Passing Internal Audits for International Standards with Peter Hartland

Cliff Notes Podcast 32

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Growing a business requires working with others to guarantee standards and compliance.



Podcast Show Notes

Passing Internal Audits for International Standards with Peter Hartland Passing Internal Audits for International Standards with Peter Hartland

This episode Peter Hartland of Acorn Quality Services shares advice on what your business can get from working with International Business Standards with Cliff Notes: Lead manufacturing host Tristan Bailey.

Getting access to more contracts and raise standards in your business through partnering with internal auditors.

Learn from the Cliff Notes on International Standards

  • Eight years ago trained up and now our own business is up to 20 regular clients.
  • Standards we specialise in is Aerospace AS9100, ISO9001, medical devices and CE marking.
  • All standards cover the whole business, so all the way from the concept to people and process to customer satisfaction.
  • The guys on the shop floor are the clever ones, I am just documenting it for them.
  • What we are always looking for happy customers.
  • The skills we have as auditors is all about people skills and get the people relaxed, not interrogate them.
  • Working with a 6 man business, they have now won a £8 million contract over 4 years, so they were over the moon as you can imagine.

Peter Hartland joined me on Cliff Notes this month. Based in Stoulton, Worcestershire and working around the area helping many businesses pass the standards they have chosen.

As the business owner and chef auditor for Acorn Quality Services Peter and Helen know their away around a lot of businesses. With many years of industry experience, Peter came to auditing other peoples businesses later in his career. For over 8 years he has run the business that works mainly with Aerospace companies to raise and maintain their compliance with International Business Standards.

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Transcript Highlights

  • After Peter became unemployed for 9 month he went on internal auditor training course, then worked with a company for 6 months for free, which was such a good experience.
  • Thats 8 years ago of building our own business and now up to 20 clients regularly.
  • Work to prescriptive standards, the standards are designed to be the perfect business model - but as you know not all run the same way.
  • Design a system that helps the business manage the business.
  • Standards we specialise in is aerospace AS9100, AS9120.
  • ADCAP audits Special processing in aerospace.
  • ISO 9001 for general business so is varied, worked with companies from a mental health charity, toy importer to sand casting foundry.
  • Also ISO 14001, 18001 health ISO 45001, 13485 medical devices, IIATF 16949 and CE marking for medical devices.
  • Q: I am familiar with 9001, what tell me more about the others?
  • All standards cover the whole business, so all the way from the concept to people and process to customer satisfaction.
  • Go in and understand the business to work with them.
  • The business is working so they have processes and we need to understand and see if they only need tweaks.
  • We are not there to tell them to manage their widgets in a different way but the business around it.
  • Working with the staff and with maintenance and auditing so they can maintain processes.
  • Q: What advice do you have to keeping up the standards?
  • Thats the internal audit process, we quite often come here, the process should be independent of the process owner.
  • we come in fairly cold, and no investment in the process and business, as often the process is wrong more than the people.
  • the processes are already written or we can help, as they are the cleaver ones.
  • Q: Sometimes is it hard to document your own process?
  • The processes have to be simple enough for everyone to understand.
  • If you over complicate people will not follow it.
  • The guys on the shop floor are the cleaver ones, I am just documenting it for them.
  • I do not get involved with business where they have not started and just getting a standard in.
  • The reason the charity adopted, was they were not getting their funding approved, without a standard.
  • Q: What other benefits?
  • What we are always looking for happy customers.
  • We want to keep in touch with happy customers.
  • Q: Getting better from people that have good experience?
  • By having the management system in place you can see if you have the right goods and standards in place.
  • Q: What about internal customers?
  • This can be difficult with internal politics, and interaction between departments and processes.
  • That can be where we raise non conformities.
  • Q: So you work across the whole business?
  • It is the whole business From sales to purchase, man, service provision, to dispatch, back to customer.
  • I really enjoy it as it gives me the chance to sit down with MD to chat about whole of business.
  • It is then about hands on and what facilities and how they do their job.
  • In an ideal world we should be ready at any time, but in the real world it does not work like that.
  • If an audit is called by surprise, and I come in, sometimes people are off ill or some staff are not their that day.
  • The process running on a daily basis, so we should be able to talk to anyone and they know what they should be following.
  • We are the good cops, as we can fix it before the External Auditor comes in.
  • To fix issues before you get found out on an external audit.
  • Q: So you are there to work along side them, not punish on mistakes?
  • The skills we have as auditors is all about people skills and get the people relaxed, not interrogate them.
  • A lot of what we ask is open questions rather than yes and no.
  • Q: How long does an audit take?
  • Ideally, one process audit is one day, with a couple of hours talking.
  • We needed to understand that individual business and people.
  • We write a detailed report and reference the documents by their individual code, so we can go back and reference the individual paper.
  • I am always very proud of the companies I get through certification.
  • It's great to hear when companies tell us that they have won contracts because they have these certifications in place.
  • Working with a 6 man business, they have now won a £8 million contract over 4 years, so they were over the moon as you can imagine.
  • The work pays off in growth an opportunity to bid for work.
  • Based in Worcestershire and work with businesses in a two hour drive around, sometimes further.
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