I put in ISO9001, ISO14001 and OHSAS18001 and initially I thought most of the requirements were common sense to have. Though I have never agreed with the concept of continuous improvement, it makes me feel you didn’t do it right first time. I know life changes, but accounting for that is different, it is just keeping your system up to date (not specifically an improvement).

The changes made in 2015 to the standards I feel were a step to far, with things like context of company and effectively doing a SWOT analysis and looking at areas for commercial improvement. That is not quality control that is business.

I waste lots of time every year writing up audit reports, because I need to record not just issues found, but need to prove what I did look at as well. The area managers don’t care about anything but what is an issue and what they need to do about it. The rest is a waste.

I think a good company will be a good company regardless of wasting thousands of pounds a year on these money-making schemes.

Chris

thanks 1 user thanked chris42 for this useful post.
aud on 18/11/2020(UTC)
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