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Why is UKAS ISO certification right for repair specialist?

So we at Plastic Surgeon start the New Year by adding another accreditation to our credentials as a repair specialist, reinforcing the fact that we are an environmentally friendly company at every level; not purely due to our extensive repair techniques on the front line of our business.iso-9001Our latest achievement is that we have been independently certified under the ISO:14001:2004 environmental management system and ISO:9001:2008 quality management system.  Importantly, though, we have been assessed by UKAS accredited certification body, SGS United Kingdom Limited – rather than going down  the road taken by so  many companies and purchasing evaluations that are not UKAS accredited.

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the only accreditation body recognised by government to assess bodies that award ISO certification.  UKAS is independent from government, but is a non-profit making company whose role is to maintain a high and consistent standard amongst certification companies like SGS.

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Too many manufacturers and contractors in the UK run the risk of undermining their long-term success by purchasing independent evaluations that are not UKAS accredited, as Ian Handford, Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, reports: “If a small business chooses to take the certification route we are strongly in favour that they select a certification body carrying UKAS accreditation.”       

Our Managing Director, Rob Mouser, added: “We are extremely pleased to achieve both of these certifications.  While it isn’t a legal requirement to get your environmental and quality management systems independently certified, we wanted to do it properly because more and more of our customers want to see evidence that their suppliers are taking their environmental and quality responsibilities seriously.

“Large private sector organisations and an increasing number of public sector ones are specifying UKAS accredited certification from their suppliers, to demonstrate full compliance.  Industry leaders such as the CBI, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Institute of Directors recommend that a Management System should be externally audited to a recognised international or national standard by a certification body accredited by UKAS.”

Worryingly, for the many companies that do not use UKAS accredited evaluators, the outcome could include running the risk of product failure as result of relying on invalid test results; increased costs caused by inaccurate measurement (as a consequence of poorly calibrated equipment); legal action arising from inadequately inspected equipment leading to accidents, and rejected tenders or orders by not being able to support product claims with a UKAS accredited certificate or test report.

So what are the advantages of being UKAS accredited?  Firstly, for companies with ambitions to export – which we may well do in the foreseeable future – accredited testing is vitally important to avoid the cost and time involved in re-testing products.

Utilizing a UKAS accredited body to carry out an independent evaluation helps demonstrate due diligence in the event of legal action.  While accredited testing and calibration laboratories are a superb source of impartial advice and knowledge transfer, leading to product development opportunities.

Quality Management Consultant Richard Shearwood-Porter, who worked with Plastic Surgeon to achieve the certification, said: “Companies that are accredited by UKAS, such as SGS, are constantly under scrutiny themselves by both UKAS and the International Standards Organisation (ISO) to make sure that the management systems they award certificates for are fit for purpose and operate to the high standard required.  It is a basic rule of ISO management systems that one cannot audit one’s own work, so that there is much less possibility to cover up poor workmanship.”

Not choosing UKAS accreditation would have been way too risky a strategy for us, and not one that we would be prepared to make, as it would most definitely undermine the confidence and trust we have developed over the years with our clients, who have come to expect a service from Plastic Surgeon – at all levels – that is second to none.

Plastic Surgeon can restore almost any damaged interior or exterior surface in commercial or residential buildings. Thanks to specialist training the company’s finishers are expert in repairing and fine finishing practically any material including;

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