The future economic performance of organisations operating within the TIC market are closely linked to the end markets and given the on-going disruption to global supply chains, dispositions on the basis of emergency situations have relaxed or diluted the effectiveness and efficiency of some activities, whilst the need for predictability in performance has become more critical given the urgency and dependence on products and services upon which we all rely, as we retract to seeking the satisfaction of our physiological and safety needs. For most, many luxuries are now either not a consideration, or may even be subject to restrictions in relation to the containment of the pandemic.

The image¹ highlights the negative impact on end market sub-sectors and whilst niche markets may have been more or less resilient, the news that the UK economy shrank 2.6% in November indicates that the enduring impact of the financial crisis linked to the pandemic may, as some predict, be worse than any economic depression in recorded history.

As a Certification Body we will need to help our Clients through the short to mid-term situation, ensuring the welfare of our workforce and being flexible to accommodate restrictions in place on their organisations and those of their customers. We will continue to adapt to and adopt emerging processes and technologies as permitted and promoted by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and our national Assessment Body (UKAS).

If any of our current or potential future clients are experiencing significant change including commercial or operational stressors, we will seek engagement in order to help review risk and support our valued customers and partners.

In 2021 SCS will be developing a number of projects in relation to new markets sectors, enhancing our ability to provide a digital service and engaging complementary partners to support the technical capacity and capability of the organisation.

Although a muted recovery is now clearly apparent as the Virus is not yet contained, the TIC market has demonstrated to be more resilient than many end markets and the ‘Assurance’ segment (incl. Management System Certification) of the TIC market is the most resilient of all the propositions.


Source: ¹Impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the TIC Sector Report April 2020. OC&C Strategy Consultants

Innovative Construction Company Connex Offsite Ltd has recently invested in certifying its processes and procedures in order to facilitate planned growth whilst maintaining quality standards, minimising the impact on the environment and ensuring its people remain safe and healthy, achieving registration against the ISO9001, ISO 14001 & ISO45001 international standards.

Given the management team’s commitment to being the premier bathroom pod manufacturer/constructor in the UK and Ireland, it was a natural progression to define the critical aspects of the design, construction and logistics operations which add value to their clients’ projects and ensure effective and efficient control internally. Once the system was established, a number of certification bodies were considered and SCS (System Certification Services) were appointed based on their construction sector experience and detailed proposal.

Subsequent to the initial audit process the audit team commented “Offsite excellence is not only demonstrated operationally, but through all aspects of the company.  The audit process was welcomed by the team and this laid the foundations to conduct an effective audit.  Having completed a factory walk through and process evaluation, it is evident that Connex Offsite have created an off-site manufacturing process which incorporates quality from design through to end product and in doing so has taken into consideration environmental aspects as well as health and safety legislative and standard requirements”.

The IAF has launched its online platform, IAF Cert Search. is an online platform where accredited certifications can be validated in real time. Presently, those seeking to verify an accredited certification have no central location to check accredited certifications, which allows for misuse where companies claim they have an accredited certification when in fact they don’t.

The platform will enable a user to validate individual certifications in cases where the users know the “company name” or “certification ID” (known entities). Users will not be able to generate “lists” of any kind & the technology is compliant with all international privacy and data regulations.

IAF CertSearch and its supporting technology (an IAF CertSearch mark and Certified Trade Marketplace) will increase awareness, education, value and integrity of accredited certification. It will further differentiate accredited certification and highlight the benefits of accredited certification.

SCS supports IAF CertSearch and once the data feed process is established in April, our Certified Clients can activate their account so their certifications are searchable and can be validated, at no cost.

IAF has provided a short guide introduction to the platform which is hosted by UKAS.

There is significant support from all levels of the accredited certification network, industry, government and regulators. IAF CertSearch will be digitally promoted by industry associations, industry users, global trade organizations, regulators, governments, the IAF, Accreditation Bodies, Certification Bodies and Certified Entities from all over the world as the trusted source for validating accredited certification.

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Congratulations to Rahoran Ltd of Fivemiletown who recently achieved Certification of their Quality, Environmental and Health & Safety Management Systems against the requirements of ISO9001:2015, IS014001:2015, and ISO45001:2018 respectively, also meeting the Safety Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) criteria

Rahoran Ltd construct Commercial & Residential Housing Developments and have worked with System Certification Services Ltd (SCS) as their preferred Certification Body, to independently verify compliance with the standards.

“I was really grateful for how helpful the auditor was. Being subject to audit for the first time was a daunting experience, made all the easier by the patience, competence and experience of the audit team from SCS. The certification process has been an enjoyable journey which will add value to our business and for our customers. I would highly recommend System Certification Services to any prospective clients”, Stephen Kirkpatrick, MD, Rahoran.

Pictured are (from right to left) Neal Pauley (SCS), Heather Kirkpatrick (Rahoran), Stephen Kirkpatrick (MD, Rahoran), Derek Hamilton (SCS), and some of the Rahoran trade personnel.

Well done to all involved!

#Professional #quality #healthandsafety #environmental #independence

Successful Commercial Energy Solutions Contractor is celebrating after achieving recertification to three ISO and OHSAS Management System Standards, including Transition to the 2015 upgrades.

Alternative Heat Ltd was established in 2003 and is a family owned business which specialise in the design, build, installation and commissioning of commercial energy solutions, developing into one of the leading suppliers and installers of heating and energy systems throughout the UK and Ireland, through their dedicated staff comprising of Mechanical & Electrical Engineers, BIM CAD Design, Service & Maintenance, Commissioning, Health & Safety and Business & Technical Support, as well as Skilled trades and Site operatives.

Alternative Heat chose to transfer to SCS to provide certification services for its management systems including:

The transition transfer was effective and the Client representative was “very satisfied” with the audit process and appreciated the competence of the auditors, noting how SCS’s reports provide suitable information to determine the organisations current level of performance.

SCS would like to extend our appreciation for the hard work and co-operation of all personnel encountered throughout the process and commend the team on their seamless transition.

Accredited certifications to ISO 45001:2018 shall only be issued once SCS has been accredited to deliver certification to the new standard and after the organization has demonstrated conformity to ISO 45001:2018.

As a Certification Body holding UKAS accreditation for OHSAS 18001, SCS are permitted to issue unaccredited ISO 45001 certificates to customers meeting the new requirements prior to SCS gaining accreditation to the new standard. Once accreditation is gained, SCS will review each certificate issued as unaccredited to ensure the audit process that led to that certificate being issued is still valid before upgrading the certificate to accredited status.

ISO45001:2018 Migration audits will be carried out in conjunction with scheduled surveillance or recertification where possible in a single stage approach, and will include a minimum of 1 auditor man-day to be added to cover existing and new requirements implied by ISO 45001:2018, recognizing that each client and migration audit is unique and audit duration will be increased as necessary to demonstrate conformity to ISO 45001:2018.

The process will initially require a Self-Assessment readiness review to be completed and submitted to SCS for review prior to the scheduled audit visit.

The OHSAS 18001 certificates of SCS certified organisations that have not completed migration prior to the expiry of the transition period at March 2021 will expire and be automatically withdrawn. Said organisations would then be required to apply for certification to the ISO 45001 standard as a new application and be subject to an Initial Audit in 2 Stages.

Leading Cable Management Solution Manufacturer is celebrating after achieving certification to three ISO and OHSAS Management System Standards across its entire UK business in GB & NI.

The management team at Unitrunk recognised the need for greater cohesiveness within the multiple locations, departments and functions throughout the organisation in order to facilitate the continued growth and product development forecast within its strategic planning. A number of certification bodies were considered and SCS (System Certification Services) were recommended based on previous track record within the technical sector.

Unitrunk were focused on identifying a Certification body that could assist in ensuring continual improvement across the company’s business units, whilst focusing on matters of significance, being flexible to accommodate operational needs of the organisation and adding value by allocating auditors with significant competence and experience in the sector. The Client’s objective was never merely about the certificates on the wall, but more about the improvement of internal communication and information availability.

The Client’s previous experience and/or perception of the external audit process had been of ‘compliance’ auditing, and through the direct liaison and presentation of the certification proposal, SCS were able to demonstrate how the use of the process approach and multi-site sampling would significantly enhance the audit process and drive the improvement agenda within all levels and functions within the Client organisation. Unitrunk chose SCS to provide certification services for its management systems including:

In order to give confidence to the many stakeholders within Unitrunk, early visibility on the logistics planning was provided to the Client team, and the plans sympathetically considered reducing the audit impact on ‘business as usual’. During the audit visits, the audit team reviewed and confirmed that the Integrated Management System reflected the Strategic direction of the organisation and that Processes and the subsequent controls were appropriate to the Risk and Opportunities prevalent. The Client received an extensive audit report which captured and communicated the significant findings, as well as the details of personnel interviewed, the records checked and activities observed, with extensive audit trails and sample evidence providing Client personnel with a clear understanding of both the audit process and the validity of the recommendation for certification made by the Audit Team Lead.

Through the adoption of the ISO standards by the Client and the independent yet collaborative approach of the Certification audit team, the Client has attained the following outcomes:

“SCS provide a common-sense approach to auditing and their team are highly effective in aligning the company’s needs alongside the standards requirements.  It was crucial to Unitrunk that our Business Management system (BMS), covering the three standards, was fully integrated into the day-to-day operations and processes within the organisation.  We didn’t want a system that sat alongside what we did because we understood the true benefits would come from embracing the process approach and drive towards continual improvement.  SCS also understood this and were paramount in highlighting areas for improvement and greater integration to develop the culture of the business.  The years of experience gained by the auditors was clear and minimised the bureaucratic-style auditing that many companies have experienced in the past”. Graham Milligan, Operations Director

The publication of ISO45001:2018 is planned to replace OHSAS18001:2007 as the internationally recognised occupational health and safety management system standard for certification. There will be a 3 year transition period for those organisations wishing to migrate from the old standard.

So the question then is; will migration from OHSAS18001 to ISO45001 achieve improved organisational Health & Safety Performance through greater worker participation?

The evolvement of the standard was in the backdrop of an estimated 2.34 million deaths in 2013 as a result of work activities, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), with the greatest majority (2 million), associated with health issues, as opposed to injuries, and the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) estimating that there are 660 000 deaths a year as a result of cancers arising from work activities.

According to the Health & Safety Executive in Great Britain, a total of 137 workers were killed at work in 2016/17, which is a reduction of 10 fatalities from 2015/16, and is the second lowest year on record after 2013/14. However, these statistics exclude deaths from occupational diseases, which typically occur many years after first exposure to the causative agent. The asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma is one of the few examples where deaths due to an occupational disease can be counted directly. There were 2,542 such deaths in GB in 2015, but other occupational deaths usually have to be estimated rather than counted. Each year in GB around 13,000 deaths from occupational lung disease and cancer are estimated to have been caused by past exposure, primarily to chemicals and dust, at work.


It is clear that an organisation’s activities can and do pose a risk to the safety and health of its workforce and those affected by its activities, and the adoption of a systematic approach to the application of preventative measures through the implementation of an OH&S management system can demonstrate effective processes for the elimination or minimisation of associated OH&S risks, and promote a Climate conducive to learning and continual improvement of OH&S performance.

As with the previous standard, ISO45001 is not prescriptive about the format or design of an organisation’s OH&S management system, but implies that, as a tool for improving overall Health & Safety performance, the management system adopted should be commensurate to the risk prevalent within the organisation’s purpose and activities. The new ISO standard has utilised the generic Annex SL format, as would be known to organisations familiar with the new versions of ISO9001, ISO14001 or ISO27001 etc., to re-align some existing clauses, as well as introducing other new requirements.


In the development of its OH&S Management System, it is now an essential element to consider the internal and external ‘actors’ and ‘factors’ ie. Its Context, which influence (positively or negatively) OH&S Performance. The needs and expectations of Workers and Interested Parties must also be determined to ensure the relevant risks and opportunities are considered. It is expected that systematic evaluation or worker’s needs etc will lead to enhanced OH&S controls relevant to the risks encountered.

Top Management is now responsible and accountable for the provision of a safe and healthy workplace and the prevention of ill-health and injury, positively influencing the need to engage with the workforce and ensure effective communication and their participation in relevant OH&S activities. It may be suggested that Clause of OHSAS18001 ‘Participation & Consultation’ already clearly required worker’s involvement in risk assessments, incident investigation, policy & objective development and representation etc on OH&S Matters, but along with Policy commitments, Top Management must now apply the hierarchy of controls to OH&S Risks.

A key planning mechanism in any OH&S system, hazard identification and risk assessment has been ‘widened’ slightly to include ‘other risks and opportunities’ to the OH&S management system, which now includes ‘processes’ and by inference may enhance planning by considering the interfaces between and within processes. There is also enhanced reference to social and human factors in relation to hazard identification.

As with other standards based on Annex SL, Documented Information largely replaces the need for documented procedures and promotes the process approach, including evidence to support their implementation as planned. ISO45001 now mandates that organisations must operate a process for the elimination of hazards and reduce risk by following the stipulated Hierarchy of Controls, where previously OHSAS18001 stated that organisations had to consider the hierarchy. This is a subtle change of text with potentially significant positive impact on OH&S Performance as organisations may need to demonstrate to auditors justification for controls applied.

Requirements in relation to the control of outsourcing, procurement and contractors have been further detailed and strengthened, to express process controls to address potential risks arising from the organisational relationships established.


In addition to the new format and additional requirements, there have been additional implications for Certification Bodies in planning to audit against the new OH&S Management System standard, including Mandatory requirements for Migration and for Risk categorisation and subsequent audit durations etc. The requirements for the Competency of OH&S Auditors and certification personnel is also currently under development and the requisite Technical Committee expects publication along with ISO45001 in March. Details of relevant documents can be found at the end of this article.

The uniformity of application of risk categorisation and subsequent Audit Duration should enhance the robustness and effectiveness of the audit process, which along with the addition to the ISO17021 family of standards, will ensure an improvement to the standards of OH&S knowledge and ability of auditors deployed in the Certification sector, all contributing toward improved OH&S performance on a global scale.


Worker Participation is the ‘Golden Thread’ in this new standard and through the active role of workers in OH&S matters, regulatory compliance, employee wellbeing and worker competence will improve, whilst incident occurrence and associated costs, downtime, insurance premiums, absenteeism and employee turnover rates will reduce. It is predicted that ‘leading indicators’ will go up whilst ‘lagging indicators’ will go down, hence improved OH&S performance.


To find out more about System Certification Services please visit call 02892444230 or email



IAF MD 21:2018 Requirements for the Migration to ISO 45001:2018 from OHSAS 18001:2007

(Issue 1, issued on 18 January 2018; application from March 2018) This document provides requirements for the migration from OHSAS 18001:2007 to ISO 45001:2018.

IAF MD 22:2018 Application of ISO/IEC 17021-1 for the Certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH&SMS) (Issue 1, issued on 25 January 2018; application from 25 January 2018) This document is mandatory for the consistent application of ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 for the accreditation of Certification Bodies providing certification of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OH&SMS).

ISO/IEC DTS 17021-10 Conformity assessment - Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management systems - Part 10: Competence requirements for auditing and certification of occupational health and safety management systems.