If there’s one UK business that’s kept improving over the last few years, it’s Jaguar Land Rover, with sales up a phenomenal 37%. And at NQA, we’ve played our part by helping JLR to gain the internationally recognised health and safety standard OHSAS 18001. Our UKAS accreditation and our familiarity with large, complex, multi-site operations made NQA the natural partner for this project, resulting in a healthier, reduced-risk working environment and increased productivity.
Jaguar Land Rover already had mature and robust procedures in place, but was looking to have a system to control the work already in progress and to make sure it was continually improved.
Selection criteriaAs a company with a strong international reputation it was not surprising that the first criterion for selecting a certification body to work with was that the organisation should itself be accredited by UKAS.
“What we wanted was a certification organisation that would help us dovetail our existing system into 18001 and help us to rationalise both documentation and procedures so that the management system worked in a streamlined, efficient way.”
Beyond that initial qualification, NQA impressed with its level of understanding and knowledge of Jaguar Land Rover’s business and the implications for Health and Safety within the organisation.
With six sites in the UK, including manufacturing and administrative facilities, the audit company needed to be able to understand the multi-faceted nature of the business and the very different working environments, each with its own particular requirements from the standard.
A common approach
Most importantly, the organisations had to share a common understanding of the purpose and benefits to be achieved from certification. As Satnam Bhamber, Safety Manager for Jaguar Land Rover, West Midlands, outlined:
“We already had an internal Health and Safety management system in place and did not want to start from scratch. What we wanted was a certification organisation that would help us dovetail our existing system into 18001 and help us to rationalise both documentation and procedures so that the management system worked in a streamlined, efficient way. We didn’t want a box ticking approach, we wanted a team who would scrutinise our systems and make proactive suggestions to help ensure that our goal of continual improvement was fulfilled.”
Certification was a relatively quick process for Jaguar Land Rover because so much of the ground work was already in place. The main area for improvement was consolidating the management system and a new procedure to aggregate management information was put in place.
Reviewing the benefits
With this working smoothly it is now possible to evaluate the benefits that have resulted from the certification process.
“Our original objective in achieving certification was all about our internal audience. A regular audit visit from an independent organisation provides an excellent discipline as it encourages a regular and comprehensive review - a process which in itself tends to reveal areas for potential improvement. However, we are now increasingly asking suppliers to undergo a similar certification process in order to ensure that our rigorous health and safety procedures are replicated across our supply chain.”
The In-house team
Health and Safety is of paramount importance to Jaguar Land Rover, and the safety team have all undergone the internal auditors training programme to ensure that they are completely up to speed with the management processes required.
With this level of expertise in-house it is up to the NQA auditors to bring their wide experience of different organisations to Jaguar Land Rover and discuss potential areas of improvement with the team. Satnam describes the relationship as:
“A very open relationship – definitely a two way street with lots of dialogue and discussion. We very much value the knowledge of the NQA auditors. To get to the stage where we reap the maximum benefit from our relationship has involved considerable investment on both sides to make sure we all understand how both organisations work and how knowledge can best be shared. The audit visits are never viewed as an interrogation, but as an opportunity to learn and develop new and better ways of working.”