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Monday, 20 June 2011

Hot Standards - ISO27001 and AS9100

I am often asked about the trends for companies wishing to incorporate Management Standards and how this impacts on the UK. 

Recently there has been a major shift in requirements from the traditional Quality Management Standard ISO9001 and Environmental Management Standard ISO14001 to the Information Security Management Standard ISO27001 and the Aerospace and Defence Standard AS 9100 (or EN9100).

Are these harder to get (and keep) ?   The clear answer is yes they are. I often use the comparison that if ISO9001 is a mole hill then ISO27001 is Mount Everest.

AS9100 is similar and covers all the requirement of ISO9001 plus 80 additional requirements.  It is a huge undertaking.

Why are these two Standards becoming so popular?


The loss of data and personal information through hacking, theft and in some cases sheer stupidity has prompted organisations to look for a method to secure their data and protect it from unauthorised disclosure.  Even a minor loss could damage an organisation's reputation and in a worst case scenario result in the Information Commissioner levying heft fines.  The publicity alone can cause a loss of confidence by customers and potential customers.  ISO27001, if properly used, can prevent this happening.  It also shows that an organisation takes this element very seriously.

Organisations supplying goods and services to the Aerospace and Defence industries are increasingly being asked to incorporate AS9100.   The latest revision 'C' is a substantial piece of work, requiring organisations to put many additional controls into place to ensure that any goods or services are fit for purpose in this highly regulated industry.  AS9100 or as it is sometimes known in Europe as EN9100 is the Standard that major aircraft and aerospace manufacturers are putting into place and requiring their suppliers to do the same.

How long does it take to put these Standards into place?

Very much depends on the size and complexity of the organisation but it is likely that from start to certification may take 12, 18 or 24 months to achieve.

Remember before the first (stage 1) assessment any organisation must have been working to the Standard for at least 3 months; we normally recommend 6 months to ensure any difficulties are ironed out.

This includes all the new documentation, procedures, processes, work instructions and records must be working, have been internally audited and are ready for external assessment.

Once Stage 1 has been completed and any non-conformities cleared the Stage two can be undertaken.  This on site assessment will be an in depth audit against both the Standard and organisation declared documentation.

If all goes to plan, any non-conformities are rectified and a certificate of compliance can be issued. 

Is this the end of story?    No, the Certification Body will make surveillance visits to check that the organisation remains compliant.  If there are serious breaches the certificate may be suspended or withdrawn.

Why is it so difficult?   I usually say that 'if it was easy to get then everyone would have it and if it was easy to get then it probably would not have such positive benefits'.

How does this impact on the UK?  

ISO27001 certifications are increasing rapidly, Japan, India and China lead the way with the UK in fourth place.

AS9100 lead by the major aircraft manufacturers in the USA but becoming a requirement for UK suppliers.

Monday, 6 June 2011

ISO14001 and Waste Carrier Licences

If you want to transport other people's controlled waste, or your own construction and demolition waste, you must register with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier. From 29 March 2011, new regulations introduced a two-tier registration system for waste carriers, brokers and dealers.

Controlled waste includes commercial, industrial and household waste, as well as hazardous waste. Most radioactive wastes and explosive wastes are controlled by other regulations.

All businesses can register as waste carriers including self-employed individuals, partnerships, companies or other types of organisation. You need to register even if carrying waste is not your main business activity or if you only carry waste occasionally.

If you do not register and you carry waste, you could be prosecuted.

Upper tier waste carriers

If you transport other people's controlled waste, or your own construction or demolition waste, you must register as an upper tier waste carrier unless you fall into one of the categories for lower tier waste carriers.

If you had a waste carrier certificate before 29 March 2011, you don't need to do anything. When your certificate is due to be renewed it will be replaced with an upper tier certificate.

Lower tier waste carriers

Lower tier registration replaces registration as a professional collector or transporter of waste.

You must register as a lower tier carrier if you only carry:
  • animal by-products 
  • waste from mines and quarries 
  • waste from agricultural premises

You will also need to register as a lower tier carrier if you carry waste, and are:
  • a waste collection, disposal or regulation authority 
  • a charity or voluntary organisation

Lower tier carriers are also known as 'specified persons'.

If you were registered as a professional collector or transporter of waste before 29 March 2011, you do not need to do anything. You will automatically transfer to being a lower tier carrier, broker or dealer.

From the end of December 2013, you will also need to register as a lower tier carrier if you normally and regularly carry controlled waste produced by your own business.

Reprinted from Net Regs/Business Link  web-site under open Government Licence

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