We hit the ground running this week with our annual Legionella Control Association audit on Monday morning, which is a requirement of our membership of the LCA (our parent company, Urban Environments, has been a member since 2006). We are proud of our longstanding membership of the organisation but never take it for granted as their requirements are stringent and the audit process a thorough one.
The LCA was founded in 1999 as a joint venture between the British Association of Chemical Specialities (BACS) and the Water Management Society (WMSoc). It’s a voluntary organisation whose primary aim is to keep water systems safe and minimise the risk of Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease. They do an excellent job of monitoring standards among Legionella control providers and offer some very useful services and advice to the customer too.
There are now nine service provider commitments in the LCA’s Code of Conduct and the audit seeks to ensure that we have appropriate management systems in place for the services we offer. Our founder and technical director, James Homard, was interviewed all morning by the LCA auditor and was asked to produce all the necessary evidence to show that our procedures and quality control measures are up to scratch.
The Standards for Service Delivery cover a wide range of areas, including staff training and client servicing – two things that we really focus on. As you may have noticed from our blog, we’re very keen on training and when it comes to our staff the LCA is looking for evidence of continuous professional development among our team. We ensure that our engineers are constantly building their expertise through training and we track their progress carefully.
In the area of quality management we’ve invested considerable time and resources over recent times to formalise our processes and demonstrate our effectiveness. Earlier this year we secured ISO9001 certification from the BSI Group which really took our quality management system to the next level, and was also great preparation for the LCA audit.
We’re delighted to say that we passed with flying colours, with the assessor commenting on how smoothly it had run thanks to our level of preparedness and solid business practices. It’s always nerve-racking when the annual audit comes around but it’s a really valuable process to go through and a great way of ensuring that we’re at the top of our game.
We also believe that our customers benefit considerably from our membership of the LCA and the demands it makes of us. It provides an extra level of reassurance for them and acts as an independent verification of our services. When there are so many suppliers out there in the market it hopefully helps us to stand out as one of the best; we certainly consider it to be a vital part of our quality commitment to our customers.
If you’d like to know more about the LCA auditing process, the Code of Conduct or Standards for Service Delivery, have a look at their website. There is also a useful buyers’ guide designed to assist customers looking for Legionella control services.