Industry Accreditation Schemes

Over the last 10 years there has been a steady increase in the number of accreditation schemes out there, not just in transport but in all industries.

I was on a site in London this week and at induction, they explained to us that they are in the Considerate Constructors Scheme.  I am sure there are many people that would say “Oh no, not another scheme we have to be in and manage” but the truth is, being in these schemes always delivers benefits, but only if the nature of the scheme is embraced by all in the organisation.

As Jonathon Backhouse said at the 2017 FORS conference “You should not get the badge, unless you do the work”. This resonated with me as all too often, I come across businesses who are happy to get the work that having the badge brings, but they are not at all interested in actually either embracing what is meant to be achieved by the accreditation standard or they want to do just enough to get over the line so they can get the badge.

What benefit was there to the site I was working on being in the Considerate Constructors Scheme?  They could work six days a week.  What benefit does that deliver? They can get the project completed in a smaller number of weeks. What is the benefit in that? They can move onto the next big project sooner so they can grow their business by being able to get the work done in less time.  However, this is something which could be taken away.

If they do not manage their site workers behaviour, they make too much noise, work outside of the allowed hours, they may lose their accreditation, lose the ability to work six days a week and lose the opportunity to start the next project as quick, which may of course, result in them losing a future contract entirely.  The consequences of what losing this contract would mean are obvious but I am sure that this construction firm whose site I was working at would not let that happen, through quality management and staff engagement, and this is what I love to see, companies who are willing to ensure that safety and quality is at the heart of all of their operations, regardless of cost.

These are the companies who shine through in their industry or field and if all companies did the same thing, they would be able to shine through, even if they were a small business with only one or two people, if they truly believe in what the accreditation means, then they will work with it and achieve all of the benefits.  On the flip side though, it is an obvious thing to say that should they not engage with it, their involvement and benefits of being in the scheme will either not be realised or you may lose the badge altogether, leading to less business, less profit and possibly the loss of the business altogether.

I am commercially aware, this is a common criticism I get as an auditor, that I would not understand the struggles that businesses face.  I do understand. I have worked in industry myself but the truth is, it is essential that a business has enough staff and resources to operate as businesses who cut corners on staffing quantities, often miss out on business savings through not being able to effectively run their business.  This is a new requirement of the new FORS standard, version 5, that businesses have to demonstrate that they have sufficient resources to run their business and that those staff are competent at their job.

This is where Total Compliance has been proven to be effective, we can identify skills gaps, understanding gaps and we can help you to fill them or even work with you to fulfil a position that is currently not being fulfilled.  It may be that the wastage is not worth identifying or it is not cost efficient to mange it.  If this is the case we would always tell you, we will never sell anything to anyone that they do not need.  As is often the case though, the cost of the issue to the business far outweighs effectively managing it and this is where our expertise is invaluable.

Take 10 minutes out of your day and try to identify where you might be losing money through inefficiency and think where your business might go if these inefficiencies were eliminated. It may be minor or it may be a game changer.  As always, you know where we are if you need help and support as many businesses have done in the past, and I am sure many more will do in the future.


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