Pearson VUE is benefiting from ISO 9001, 27001 and 22301 certifications with SGS
Pearson VUE is the leading provider of global computer-based testing solutions for information technology, academic, government, and professional testing programmes delivered through a network of over 5,200 testing centres globally.
The industry is highly competitive and Pearson VUE sees the need for change and innovation on an ongoing basis to help develop, manage, deliver and grow test programmes for clients. The combined ISO certifications ensures the company meets the requirements of its customers:
- ISO 9001 ensures that Quality Management systems are in place to deliver continually improving products and services
- ISO 27001, the Information Security standard, protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive information
- ISO 22301 assures customers and other stakeholders of the continuity of Pearson VUE's services - with robust plans in place should the unexpected occur
Why Pearson VUE chose SGS
SGS understands Pearson VUE's business and certification goals and they offered a gap analysis and review, while supplying training services to help educate and train staff in readiness for the certification.
SGS allocated a team of auditors to meet the requirements for global coverage. Having a dedicated SGS Global Account Manager makes it easier for Pearson VUE to plan, administrate and manage audits globally.
SGS shares Pearson VUE's commitment to gaining real value and benefit from the certifications. The auditors identify improvements that are practical and beneficial for the business, as well as helping to identify best practices already implemented where this may help other areas of the business.
About the assessment process
The assessment process was very smooth and well supported by SGS. A gap analysis was provided to help assess Pearson VUE’s progress. SGS also provided training services to help educate and train staff in readiness for certification.
SGS continues to work with Pearson VUE in a flexible way. The audit plan is produced well in advance, and SGS adapts easily to Pearson VUE's requirement to focus on specific areas of the business during the audit. SGS provides a mix of auditors from different industries and backgrounds with an experienced Lead Auditor managing the audit process supported by a Global Key Account Manager.
Benefits of certification
Achieving certification helps Pearson VUE win new business in the UK and globally. Many customers seek assurance from their key suppliers that it meets the requirements of the standards.
ISO 9001 improves process approaches and supporting documentation. Pearson VUE is better equipped to identify customer requirements and deliver them with reduced cost, wastage and rework.
The standard also brings consistency in operational processes across the company's different geographical locations.
ISO 27001 has tightened information security controls, and this is reflected by a reduced number of security incidents handled on an annual basis. Staff have a better awareness and understanding of information security. As a result, they are better able to identify risks, and trained to treat them before they escalate into incidents.
ISO 22301 supplies a more robust and structured business continuity programme. This has enabled faster incident response times to be identified, and reduced the likelihood of downtime as a result of unexpected events.
Advice to others
"It is well worth considering certification if you want to truly build assurance and resilience within your business," says Pearson VUE’s Head of Global Business Assurance, Claire Price.
"It is important that you select the right partner to help you and provide you with the best guidance and expertise available."
As a result of its business certifications, Pearson VUE now has a continual improvement approach embedded in the culture of the organisation which is bringing many tangible benefits, including:
Improved products and services
Reduced wastage and rework
Better understanding of risks to the business
Minimal repeat occurrences of incidents and complaints
Increased customer satisfaction
Reduced third party audit costs
More repeat business
More new business
SGS Lead Auditor Kevin Olver adds: “I have been involved with Pearson VUE including their transfer to SGS. The audit teams I have led have consistently reported significant improvements having been noted regarding improvements in “ownership” of processes by the various departments and functions of the business. Where deficiencies have been noted, we were able to explain the business benefits of “correcting” these issues. The team at Pearson VUE was instrumental in ensuring that any corrective action was effectively implemented across the company. Efforts were also made to help and encourage the identification of “best practices” and how these may be implemented in other aspects of the business. This approach is also evidenced within their own internal audits.”
“Without doubt, the key to success in achieving and maintaining their ISO certifications is down to having a strong and effective management team who consistently were able to demonstrate their commitment to having an “effective management system” and not simply a “badge on the wall”. This has led to having a motivated workforce that has a clear understanding of their involvement in “moving the business forward”. The technical competence of all staff we have met at various offices and test centres was strongly in evidence.”
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.