Meet the Consultants Crowberry Consulting Ltd
Each month we are going to be featuring a different member of our Consultants Connect Scheme.
Hopefully this information will help you to understand how working with a consultant can help you implement effective management systems within your organisation.
This month we are featuring Crowberry Consulting® Ltd.
Tell us a bit about your company…
Crowberry Consulting Ltd – Enabling sustainable futures, supports clients with training, audits and consultancy focussed on energy, ethics, environmental and event management. Established in 2006 we operate globally and have worked with many household names, along with many smaller businesses on their sustainability journey. We have a podcast called Sustainability Street® which is free to listen to.
What standards do you cover?
We focus on ISO 20121 Sustainable Events, ISO 14001 Environmental Management, ISO 50001 Energy Management, and ISO 26000 Social Guidance Standards along with a range of ethical auditing methodologies. We help businesses with PAS 2060 for Carbon Neutrality and BS8900-1 Sustainable Development in Organisations. Since 2006 we have provided legal registers and evaluation of compliance support to these standards.
What are two pieces of advice for companies looking to implement certification?
When implementing a new management system, it’s vital to ensure the team is trained up to understand what it is they are buying into. Training supports awareness and “buy-in”. This makes it easier to create the business case for ISO certification in general. The planning phases of most ISOs also take a long time so ensure you have left enough time before going for the stage 1 external audit to cover the clause requirements in full.
Also don’t forget that you need to have held the management review before you come forward for the stage 2 audit - this is a mistake we see a lot. Ensure that you have developed a full internal audit programme and provided internal audits of the core clause requirements and any operational controls. Should an evaluation of compliance be required ensure you give yourself enough time to do this task in full.
What are the main advantages you see clients realising after implementing certification?
It’s great to be the consultant that works with a client from the start of the journey to the certification audit and have the team’s hard work recognised and celebrated. Often the first steps on the ISO journey can be very daunting and the client can be nervous about external certification and what this involves. We believe any organisation no matter how small can work towards achieving ISO standards and get fantastic benefits from doing this. One of the positive benefits of achieving certification is the change in internal culture, to be more focussed on continual improvements and innovation. This in turn leads to competitive advantage and can open-up new sales channels and new customer segments.
A good example of this is the ISO 20121 standard for sustainable events. We have worked with many amazing venues from football stadia, exhibition centres, World Trade Centres and the London 2012 Olympics on this standard. During the Covid-19 pandemic the events sector took a massive hit as face to face events were effectively banned. In some cases, our ISO 20121 cases decided to pivot to online events, which meant a different audit approach was required. Their hard work and efforts paid off and these organisations maintained their certification and grew through innovation. This demonstrates how effective having strong processes in place can guide a business even in tough times and support the move to digital and a low carbon future.
Why do Crowberry Consulting work with SGS through the Consultants Connect Scheme?
We became subcontractors to SGS United Kingdom Ltd back in 2008 for providing audits and then an approved SGS Academy trainer in 2013. We often receive requests for our clients to find a suitable certification body on their behalf, or to provide a work stream that we don’t offer. Having access to the Consultants Connect Scheme means we can use this network to support our clients needs when we don’t necessarily provide the service required, as well as providing quotes for certification. Being part of the wider network also helps us to keep to date with changes in technical aspects and legislation. A good example of this is the new UKCA mark, which many of our customers aren't aware of. Whilst we don’t specialise in this necessarily, it’s good to have pertinent information to hand and to be able to signpost our clients to the right subject matter expert.
Being a part of this professional and credible network also reflects our values to provide intelligence, integrity and inspiration to our clients. We are very aware that SGS is a trusted brand globally and customers depend on them for this integrity during certification audits. By having the affiliation to SGS we can show our customers that we are part of something bigger and have access to a range of expertise if we cannot source this through our own network.
Any other advice or information you want people to be aware of regarding certification?
The most important aspect of working towards a standard and being certified is to take your time and to plan how you will deliver your management system, internal audits, evaluation of compliance, operational controls and training to the core team. It may seam like a daunting task, however, by breaking it down into the Plan, Do, Check and Act cycle it does become more measurable and achievable.
Also make sure to contact your chosen certification body as early as possible in the process to gain a quotation for this work and to budget for this cost. Auditors’ diaries tend to get booked up fast, so don’t leave this to the last minute. Most of all enjoy the ISO journey and gain lots of value from the continual improvements you will make on the way!
For more information, please visit our website.
In accordance with ISO 17021-1:2015, SGS does not provide consultancy with regards to management systems implementation.
SGS remains impartial from all partners within the Consultants Connect Scheme and we do not recommend one member over another.
The consultants featured in these pieces do not work for SGS, they are independent organizations who are members of the SGS Consultants Connect Scheme.