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Public Sector

NQA provides a range of services to assist public sector departments to improve performance. The broad range of activities and the huge sums of money spent make the public service sector both unique and subject to ever closer control. The requirement for delivering customer value at reasonable cost is of critical importance.

Many departments achieve this through use of international standards such as ISO 9001, which provides a framework for the effective and efficient delivery of services.

The environment and health and safety are also important in the delivery of public services and measures to reduce risk are essential. Management systems standards such as ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 are playing an increasingly important role in public sector management.

Some of the ways an ISO certified management system can benefit organizations both internally and in serving the public sector include:

ISO 9001

At national and municipal levels, transparency in government is increasingly politically expedient. ISO 9001 is the most recognised quality management system in the world — implementing it is one of the first steps in achieving greater accountability in the public sector.

ISO 9001 is based on a set of scalable best practices that help you run leaner, more efficient operations. Becoming ISO 9001 certified will help keep your operating costs low without sacrificing quality. No matter what field or level of government you work in, any public sector management system will become more effective and more consistent when brought in line with ISO 9001 standards.

For government contractors, achieving ISO 9001 certification is particularly important. Many government organizations require that bidders on lucrative contracts have effective quality management systems in place. If you’re considering moving your business into new territories, ISO 9001 certification provides instantly recognisable credentials.

Even if not required, ISO 9001 certification frees review committees from the need to do further vetting of your quality management standards — an important consideration when competing for new business in a competitive field.

ISO 14001

Sustainability is an issue of critical importance to governments around the world. Taxpayers are demanding that public sector organizations take more effective action on climate change and other issues related to resource use. This involves not just grand gestures, but also changing the way organizations work on a fundamental level. Unfortunately, in many regions, persistent bloat and a lack of accountability have made adopting more responsible policies a challenge in the public sector.

ISO 14001 is an environmental management system for the public sector that can be scaled upward for implementation in organizations of any size. By focusing on day-to-day activities, ISO 14001 affects changes at the level of people and processes. Based on a continuous improvement cycle, ISO 14001 delivers ongoing efficiency gains, making your organization leaner and more cost-effective overall, whilst setting a positive example by bringing your day-to-day operations in line with official priorities.

ISO 50001

ISO 50001 builds on the framework established by ISO 14001, with a specific focus on energy management. In the public sector, where organizations and departments are often spread out across multiple offices and locations, ISO 50001 helps brings disparate energy policies in line with one another, reducing usage levels overall. In doing so, ISO 50001 compliance will have a noticeable impact on your operating costs, providing a hedge against rising energy prices and making your organization more sustainable over the long term.

Large government contractors can benefit from ISO 50001 certification too. Aside from the considerable reputational benefits of managing your carbon footprint, ISO 50001 contributes to ESOS compliance in the UK and will position you to meet future regulatory challenges.

ISO 27001

It’s no secret that government hardware and IT infrastructures frequently lag behind those of private businesses. When dealing with outdated equipment and budgetary challenges, managing risk requires proactive policies. For this reason, ISO 27001 is one of the most important management systems for the public sector.

ISO 27001 gives you tools to protect yourself against cyber crime, vandalism and other online threats. It is completely technology and vendor neutral, which means it can be implemented anywhere, regardless of what systems and infrastructure you currently have in place.

For government contractors — particularly in the defence, aerospace and intelligence communities — ISO 27001 is an especially important tool for protecting your intellectual property. In these highly sensitive fields, a major data breach can cause extensive reputational damage and jeopardize your security clearance. ISO 27001 helps you stay compliant with your regulatory obligations, whilst strengthening stakeholder relationships and providing you with recognisable credentials that can help win new business.

OHSAS 18001

OHSAS 18001 is an important public sector management system that addresses occupational health and safety policies. OHSAS 18001 is critical for construction and roadwork contractors as it reduces the risk of an on-the-job accident, helps maintain productivity and establishes an organization-wide culture of safety. Government agencies trust OHSAS 18001 certified organizations to manage risks more effectively, stay committed to working safely and meet all regulatory requirements — important advantages when reviewing an RFQ.

OHSAS 18001 will be superseed by the new standard, ISO 45001. ISO 45001 follows the Annex SL high level structure, which means it shares language and goals with other public sector management systems such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. 

NQA has extensive experience of working with the public sector and provides a range of services to assist departments to improve their performance. Clients include Goodwill Industries, NASA, Department of the Army - Watervliet Arsenal, and The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

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