Industry Certification can help improve your Organisation's profile and the adoption of certain Company Policies can be a pre-requisite for Government and Large Company contracts.
Of course, the ones that are appropriate for your organisation will depend upon your industry sector and target markets. However, to help you ensure that you maximise your organisation's market potential, we provide the following sections:
N.B. Your industry trade association will also have accreditation programs; certain industries also have compulsory accreditation both for their staff as well as for the organisations themselves.
Authorised Economic Operator status is recognised internationally as a mark of quality effectively demonstrating that your role within the international supply chain is secure, and that your customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.
AEO acts increasingly as a quality standard with many larger organisations insisting on this as an integral part of any trading partners. As part of the application process, government officials will stringently assess, amongst other things, the company’s finances, site security, shipping procedures, compliance with customs requirements and fulfilment of the relevant legal and safety regulations. Companies that already have IPP and ISO certification are half way to attaining this highly secure accreditation.
For UK AEO's the commercial and operational benefits are:
Priority clearance for AEO certificated businesses will, by default, mean that non-certificated organisations will be dealt with as a secondary concern. When time is of the essence, such delays in delivery will inevitably prove ever more costly.
There are two HMRC Certifying Authorities in the UK:
Central Community Transit Office
Tel: 0300 322 7095
UK South Auth Consignor/Nees
Tel: 03000 568998
There are Mutual Recognition Agreements between the UK and Andorra, Switzerland, China, Japan, Norway, United States and the EU.
For further information see the AEODirectory
It is illegal to offer, promise, give, request, agree, receive or accept bribes - an anti-bribery policy can help protect your business. You should have an anti-bribery policy if there is a risk that someone who works for you or on your behalf might be exposed to bribery.
See: UK Government Anti-bribery policy.
Take elementary precautions to learn about potential business partners. Graft and corruption are common in many countries. The line between what's customary and tolerable, and what's excessive or illegal, is not always clear. If necessary, seek advice from a lawyer or a country specialist in a trade assistance organisation.
Once you have an anti-bribery policy you should:
N.B. The UK Bribery Act (“the Act”), which entered into force on 1 July 2011, has consolidated the existing law, and has introduced a new offence of failure to prevent bribery. The Act is very widely drafted, and has an ambitious territorial application, which extends far beyond the shores of the United Kingdom.
The UK Government provides guidance on how the bribery laws could affect your business.
Many believe that slavery existed only in history. Unfortunately, this is not the case. People have been convicted of slavery in the UK as recently as 2021! For more information see "Slavery in the UK". Cases where Western companies have been found to be complicit in supporting slavery in other countries sadly continue.
The Modern Slavery Act, 2015 is designed to combat modern slavery in the UK - and includes a clause so that " "big business will be forced to make public its efforts to stop the use of slave labour by its suppliers". Therefore, many large organisations require all their suppliers - both domestic and international - to have and comply with anti-slavery policies.
Companies are required to provide an anti-slavery policy if they comply with the following:
If your organisation has taken no steps to deal with modern slavery risks, you must still publish a statement stating this to be the case.
However it is recommended for all companies to complete and show an anti-slavery policy on their website.
For an example of an anti-slavery policy see the free template provided by VinciWorks If you need help in implementing an anti-slavery policy you can contact the Anti-Slavery Organisation.
BSI's purpose is to inspire trust for a more resilient world. Our solutions and services improve performance and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. At BSI, our mission is to share knowledge, innovation and best practice to help people and organizations make excellence a habit. This is underpinned by our role as the national standards body and through our prestigious Royal Charter.
Promoting your certification with BSI is a valuable marketing tool. BSI's Mark of Trust helps organizations show they have successfully met the requirements of a standard. It also helps consumers, customers, specifiers and the wider market recognize and trust organizations who are certified by BSI.
Through BSI's site, you can:
Plus see if their consultancy services can be of assistance:
The NCSC's Cyber Essentials programs help you to guard your organisation against cyber-attacks. They help you guard against the most common threats and demonstrate your commitment to CyberSecurity.
There are two levels of certification:
The NCSC's self-assessment option gives you protection against a wide variety of the most common cyber attacks. This is important because vulnerability to simple attacks can mark you out as target for more in-depth unwanted attention from cyber criminals and others.
Certification gives you peace of mind that your defences will protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks simply because these attacks are looking for targets which do not have the Cyber Essentials technical controls in place.
Cyber Essentials shows you how to address those basics and prevent the most common attacks.
The Cyber Essentials readiness toolkit. Your responses to the questions in the toolkit help create a personal action plan to help you move towards meeting the Cyber Essentials requirements.
Cyber Essentials Plus still has the Cyber Essentials trademark simplicity of approach, and the protections you need to put in place are the same, but for Cyber Essentials Plus a hands-on technical verification is carried out.
The NCSC's Cyber Essentials Partner the IASME consortium can help you to get certified.
Why should you get Cyber Essentials?
If you would like to bid for central government contracts which involve handling sensitive and personal information or the provision of certain technical products and services, you will require Cyber Essentials Certification. More information is available on the gov.uk website.
ISO - The International Organization for Standardization - develops and publishes international standards. These could be about making a product, managing a process, delivering a service or supplying materials – standards cover a huge range of activities. To see which standards could be relevant for your industry sector see: Standards.
ISO doesn’t provide certification or conformity assessment. You’ll need to contact an external certification body for that.
In the UK there are currently 46 Certification Bodies. To check which Accreditation Body is relevant for your purposes see the International Accreditation Forum's Certification Bodies.
Displaying Your Certificate
Remember, when labelling a product or system as certified to an ISO standard:
You can also flag this in your Company Profile.