Systems Certification

Professional, Technical and Competent

Improvement through accredited auditing of ISO standards
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A wide range of support

SCS provides a range of expert and cost effective registration / certification services designed to optimise business opportunities.

Experienced Management

SCS is operated by Quality Assurance, Environmental and Safety Business Professionals who have many years’ of experience in a multitude of businesses.

Fast and Efficient

With the right preparation and a good understanding of what is required for ISO certification, most organisations can expect to achieve certification within 3 to 6 months depending on their size and complexity.

What we do

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System Certification Services (SCS) provide certification services which add value to Client organisations by challenging their business management systems, in accordance with the relevant standard and in cognisance of the context and product/service area in which their activities are delivered. All auditors are practical, seasoned practitioners with relevant sector experience, and hence have a keen understanding and focus on matters of significance. This in turn enables a working relationship which together, assures the product/service delivery, controls risk and limits adverse incidents, within a learning environment, focused on improvement. Conformity assessment and certification is an important way to give confidence in products, services, management systems and people, making a significant contribution to the economy, health, safety, and the environment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Common reasons for opting to certify management systems can be either proactive or reactive.

Proactive stimuli include the desire to become more efficient and effective, leading to increased commercial competitiveness and capacity for growth and or an improved yield for the shareholders.

Reactive stimuli include context related activities such as customer or industry requirements. Often public sector clients require certification to provide confidence and predictability in the delivery of products and services, whilst private sector customers desire repeatability and sustainability of supply and use certification as a base line and or differentiator in selection and appointment processes.

For the organisation itself, the benefits of an effective certified management system can include more efficient use of resources, increased competitiveness, improved risk management, increased customer satisfaction, reduced occupational health and safety risks, and reduced impact on the environment.
SCS cannot provide copies of standards. International Standards are subject to copyright and as such must be procured from National Standards Bodies. The National Standards Body in the UK is BSi (https://shop.bsigroup.com/) and in Ireland is NSAI (https://www.nsai.ie/)
Once an application for certification is received and the proposal agreed, an initial audit is conducted in 2 stages at a mutually agreed timeframe by one or more experienced auditors. The Stage 1 Audit objectives are to review the documented management system, evaluate site-specific conditions, and through discussions with personnel, determine preparedness for stage 2.

Stage 2 is the main audit and it will determine the extent of conformity and effectiveness of the management system throughout the organisation within scope. The output of this audit process is a detailed report with a recommendation in support of certification, which may be dependent upon addressing any nonconformity identified.

Assuming all actions addressed, a decision is then made by SCS personnel independent from the audit team who will confirm the technical accuracy of the audit. This triggers registration on the certification register and certificates are authorised for release. Certificates are issued for the 3 year cycle and subject to annual surveillance visits, prior to Recertification in advance of the certificate expiry, whereupon the cycle begins again.
The cost of certification provided by SCS is a fixed price all inclusive fee based largely on a day rate applied against the calculated on-site duration of the audit activity. SCS have a comprehensive application questionnaire in order to capture all the relevant organisational information about the applicant, as there are significant variables, such as but not limited to an organisations personnel numbers, the scope of the organisation’s purpose and the standards against which the organisation wishes to be certified.
Assuming the operation of an effective management system, the whole process can typically take 8 – 12 weeks dependent upon individual circumstances such as the level of preparation and whether any nonconformity is identified during the initial audit.
In the world of Conformity Assessment, often these two terms are used but whilst similar, they represent different activities within the assurance framework.

Certification is provided by an independent third party audit of an organisation against conformity criteria as detailed within a standard or scheme, such as the international standard ISO9001 for Quality Management Systems. The audits are conducted by Conformity Assessment Bodies often referred to a Certification Bodies, and that are subject to oversight by one or more Accreditation Bodies.

Therefore, organisations which have been successfully audited against a standard such as ISO9001 hold ‘certification’ and can refer to themselves as certified.

Accreditation is provided by an Accreditation Body whereby the organisation subject to assessment has to demonstrate their independence, competence and integrity to perform the activities listed within their scope of accreditation. UKAS is the government-appointed National Accreditation Body in the UK.

Therefore, certification bodies which have been successfully assessed against a standard, such as ISO17021 for Management System Certification activities, hold ‘accreditation’ and can refer to themselves as accredited.

There are of course organisations that place certification on the market that is not subject to the rigours of accreditation. Although not mandatory many buyers will only recognise accredited certification because the accredited certification body is able to demonstrate its competence, consistency and impartiality, according to the relevant international standards, in assessing organisations’ ability to meet the requirements of recognised ISO standards.

The UK government also “recommends UK businesses, government, and local authorities that need third party conformity assessment services to use services from conformity assessment bodies accredited by a national accreditation body.
The transfer of an existing and valid certificate granted by another accredited certification body is FREE and is a relatively straightforward and simple process.
Remote auditing is a process by which an auditor combines information and communication technology and data to assess the accuracy of data, internal controls, gather evidence (electronic or by other means) to interact with clients without the need to be physically present. The remote audit can be used when experiencing an extraordinary event (such as the recent pandemic) that prevents or discourages physical interaction.

There are limitations and risks presented by remote auditing techniques and as such these are not applicable or suitable for all audit circumstances.
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