Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions
What is Compliance Consultancy?
Compliance consultancy means the support and advice available for your business from consultants who specialise in the application for instance of British and International Standards, or relevant British and European legislation.
These consultants can guide and assist your business in meeting the requirements of, or achieving certification to, those standards which may for instance be a pre-condition of tendering for contracts; or in establishing and implementing all the regulatory requirements to enable your business to achieve and maintain the necessary level of legal compliance.
Penarth Management has considerable experience in Health & Safety and Environmental legislation and on an extensive range of related standards across a wide variety of industrial sectors, and are able to provide consultancy to help your business identify the relevant needs and to assist with achieving certification or compliance as appropriate, and also to provide support to enable you to maintain that certification or regulatory compliance on an on going basis.
What is a Management System?
A Management System is a framework used to establish the policies and objectives of an organisation and the processes and procedures to achieve those objectives.
A Management System can be produced to meet the requirements of a specific management standard, e.g. ISO 9001:2008; ISO 14001:2004; OHSAS 18001:2007, or can be an inclusive system which addresses all aspects of an organisation’s activities.
It can be documented and presented in a variety of styles, the most familiar consisting of a high level document which outlines the policies, objectives, processes and responsibilities, with a supporting set of procedures which give the detail of how the various processes which support and enable the policies and objectives are carried out and recorded. Alternative formats including process flowcharts are increasingly popular.
Penarth Management has extensive experience in successfully helping businesses develop and implement management systems covering Quality, Environment and Health & Safety and a range of related British and International Standards.
What is an Integrated Management System?
Where an organisation is registered, or is seeking registration, to more than one standard it may be possible to address these within one Integrated Management System. Some of the most widely implemented standards (e.g. ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001) certainly lend themselves to this type of system, as many of the requirements are the same. So the common elements such as Document Control, Management Review, Auditing and setting Objectives could cover all the relevant standards, as could procedures for areas such as Purchasing, Training and so on.
What is the benefit of implementing a Management System?
Implementing a Management System may appear to be an expensive or time consuming activity, but the longer term benefits should definitely make it worthwhile. Management System standards provide a framework which enables an organisation to examine, define and improve their key processes, and to set achievable targets to maintain that improvement on an on going basis.
What's the cost of a Management System?
Companies differ in industry sector, size and complexity, so we price each and every project individually. You will receive a written proposal detailing all of the steps involved and what our costs would be.
How do I get an initial visit?
Contact us via 029 2070 3328 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll take some basic information about your company in order to make sure that we are properly prepared when we meet you and will arrange for a member of our consultancy team to visit you for a free, no obligation meeting, which typically takes no more than 1.5 hours.
How do you ensure you are legally compliant?
To ensure that your business is fully compliant with all the legislation which applies to the running of the business you first need to understand what legislation it applies. It is good practice to compile a list or register of relevant legislation under various topics – the general ones such as Employment Law, Workplace Health, Safety and Welfare Law, Environmental Protection Law, and Corporate and Fiscal Law; and the business specific ones such as Import/Export, Security, Patent Protection or Data Protection.
The legislation will then have to be reviewed to see which sections apply and in what way. This review should enable you to determine what actions are required and what records should be kept.
Some of these requirements can be quite complex and because of the possible consequences of not meeting your legal obligations it is advisable to seek expert advice on identifying and applying the relevant legislation.
Penarth Management can not only offer advice and assistance in compiling a register of legislation and help implement actions to comply with the requirements which apply to your business – especially in the areas of Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare and Environmental Protection - but can also provide on going support services to help you maintain compliance.
What is the difference between Audits, Assessment and Surveillance visits?
An audit of a Management System is an activity for gathering evidence that policies and processes are in place and working, and meet the requirements of the relevant standards and the stated objectives of the organisation. Audits can be carried out by the organisation itself or by its representatives such as consultants with appropriate experience. These are normally referred to as first party or internal audits. Many standards include internal auditing as a requirement for registration. Audits by external certification bodies such as assessment or surveillance visits (see below) are referred to as third party audits. Second party audits may be carried out by other interested parties such as customers.
Assessment of a Management System initially involves a comprehensive audit of system documents (Manual, Policies, Procedures, etc.). This is to confirm whether the system meets all the stated requirements of the relevant standard and if the organisation has set realistic objectives for on going improvement. This will be followed by a detailed inspection on site to confirm whether those documented procedures are being carried out in practice. A Management System assessment is carried out by a third party certification body, preferably one accredited by UKAS. The outcome of a successful assessment will be the issuing of a certificate of registration to the relevant standard or standards.
Once a certificate has been issued it is a condition of continuing registration that the certification body carry out regular surveillance visits to ensure that the Management System and requirements of the standards continue to be adhered to (see separate answer on surveillance visits).
What happens at a Surveillance visit?
Surveillance visits by a certification body normally take place once or possibly twice a year, with the aim of confirming that the requirements of the relevant standards continue to be met. They do this by seeking evidence that the documented Management System is being followed by using sampling techniques. A plan is normally issued in advance to identify which elements or processes will be examined, and on the day the assessor will want to examine a selection of relevant records and talk to employees involved in the various processes.
What is a Gap Analysis and why carry one out?
Who should perform a Gap Analysis?
A gap analysis aimed at a specific business objective such as improving production output or increasing market share may be best carried out internally, but for more general or wide ranging projects such as implementing Management Standards or ensuring Legal Compliance the level of knowledge and expertise required is unlikely to be available within an organisation, especially if it is a small to medium sized business.
Penarth Management's consultants have the skills, experience and technical resources to be able to carry out a comprehensive study and critique of an organisation’s current position and produce a detailed report on the additional requirements for meeting the stated objective such as implementing a Management System to achieve registration to a specific standard or standards.