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Certification Boosts Fircroft Groups Integrated Management System
Global recruitment company Fircroft Group recently strengthened its integrated management system (IMS) by gaining certification to three international standards: ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
Established in the UK in 1970, Fircroft is a leading provider of recruitment, staffing and personnel search services. Today Fircroft provides more than 5,000 contractor and permanent workers to over 100 companies in 40 countries worldwide.
Fircroft’s clients are mainly in the oil and gas, automotive, mining and minerals, power and energy, and engineering sectors.
Fircroft earned revenues of £338 million in 2009, up 21% on the year before, and employed around 300 staff. Among its many awards, it was a Sunday Times Top Track 250 company in 2008 and 2009.
In 1992 Fircroft implemented a quality management system (QMS) conforming to the standard BS 5750. Two years later this was updated to meet the needs of ISO 9002 and, in the same year, the company opened its first overseas office.
In 2004 Fircroft chose SGS to assess its sales head office, and its Warrington and Aberdeen offices, to the new QMS standard ISO 9001. They were successfully certified and, in 2008, the company’s London, Crewe, Billingham and Whitehaven offices were certified to ISO 9001 too.
Fircroft’s Perth, Australia, office was its first overseas site to be assessed to ISO 9001, gaining certification in 2009. It’s Brisbane and Houston offices were next, achieving the standard the following year.
INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
In January 2011 Fircroft decided to integrate its ISO 9001-certified QMS, its environmental management system (EMS) and its occupational health and safety management system.
While each standard has a particular focus, all three are based on a plan-do-check-
“This integration was a good move,” says Martin Fiddler, Quality Systems Manager at Fircroft. “Our new IMS gives us greater control over our business processes and ensures continual improvement across our business.”
SGS’ IMS has helped Fircroft to:
● eliminate the duplication of procedures, saving time and cost
● reduce and streamline its management documentation
● improve the efficiency and effectiveness of internal and external audits
● demonstrate clearly its quality, environmental and health and safety systems and credentials to clients, prospects and stakeholders
● create and pursue a single set of objectives (such as reducing CO2 emissions), linked to its strategic objectives (such as reducing its environmental impact)
● increase staff responsibility, involvement and motivation in meeting goals
● enhance its performance and customer satisfaction
● meet its legal and regulatory obligations
● meet any additional client and candidate health and safety needs
In July 2011 SGS recertified Fircroft to ISO 9001 and extended the scope of this certification to all seven of its offices in the UK, plus its offices at Houston, Perth and Brisbane.
At the same time SGS also certified Fircroft’s EMS to ISO 14001, and its health and safety system to OHSAS 18001. Martin Fiddler of Fircroft says: “This has brought us many benefits, including increased employee awareness, knowledge and commitment to our health, safety and environmental improvement programmes.
“Externally, it’s given us a competitive edge when tendering for new business.”
“Over the past seven years we’ve always worked effectively with SGS,” says Martin Fiddler. “From the start, SGS has provided a competitive and robust solution. Everyone at SGS, from the assessors to support staff, has given us lots of good advice and helped us to improve.
“Thanks to our long-term, effective relationship, SGS was the obvious organisation to assist us with extending our certification to ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and additional locations.”
SGS carried out a ‘stage 1’ pre-audit of Fircroft in April 2011. This is also called the document review or gap analysis stage.
In July 2011 SGS carried out a ‘stage 2’ audit, a full assessment of Fircroft’s IMS to the requirements of ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
“In my recent assessment Fircroft demonstrated a few minor non-conformities, which are already being addressed, and some very good practices indeed,” says SGS IMS Lead Auditor, Linzi Platts. “Martin Fiddler is passionate about the company’s continual improvement and I look forward to working with him and Fircroft again.”
Martin Fiddler says: “SGS’ assessments and surveillance visits have certainly helped us to identify areas worth improving and have contributed to our continual improvement programme.”
Fircroft aims to further improve the effectiveness of its IMS by gaining certification to PAS 99 (Publicly Available Specification)
The company also plans to extend ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification to its Canadian offices, and additional US sites, in 2012.
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SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, SGS employs over 67000 people and operates a network of more than 1250 offices and laboratories around the world.
SGS helps organisations improve their performance through the delivery of services related to management systems and provides training to build capability and certify their systems against the chosen standard.