Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 10.29.48In recent years it has become fashionable for companies to shout about their successes, particularly in the field of business accreditations. As Group HR Director of a company that’s just achieved four accreditations in the space of four months, I fully understand the time, effort (and fair amount of stress) that it takes to meet the criteria to complete the process.

It begs the question, though: why do companies put themselves through it, especially as it can often take the focus away from the everyday running of the business?

Well, think of the numerous benefits that it can bring. Firstly, it gives clients the confidence that they’re dealing with a serious company, one that’s fully committed to achieving quality standards across the business. That can only help to build positive brand awareness.

It’s not just an exercise in PR, however. Gaining nationally (or in some cases internationally) recognised accreditations can help a company to improve its environmental footprint, increase its efficiency and generally become much more competitive. That’s vitally important in an age where companies in just about every sector are facing increased competition from their peers, not just in the UK but from around the globe.

Another reason for achieving accreditations is the effect it can have on staff recruitment and morale. History shows that the most successful companies have robust systems and procedures in place, which in turn makes it easier to attract talented employees.

Staff want to know that they’re joining a company that offers career development opportunities and the chance to tackle different challenges, learn new skills and realise their potential. That’s the best way of keeping them motivated and – as every successful business will testify – a happy workforce will generally be more productive.

Having said all of this, it would be a mistake to chase every accreditation on the market. Companies should check that they are being assessed by a bone fide awarding body, which itself has been assessed and recognised for its competence in carrying out such a task.

Most of the major awarding bodies have been accredited by the UK Accreditation Service, the sole national accreditation body recognised by the Government to assess (against internationally agreed standards) organisations that provide certification, inspection, testing and calibration services.

Let’s face it, if you were getting your boiler checked at home you’d feel safer in the knowledge that the assessment was being carried out by a professional who’s on the Gas Safe Register. The same principle applies to business accreditations.

At Great Annual Savings Group, we’re committed to improving standards across the business and we’re already working towards the Information Security Management accreditation ISO 27001, which helps firms manage the security of assets such as financial information and intellectual property.

For us, and many other companies, raising the bar is a key part of our business culture.

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