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We at Quality Matters get through a good amount of paper and printing each month so it was a nuisance when our two year old Xerox Colorqube printer started to display tramlines down the centre of the print. We have had Xerox solid ink printers for some time and have found them to be excellent in terms of print quality and cost per page.

Some time ago we had a fault where the paper would not feed from tray two and jammed.

A local printer engineer tried to fix the problem but after replacing several parts over three visits gave up.  We would have to live with it, we were reluctant to user this organisation again.

We tried looking up printer repair organisations on Google and the first two said that they did not repair Xerox solid ink printers.  We then tried a company called Teffont Business Systems (based in Bristol, but with engineers countrywide). They do repair a wide range of printers, including Xerox.

A visit from one of their engineers was arranged. Rob arrived on time having telephoned to say he was on his way.  On arrival Rob quickly diagnosed the problem as being a drum wiper blade.  He also fixed the problem with tray two by cleaning and restoring the feed rubber on tray two.

 A part would be needed for the print problem and this would be sent direct to our offices, ready for the engineer to fit.  The price for the part was considerably cheaper than the price we could find on the internet.

The part arrived next day (on Friday) and the following Monday Rob arrived, again on time, to fit the part.  The printer is now fully functional.

We believe that good service should be rewarded and we have no hesitation in recommending Teffont and engineer Rob to our clients.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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Annex SL was the major change to management standards which showed the world that it would be better to have all new standards having 10 identical numbered section.  The idea was that it would allow easier integration of systems and provide some form of commonality.   I think it fair to say that Annex SL was not widely acclaimed a success and was partly to blame for the decline in certifications, mainly ISO 9001.

The standards published in 2015 are due for update anyway, so ISO decided that a revision to Annex SL would be in order.  Provisional issue date for Annex SL 2.0 is around 2020.

It is rumoured that the areas most under consideration are:

  • Risks and opportunities
  • Risk-based thinking
  • Levels of risk
  • Definition of opportunities
  • Definition of risk
  • Actions & controls and relationship of objectives to risk.

Many countries were unhappy with the term risks and opportunities which they claim can be misleading as it is not in accordance with ISO 3100.

Apparently the revision is to improve clarity in leadership and governance as well as management of change and risk.  We shall see!!

If the target date is 2020 the we can expect some slippage and will probably see the publication in 2022 along with revised 9001, 14001, and others but apparently not ISO 13485 (Medical Devices) which will continue to go its own way.

No doubt there will be a transition period for organisations to upgrade and there will inevitably be costs involved in additional training and rewriting manuals etc.

Of course, we will be available to help companies make the changes specified, retrain auditors to address the changes and provide assistance as necessary.

We will keep you informed as details emerge.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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This standard is probably the best know standard in the world, it is recognised in its full title in the UK as BS EN ISO 9001:2015.  We have covered this subject before but it is well worth doing it again.

  • BS means it is an adopted British Standard
  • EN means that it is adopted by Europe
  • ISO means that it is adopted internationally

There are over 6 million certifications worldwide and ISO 9001 has long been seen as an entry qualification to tenders and bids.

The Standard is really good business practice and companies holding this qualification have risks and opportunities at the heart of their companies.  This coupled with continual improvement makes both commercial as well as financial sense.

There are 10 sections to the standard and these cover all elements of a company except finance. Finance requirements are different throughout the world and trying to set a common standard would have been difficult.

The 10 sections are:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Context of the organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation
  10. Improvement


Once properly set up, the system in the UK is assessed by a UKAS Accredited Certification Body and a Certificate is issued to demonstrate compliance to this Standard. (Other countries have specific Accreditation Bodies).

This independent certification shows that the company is fully compliant with ISO 9001:2015 and can be accepted without the need to carry out  additional supplier audits.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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Just recently we received an email from the founder of Feedspot, Anuj Agarwal, to say that their panellist had selected our blogs to be in the top twenty of quality management blogs on the web.  We were awarded this in recognition:



Readers of our blogs will know that we cover a wide range of subjects in the quality, environment and security areas and it is pleasing to see that these are read as far away as India.

Anuj asked that we acknowledge the award and give him a mention, which we are happy to do.

You can see the info on https://blog.feedspot.com/quality_management_blogs/

The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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Data security and incidents where data systems have been hacked are again in the news.  The damage in reputational terms can be enormous, and in some cases can destroy an organisation; this does not take into account the fines that can be levied by ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office).

Some of the higher profile cases often occur because of computer issues such as poor anti-malware and anti-virus systems, poor software patching or simply human errors because of a lack of training and awareness.

There are a number of ways that organisations can improve their data security:

  1. Incorporate cyber essentials or cyber essentials plus which adjusts computer systems to protect against improper access. It also provides encryption of hard disks to make it harder to read data files.

    This is commonly known as computer hardening.
  2. Incorporate a management system for data security; Commonly ISO 27001 & 27002   ISO 27001: 2013 is the certifiable Standard and 27001:2013 is the code of practice covering the standard
These management systems put systems in place to enhance security in a number of areas:

  1. Management direction for information security;
  2. Organisation of information security;
  3. Human resources security;
  4. Asset management;
  5. Access control;
  6. Cryptography;
  7. Physical & environmental security
  8. Operations security;
  9. Communications security;
  10. System acquisition, development and maintenance;
  11. Supplier relationships;
  12. Information security incident management;
  13. Information security aspects of business continuity management;
  14. Compliance.
This Standard is not easy to put into place and it is a somewhat lengthy process, but once fully practice it does give a degree of comfort to the management of the organisation that good professional; data security protection has been put into place.

Naturally the organisation must undertake regular internal audits and the system is assessed and surveillance visits carried out by an accredited certification body to ensure continued compliance with the Standard.

We have been helping organisation set up ISO 27001 systems and then make sure they pass assessment, and at the first go.

Once certified Quality Matters can offer internal audits and consultancy to make sure that the certification remains fully valid and the surveillance visits pass without problem.

Please see our web-site for details.






The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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The recent turbulent weather patterns across the world ranging from the coldest day in north America to the hottest day in Australia, there can be no doubt that the climate warming effect is having a major impact on our planet.

While most countries have acknowledged that carbon emissions are a primary cause of climate change there are a few that are “deniers” and put short term gains against long term damage.

The UK is among the leaders in carbon reduction and it is planned that by 2030 we will be zero or close to carbon neutral.

Many organisations have incorporated ISO 14001 as part of their carbon calculator and, of course as a management tool and a marketing advantage.

What organisations do not realise is that the 2015 standard can be self-determined and self-certificated rather than following the External Certification Route with a UKAS Accredited Certification Body; this is available for low risk organisations only.  These tend to be office based and others with a low significant aspect count.

We started this blog with the title ISO 14001:2015 and the EU and as there is so much emphasis on BREXIT at the moment, we are being asked what effect will a hard or soft BREXIT have on this European Standard?  The entire title of the Environmental Standard is

BS EN ISO 14001:2015.BS - means that it is an adopted British Standard
EN - means it is an adopted European Standard
ISO – means it is an adopted International Standard.

Fortunately, there will be no impact on ISO 14001 on the UK post BREXIT.

There will be some areas where European directives which have not been transposed into ULK Law may impact on our compliance with these directives. 

We are assured by HM Government that matters are in hand to advise us of the situation post BREXIT whether it be hard or soft. 

We will have to wait and see

The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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The GDPR has finally become active with all the implications that are contained within it, and not forgetting the penalty fines that can be levied.

Are the requirements of GDPR understood by all those to whom it applies? Sadly no.

We have been plagued by companies asking for informed consent to communicate with my company; totally unaware that business to business does not need this informed consent but relies on a legitimate need to communicate between companies.

Something like 20 emails each day have been received, we have not responded to the majority and it will be interesting to see if we continue to receive communication from

While we can understand that companies are getting consent, just in case, it is having a detrimental impact in the internet handling so many unnecessary emails and responses.

The lack of proper information has resulted in misinformation and confusion. This has been compounded by organisations offering courses and seminars on GDPR which are inaccurate and very misleading.

We have heard that advice on emails have missed the point; if you send an email to Chris@quality-matters.com, they say that is covered under GDPR. Wrong, the communications is to Quality Matters and this is through Chris -- Business to Business.

However, if the email is to Chris’s private email e.g. Chris80 @bt.com then this is a private communication and the sender should gain informed consent to send it. Let us hope that things will become clearer as time progresses, as it is a mess at the moment.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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Readers of our blog are aware that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into force on 25 May 2018 and it applies to the UK even though we are leaving the EU.

In addition, the UK Data Protection Act is due in May as well. The UK version will take precedence over the EU version once enacted into UK Law.

This week we saw an article from the Information Commissioners Office headed "Does GDPR apply to business to business marketing?" The next bit says yes but then defines the filing and storage of business cards.

Clearly if all business to business requires informed consent then the whole of business in the EU may well come to a standstill, our view is that business cards are given either by the person to identify themselves or as a point of contact at say an exhibition or trade fair. By giving the business card voluntarily that person is giving consent for that information to be used or processed.

In all other cases a company has a legitimate reason for using business date for marketing and that does not require separate and informed consent.

However, the marketing company must ensure that any organisation that has unsubscribed must not be contacted. In addition, the TPS list should also be used to make sure that any organisation (or individual is not contacted by phone if they have registered with TPS.

It is not helpful that many providers of GDPR information are unclear about the output of the GDPR and to whom it applies. The amount of misinformation is huge and getting it wrong may result in a considerable amount of pointless work and at the other end leaving a controller or processor liable to swinging fines.

The ICO has not provided the definitive information needed by companies in the UK but will be charged with the role of Judge and Jury for prosecutions.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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According to a survey carried out with certification bodies in the UK, some 60% of organisations holding ISO 9001 and/or ISO 14001 have not transitioned to the 2015 standards.

The deadline for transition is 14 September 2018 ad it is essential that the transition assessment and any findings from that assessment are cleared.

I heard from one certification body that they expect UKAS to extend the deadline; we cannot stress enough that the deadline will NOT be extended under any circumstance and any organisation failing to transition will automatically be withdrawn from the register of certificated companies.

Any organisation that becomes de-certified will have to undergo a fresh application as though they never had a certificate, i.e. a new application then stage one followed by a stage two before the issue of a certificate can take place. Tenders and orders which mandate certification to 9001 and/or 14001 will be at risk.

The aircraft, defence and space standards AS9100, AS9110 and AS9120 also have a deadline date of 14 September 2018 even though the standard was published a year later than the 9001/14001 standards. Again, automatic de-certification will take place unless transition to the new standards is made.

If you have not transitioned yet, we recommend urgent action should be taken to be ready for the deadline. Time is short and of course you may be ready but cannot get an assessor in to do the two stages necessary for compliance. (assessors are incredibly busy and make bookings many months ahead).

Time is short for transition
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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We are not immune to the vagaries of computers. Last week our main office computer suffered a problem during a windows update; it froze and then started to carry out a full reboot.  We managed to power it down but then it failed to start.

We do, of course, have full backups of data and programmes but it soon became apparent that our emergency boot disk was of no use as the machine does not have a CD/DVD drive fitted.

This is increasingly the norm as most programmes are on line and do not require a DVD drive to install.

We tried a number of quick fixes but gave up after an hour.  I took the computer to our friends at Tiptree Computers and the following day it was back up and running, as good as new.  The cost £49.99 + VAT, a real bargain.

We then ran a comparison to the back-up and apart from one minor issue the computer was fully functional.  The issue was that the favourites had been reset.  This was corrected fairly quickly.

We do go on emphasising the requirements about ensuring that backups are taken regularly and then tested to ensure everything is protected.  In this case our backups and Tiptree Computers made sure our workflow was uninterrupted.

A disaster averted.

We later learned that the Microsoft update of windows defender had been the cause of this glitch and it is receiving attention from Redmond. We weren’t alone.
The official blog for independent Management Training Consultancy, Quality Matters Limited.
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