A Journey to Excellence

Shortly following my appointment with Century Fire and Security Ltd in 2015, I found myself tasked with a complex challenge and in completely uncharted territory. The Managing Director wanted to achieve one of his primary business objectives, that being Century to be fully accredited to the International Standard, which specifies requirements for a Quality Management System, universally known as ISO 9001. And so, the journey began.

Century initially engaged the services of an external consultant to assist in the implementation, and with his advice and guidance, it took only a few short months to achieve certified accreditation to ISO 9001:2008 in April 2016.  However, not long after certification, we soon realised a new version of the standard had been implemented and the current 2008 version was due to expire in September 2018, which signified our new accreditation would only be valid for the next 2 years. This realisation left us disappointed and cheated. Despite the new achievement and validity, we instantly felt dated and out of touch with our original goal. As a forward-thinking proactive company, this simply wasn’t acceptable, and we immediately sought to rectify and improve upon as a matter of priority.

We instigated the process not only to migrate to the new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard, but also to integrate with ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard and the then current OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard. This took some considerable time and effort, far more than the original accreditation. Not only had the Quality Standard changed, which meant we had to completely revisit our Quality processes and procedures, we had to identify every Environmental and Health and Safety impact and aspect, which meant our workload tripled overnight. Fortunately, this paid off when, in October 2016, our UKAS approved external auditors at Independent European Certification Ltd certified accreditation for the fully Integrated Management System encompassing ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007.

The 3-year renewal was upon us this year and with the introduction of the new ISO 18001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard earlier in 2018, we found ourselves in yet another transition period to migrate to the new Occupational Health and Safety Management Standard whilst maintaining our 2015 accreditation for Quality and Environmental Management Standards. The pressure was on, the migration process began, and the management meetings became more frequent and comprehensive to ensure the smoothest transition possible.

On 22nd September 2018, the auditors of Independent European Certification Ltd spent two long days on site auditing all our processes and procedures, including our migration to the new ISO 45001 standard, our ongoing maintenance of 9001 and 14001, our internal audits, and the operational functionality of all implemented systems. Delighted with their findings, the auditors passed every stage of the assessments with no recommendations for improvement. Century are now the proud owners of a fully expedient Integrated Management System incorporating ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018. As one of the first security companies in the UK to hold such achievements, we are elated with the results and despite accomplishing our goal of Century’s journey to excellence, fully intend to remain on its’ path and beyond into the future. Not only has producing such results improved the internal fundamentals of the business, it ensures each and every customer can be rest assured in their decision to utilise the services of Century Fire and Security Ltd. A company with distinction and finesse.

by Zoe Chilvers, Procurement Manager

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