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Meet Our Partners - QFactoral Ltd

04 May 2020
Meet Kevin Brown from QFactoral Ltd...

Which standards can you help NQA clients with?

We help many clients with the ‘big 3’ common ISO standards:

Our consultants also have the technical competence to integrate the more ‘exotic’ standards, including industry-specific (e.g. AS 9100, IATF 16949, ISO 13485) and subject-specific (e.g. ISO 22301, ISO 27001, ISO 50001, ISO 55001).

About your company

Since I established QFactorial in 2013, we have built a reputation for balancing strategic thinking with pragmatic solutions. This approach has enabled us to work successfully with corporate entities, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, quality professionals and business leaders. We work remotely or at the client’s premises depending on their specific needs. Click here to learn more about QFactorial, our full range of consulting services and our success stories.

We have a core team of 8 consultants across the UK, each with a different blend of competence in ISO standards, technical areas, industry sectors and business operations. We love new challenges, so new standards, new technologies and complex ISO scenarios do not phase us.

Why do you like working with NQA? Why did you choose to work in partnership with NQA?

When we entered the market as ISO consultants, we found that many of our SME clients had already selected NQA, judging them to be the most cost-effective option for their certification needs.

This has continued to be the case with our newer clients, especially when they are looking for an affordable and reputable certification body with accreditation for multiple standards. One of our clients now has four different ISO certifications and NQA have been able to support the evolution of their management system with flexible resourcing. In general, we have found NQA auditors to be pragmatic and approachable, allowing for a non-confrontational assessment process.

Top tip for people looking at certification?

If you are a business leader considering ISO certification, we recommend you look at it from three perspectives to understand the assurance benefits that certification can provide.

First, consider how your ISO approvals will give confidence to your existing stakeholders that you have good governance and risk management in place.

Second, consider which standards can open doors to facilitate your growth strategies (e.g. sector specific standards).

Third, consider how certification will provide you, as a business leader, with independent assurance that business controls are working effectively.

What do you find is the most common point of misunderstanding regarding certification or specific standards when visiting clients?

Many new clients still think that ISO management systems are all about paperwork and audits. This is usually because they already have, or have heard about, legacy systems designed to tick boxes and please auditors.

We usually have to explain the importance of taking a risk-based approach to the design of a management system, ensuring that it is suitable, valuable and ultimately invaluable to the business. We tell them that the worst possible solution is a bolt-on system that sits alongside or on top of the real business processes instead of being in the centre, driving and improving operations. Sometimes that comes as a surprise and causes a radical re-think of their existing management system.

Anything else you think our readers might like to know?

We believe that every business is different, and every client deserves a unique solution. We often find that organizations new to ISO underestimate their starting position, assuming that they have zero compliance when in fact their glass may already be half full. That’s why we always start with a ‘gap and synergy’ exercise to make sure we build on those good foundations and close any gaps by implementing a focused action plan.

The action plan is always tailored for the client’s particular needs, but our general approach is the same, driven by our values:

  • Ethical decisions

  • Collaborative working

  • Integrated solutions

  • Challenging perceptions

  • Improving performance

By sticking to our values and providing a business-centric solution, we help our customers to optimise the cost/benefit equation as they gain and maintain their ISO certifications. 


* Disclaimer:

NQA does not provide consultancy in order to remain impartial from management systems implementation.

NQA shall not imply that certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if a consultancy listed on the ACR is used.

ACR Consultants shall not imply that NQA certification would be simpler, easier, faster or less expensive if their services are used.

NQA remains impartial from our partners on our Associate Consultant Register and does not endorse one partner over another.

‘Our consultants’ do not work for NQA, they work as independent bodies in partnership with us through our Associate Partner Programme. In accordance with the accreditation standard ISO 17021-1:2015 NQA does not provide consultancy in order to remain impartial from management systems implementation.