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EP Ecology Case Study

15 December 2023
Meet EP Ecology Ltd in Scotland. The ecological consultants advise clients on protected species and habitats for development proposals, with three ISO standards and an integrated management system fuelling their success.

In the Scottish town of Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, you can find EP Ecology and their small but ambitious team.

As the company name suggests, EP Ecology’s expertise lies in providing advice and support to clients regarding the:

  • Presence of protected species and habitats in relationship to development proposals.

  • Legal requirements to mitigate and compensate for the developmental impact on ecosystems.

EP Ecology works with clients across several industries, including transport, energy, construction and development, quarrying, water, agriculture, greenspace and conservation.

Alongside their typical surveys and assessments, EP Ecology also carries out training to help enhance the future of Scotland’s wildlife.

The motivation behind ISO certification

EP Ecology is a relatively new organisation, having been established in 2020.

However, they haven’t wasted any time in proving their business credentials, achieving three ISO standards with NQA:

According to EP Ecology’s Director, Erik Paterson, “As part of our growth, we were keen to make sure our business management system was effective in ensuring our services and deliverables were efficient and met the needs of our clients.”

Quality, environmental, and health and safety management are recognised as the core ISO standards for any business, regardless of industry or sector.

These collective standards demonstrate an organisation’s approach to responsible practices, building credibility, competitiveness, and long-term success with customers and potential partners.

Read this blog to discover more about ISO standards, including the ones mentioned above.

Why did EP Ecology integrate their standards?

There are plenty of benefits associated with an integrated management system.

Quoting Erik, “We started the integration management system process while the company was small. This gave us the benefit of setting the processes up early and establishing our working mechanisms as the company grows, rather than changing and implementing new working practices once the business was more established.”

Preparing for certification with NQA

EP Ecology chose NQA as their certification body, as “pricing was clear and communication from our assessor had a more personal touch than other bodies.”

Once EP Ecology had selected NQA, the next step was to prepare for the audit.

They recruited the help of Granger’s Consultancy Services Ltd, a family-run consultancy in Ayrshire, Scotland, with over 25 years of management system experience.

Granger’s Consultancy Services Ltd worked alongside EP Ecology to review their current systems and processes, providing insight into where the organisation didn’t meet the standards.

From there, EP Ecology developed mechanisms to improve their system and feel confident about the forthcoming audit.

Audit preparation can be highly rewarding, finding new avenues to improve working practices.

Expert assessors & a positive outcome

The NQA assessors for EP Ecology were Joe Kelly and Idowu Sokunbi.

Erik tells NQA, “Both auditors were a pleasure to deal with. Joe attended a physical development site audit with a team member, while Idowu started the office audit with myself and our external consultant (Granger’s Consultancy Services Ltd).”

The audit was a success, with EP Ecology awarded ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certification.

Securing larger projects & government partnerships

Since achieving ISO certification, EP Ecology has been approached to quote for several projects with local governments in Scotland.

EP Ecology has also leveraged their ISO success with prospective clients, using their certifications to prove which standards they work to.

The goal is to keep winning more and larger projects to fuel organisational growth – with EP Ecology’s sights set on PAS 2060 (Carbon Neutrality) verification next.

Stakeholder confidence and business growth are just some of the benefits of ISO certification.

Final thoughts from NQA

NQA congratulates EP Ecology for achieving several ISO standards under an integrated management system within three years of operating.

A fantastic example of ISO certification success, we look forward to seeing how EP Ecology’s achievements continue supporting Scottish wildlife into the future.

Explore ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 in more detail by visiting the NQA certification page.

Want to learn more about ISO certification and training? Speak to one of our experts today.

Download a PDF version of EP Ecology's case study here.