Providing assurance through certification
Achieving certification across the three P’s of a business (people, processes and products) is an important way of building reputation, trust and ultimately generating increased business revenue.
Broadly speaking, being able to demonstrate to your clients and to prospective customers that you have been through the process of achieving third-party accredited certification with a renowned and experienced provider, such as BM TRADA will act as a stamp of quality and let people know that you are a tried and trusted business.
What is third-party certification?
Third-party certification is when an independent certification body reviews an element of your business and ensures that it complies with recognized standards. Certification is not limited to any one industry. For example, BM TRADA serves a wide range of businesses in both the private and public sectors, including construction, health, information technology, manufacturing and food.
It’s also important to note that certification can be applicable, and indeed beneficial, to businesses of all sizes. Being able to complete certification of the three P’s - as we explore more below - gives a rich number of opportunities to demonstrate trust and a commitment to quality.
The Three P’s:
The first ‘P’ covers the people within your business. There are numerous certifications to ensure that your staff are performing to the highest standards. Being able to demonstrate that you have invested in your staff and that they competently follow recognized standards can help to give you an edge over competition and highlight to clients that industry best-practice approaches are used.
From a practical perspective, achieving certification improves the competence of your staff. For example BM TRADA Q mark certification is a UKAS-accredited scheme for those involved the installation, and maintenance of fire doors or fire stopping installation products. In order to achieve certification,
contractors must undergo a three-stage assessment:
- Assessment of office management systems
- Assessment of workmanship of site for all trade disciplines for which certification is sought
- Competence assessment of supervisory and installation employees
For clients and prospective customers, seeing that personnel have been independently verified to comply with best practice provides important reassurance and trust.
The second ‘P’ is the certification of processes, such as chain of custody, collaborative working and management systems. These help to demonstrate clarity in delivering value to clients and a focus on achieving customer satisfaction.
Examples of the ways a business could certify its processes vary depending on the specific organization, though we find that many of our management systems work across a number of sectors, as many core values remain the same. Quality, environment, collaborative working and health and safety are popular choices, and in many cases, organizations certify a number of processes, as the ISO certification standards are often complementary. Specific processes can also be certified, for example chain of custody certification is an important one for our BM TRADA timber clients, to provide independently-verified assurance that the timber used comes from responsibly-sourced forests.
The final ‘P’ is products and refers to the certification that products undergo to achieve compliance with standards. A well-known example of this is the new UKCA mark that many products are required to have signifying compliance with standards and legislations.
Product certification gives customers the confidence that your product has been scrutinised under
- It is fit for purpose
- Manufactured using a defined quality system
- Links factory production with the laboratory test sample.
This is exemplified by BM TRADA’s Q-mark scheme which certifies building and construction products based upon Product Certification Standard ISO/IEC 17065. Achieving Q-mark, or any other reputable certification will act as a stamp of quality on your products, marking them out as being tested and helping to give you that edge when it comes to winning business.
To learn how certification can help your business, get in touch with one of our experts.