Should I get ISO certified- with Andrew Foy Transcript

Greg Wilkes (00:01):

The construction industry can be a tough business to crack, from cashflow problems, struggling to find skilled labour and not making enough money for your efforts, leaves many business owners feeling frustrated and burnt out. But when you get the business strategy right, it’s an industry that can be highly satisfying and financially rewarding. I’m here to give you the resources to be able to create a construction business that gives you more time, more freedom, and more money. This is the Develop Your Construction Business podcast, and I’m your host, Greg Wilkes.


Greg Wilkes (00:41):

Andrew, it’s fantastic to have you on the podcast. We met many a year back, didn’t we, when I had a construction company and I was looking to do some accreditation, so you were really useful for us in taking us through and helping us with that process. I thought it’d be great to get you on for my construction listeners who might be looking at trying to do some accreditations going forward. Could you just introduce yourself, Andrew, let us know what you do and what your company’s about?


Andrew Foy (01:07):


Yes sure, Greg. Delighted to be here. I was a contractor myself for 25 years. We did commercial interiors, so we’re doing big ceilings, jobs, petitions, joinery, that sort of stuff. After 25 years, it’s not for one lifetime, I think Greg, contracting <laugh>.

Greg Wilkes (01:29):




Andrew Foy (01:31):



I was looking to do something new and I’d put the ISO standards into our business many years previously. And when I was looking to do my own thing, I was the operations director. What my MD actually said to me was, “What you should do is help other contractors get their ISOs” because I become such a nerd about it, Greg, that <laugh> he felt I had something to offer and it was great. It was as simple as that. He put that idea in my head and within days I decided that that’s what I wanted to do.

Greg Wilkes (02:02):


Andrew Foy (02:03):


I’ve been doing that now for about 11 years. We’ve helped over 250 (I haven’t counted for a while) contractors and other businesses that do some manufacturing as well, to get their ISOs and I really enjoy doing it because as I say, I’ve become an unashamed nerd about what it can do, what it can do for a business <laugh>.



Greg Wilkes (02:24):

Yes. That’s fantastic. Tell us a little bit about what ISO accreditation is, Andrew?


Andrew Foy (02:30):

Well (being a nerd, just to get a few of the terms right Greg if you don’t mind) when we talk about a business, it’s ISO Certification. So auditors are accredited and a accredited auditor will visit a business and certify it. A business obtains ISO certification.



Andrew Foy (02:51):

And what the ISOs are, the ISO is an organisation, it’s an independent non-governmental organisation, operates worldwide. I think 168 countries subscribe to its services and it creates standards for almost anything. They’re always a response to market need. It’s not just some academics throwing some standards out there and say, “Have a go at this lads.” It’s a response to need. The best way to think of a standard is, it’s a formula for how to do things properly. A product standard will be; what are the features, essential features of a particular product, how should it be manufactured? And you can get process standards or what are called management standards, which is a framework for example, what a quality management business looks like.


Greg Wilkes (03:44):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>


Andrew Foy (03:46):


In the modern world, there are now some energy standards, for efficient energy consumption. Environmental standards are about understanding your potential impact on the environment and minimizing it and increasing sustainability. Then health and safety is an obvious one. What does good health and safety practice look like? What are the things that a health and safety serious business would do? It’s always a framework, a guide. This is what best looks like.


Greg Wilkes (04:16):


Yes. So give us a guide on what accreditations there are for ISO. For example, my listeners are construction, so what types of ISO standards would they be trying to meet?

Andrew Foy (04:30):


Well, the obvious ones for construction business are quality management. That’s the bedrock if you like, Greg, that’s a frame of what a quality managed business looks like. If you do these things, you can assure your customers that you’re a safe pair of hands to deal with. Health and safety standards, obviously, in construction it is massive issue. The health and safety ISO is considered gold standard best practice for promoting a safety culture. Absolutely committed to zero accidents or to reducing accidents and getting everyone involved in their own and other safety. And then environmental standard is, as I say, about understanding your potential impact on the environment and what you are doing about it. So again, its sort of a”green” credential, if you like.



Greg Wilkes (05:25):


Andrew Foy (05:25):


Now, ever since I started consulting, I’ve encouraged all my clients, and 90% of them have done this to do all three at once. Quality, Environmental, Health and Safety, because there’s no construction project that doesn’t have quality issues, environmental issues, health and safety issues. When I first did that, a lot of people said, “Oh my goodness, why would I do three at once?” Well, to be honest, there’s lots of time and money saved by doing so because the standards are designed both to stand alone and to bolt together. There are commonalities amongst the standards. If you do them as an integrated approach, you avoid duplication and the most important thing is, it gives you that holistic approach straight away. Think quality, health and safety, environmental, not separately, but think about it all, all the time and as one entity. It pays absolute dividends. They’re the three which most businesses do. And then there are more specialized standards, which can add on to manufacture or particular processes. Energy management is something that’s coming down the line pretty damn quick for obvious reasons.



Andrew Foy (06:41):

Also in the UK here, we had a massive disaster many years ago with Grenfell. That’s involved changes in the law and there’s now a new British Standard about showing that you’ve running safe premises, got the fire system/fire safety controls in place. That’s what I said earlier, it’s a response to the market needs or to serious events that go on in the market. That’s where standards, really come to their own. Again, what does good fire safety look like?



Greg Wilkes (07:18):


Yes. So you’ve got the big three that you mentioned at the beginning, and then you’ve got these bolt on standards that if you were a specialist (say for example) we had a fire door expert on a while back who had a fire door company and a training company. So if you had a fire door company, you might consider a bolt on quality assurance.


Andrew Foy (07:35):

Yes. There are lots of technical standards which add prescriptive elements to 9001, the quality management standard for those specialists. But for contractors, it’s a really sound basis to be certified for quality, environmental health and safety.



Greg Wilkes (07:53):



Andrew Foy (07:54):

That shows that you are serious about being the best business you can be, which is what ISO is all about fundamentally.



Greg Wilkes (07:59):

Yea. So apart from the obvious why a company want to go through it (because obviously it’s going to improve their own internal standards and make them be a better company) why would a construction company go through all the effort and work to become accredited?


Andrew Foy (08:13):

Well often most people come to me because of some external stimulus, Greg. It might be that they’ve hit a ceiling, they can’t get on a particular tender list mm-hmm. <affirmative> or work with a particular sector or a particular main contractor or a government department until they’re ISO certified. Construction is often operated through long supply chains, you know what I mean? And the main contractor or the owner of the project, they cannot themselves check everybody out. So if you’ve been through an ISO robust internal or robust audit process (because they don’t just give ISO away!) it assures your customers or your potential customers that you are a safe pair of hands to deal with. That’s often the most common external stimulus. Someone will come to me and say, “Look, my clients have said I’ve got to have this.” I say, “Well, fine, that’s totally legitimate. If your clients are saying you’ve got to have it, let’s do it. But if we’re going to do it, let’s also do it properly and it will improve your business.”

Andrew Foy (09:21):


So opening doors, gaining access to new markets and new customers is the number one external stimulus. Then I have a lot of people who come to me and say, “Look, the business is going very well. We want to be the best we can be.” And I say, “ISO gives you that framework of what good, best practice looks like.”


Greg Wilkes (09:44):


Andrew Foy (09:44):


But, as I say, it is certainly the case that most come to me at the moment because they’ve hit some blocks somewhere and they want their ISOs. It’s a demonstration, that you’ve been through a robust process and are a safe pair hands to work with. Your potential customers can be assured that you’ve already been checked out and proven to be doing the right stuff.


Greg Wilkes (10:07):


Yes, that makes sense. So I guess that will be larger companies that might be requesting contractors to do that. Will it be things like local authorities to get on their lists and those type of organizations, the big ones?


Andrew Foy (10:21):

Yes absolutely. Government departments, local authorities, it’s not universal, but it’s often the case that a prerequisite for working for them is that you’ve got your ISOs.

Andrew Foy (10:32):


It might be that, I know of some local authorities where the focus is on environmental standards. It’s the modern world, isn’t it? They insist that you’ve got 14001 certification before you can work for them. Others tend to look for the suite of quality, environmental, health and safety.

Greg Wilkes (10:52):


Yes, that makes sense.

Andrew Foy (10:56):


It’s the same issue, whether it’s a main contractor or local authority or government department, it’s an entry point. You can’t get in even to tender, before you’ve demonstrated that you’ve been through that process and they can be assured of your service.

Greg Wilkes (11:13):


Yes. Excellent. It’s going tp open doors for new marketing opportunities and new tender lists, things like that. But you obviously said there’s other benefits for the business internally. Just describe that for us a little bit more.


Andrew Foy (11:24):

Absolutely. Well, the process itself has lots of value. ISO is a declaration that you intend to be the best business you can be. You’re compelled to define your own best practice. How do you want the business to run efficiently, practically? That has some real benefit straightaway that real deep thinking. Often we get into business, we get contracting before we know it, we’re in the trenches. Even when things are going well, we’re getting busier and busier. Where ISO compelled you to step back a bit and say, “Right, how exactly do I want to do this?” And you’re guided by principles and it’s all about results. One of the myths about ISO is it makes you work in a certain way. No, it doesn’t. It compels you to be the best you can be.


Andrew Foy (12:18):

Often, you know what the best looks like, so there’s that in internal element of really looking at what you do. Is this working for us? Could it be more effective? One of the often overlooked benefits of ISO is it’s an amazing foundation to sustainably grow a business. If you put the groundwork in and you’ve got a good management system, where you’re not too complex, maybe you’ve not been around that long, it then allows you to absorb that growth sustainably.


Andrew Foy (12:50):

This is one of the reasons I became a real believer in this. I was in the business and we grew from 20 to 60 people and from about £7k to £20 odd million turnover in three years. It was absolutely phenomenal growth. Without the management system, we’d have lost the plot completely. Because every quarter there were new people around the place. We might have a new client making new demands upon us. We might have been installing new products, but having the foundation there allowed us to do all those things in a manageable way. And yet, and our management system at 60 people and 20 odd million was a damn side difference to what it had been at 20 people and 7 million. Again, ISO compels you to keep your management system growing with the business.


Greg Wilkes (13:40):


Andrew Foy (13:40):


It’s never cast in stone. It’s always going to evolve. I always used to say, “When you get the job from hell, you learn a lot” <laugh> You know?


Greg Wilkes (13:50):


That’s right.

Andrew Foy (13:51):


So capturing that learning is one of the ISO requirements. You never make the same mistake twice, for example. You learn from it, absorb the learning, improve your processes. The continual improvements, that is what it’s about.

Greg Wilkes (14:08):


That’s vital, isn’t it? What areas in business would it go through? Thinking about the different departments, is it purely the delivery side of construction or does it span across your finance and your HR and all the other departments that you have?


Andrew Foy (14:22):


An easy one first there in terms of finance, it covers commercial management, but not financial accounting. That’s a whole different regime of scrutiny. Certainly getting paid for what you do would be involved, but it covers everything, Greg. It starts with (what is called) the context of the business. What’s the reality of life in your business, the customers that you work for, getting labour and materials, any internal issues, any external issues. Most business owners, this is what they live and breathe every day instinctively, but they’ve never documented it or never got it down on paper. That can have a real positive effect as well. It makes you look right from the start, what markets are we in? What are we trying to do here? What are the issues that we face? That’s where it starts.


Greg Wilkes (15:17):


Yes, that makes sense.


Andrew Foy (15:17):


Yes. It would certainly look at the people, who’s who in the organization, who does what. Competence is a fundamental ISO concept. The idea is that anybody doing a job for you needs to be demonstrably competent to do so. That focuses the mind. The good thing is competencies are defined by the business. For example, when I was contracting Greg, we had 10 site managers. Now there’s no is ISO definition of a competent site manager. But we had a damn good idea of what that looked like. A mixture of qualification, track record experience. So you’re encouraged to define the competencies the business needs to succeed. That’s one of those areas I say to people, every hour you spend in this will come back to you a hundred times over. In clarity of role, that people understand what they’re going to get appraised on. What are the results we are looking at? That’s a massive area.



Andrew Foy (16:21):

Then comes your processes itself. You want to get things right first time, productivity, efficiency, practicality. Again, ISO is not going to impose anything upon you, but it makes you look (not necessarily the quickest) but what’s the most efficient, practical way of doing this? It could be estimating, it could be running your sites, it could be commercial management to get the results you want. So you really get into the nitty gritty of what is our best practice?



Greg Wilkes (16:54):


That is so important, and that’s where the money’s going be saved and the efficiencies are going to be made in the business, aren’t there?


Andrew Foy (17:00):



Greg Wilkes (17:00):


I know one thing we really encourage with our clients is that they’ve got to get these SOPs in place. These standard operating procedures of how you do something.


Greg Wilkes (17:10):

If someone wanted to get their ISO (I keep saying accreditation it’s not accreditation, is it <laugh) their ISO certification, how would they go about preparing for it? Would they need to have SOPs already done or their systems done? Or can they be starting from scratch?


Andrew Foy (17:27):

Yes, I always say that the best place to start is exactly where you are right now. Okay. There’s no additional prep or pre-preparation or anything like that, Greg. All you really need to get your ISO certifications is the desire to be the best business you can be. You talked about SOP standard operating procedures. It sounds like a fancy term and none of it needs to be complex. One of things I’ve learned over and over again doing this is the simplest solutions are always the best.


Greg Wilkes (18:01):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>


Andrew Foy (18:02):

You see, it really is about effectiveness. Greg. I say to my clients, anything that’s effective for your business will automatically be ISO compliant. Now, yes, we’ve got a set of requirements to satisfy. But again, the best approach I’ve developed over the years is we fit ISO to your business. We don’t expect your business to fit to ISO. So if you were to get the standards, if you were to do the three standards at once; quality, environmental, health and safety, there is something like 230 requirements. Now if I rocked up with a list of 230 items, people’s eyes would glaze over and would’ve lost the plot ery quickly. As I say, your best way to do it, is what does the business need to succeed? ISO is about setting yourself up for success. What does the business need to succeed?Who needs to be in the business? What you need to be good at, be able to do to succeed in the markets you’ve chosen to play in? And that’s where that contextual thinking comes in.


Greg Wilkes (19:06):


Andrew Foy (19:06):

As I say, if we take the approach, if we fit ISO to your business, not fit your business to ISO, we are going to end up with a system that you guys are happy with. Everyone buys into this…. I worry about the minutiae of ISO, if you like. I say if clients are concentrated on effectiveness, if they want to do a particular process that needs an ISO tweak here and there, I will always explain why. When I’ve explained why, no one has ever said to me, “Why the hell would I do that?!” Because it’s all very, very practical stuff and the client always chooses the way you will do it.


Greg Wilkes (19:46):

That makes sense.

Andrew Foy (19:48):

The way I would start, I would run through the requirements of the standards just at a high level, this is what ISO is looking for. Most people are pleasantly surprised, Greg, that they’re already ticking so many boxes. You are committed to your business and you’re succeeding. You’re already doing plenty right. It’s a mix. When I go through that, it’s a mixture of three things. The stuff they’re already doing, and it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The stuff which they know in their hearts could be better right now, because I think there’s always room for improvement. Then most of the new stuff that we generate is largely around the ISO improvement processes, which I’ve never found anybody does until they go through the ISO process.


Greg Wilkes (20:33):


Yes, really valuable.


Andrew Foy (20:35):

After a quick initial meeting online, about 45 minutes to an hour, the client gets a feel for what the ISOs are looking for. I get a real good picture of where we’re starting. From there we can make a pretty detailed plan and accurate timescale assessment. Then we go at it in what I call bite-sized chunks. There really is no need for anybody to be taken out of their business to do this. Do you know what I mean? It’s something that can be done, I promise all my clients, with two or three hours of focused activity a week, you’ll make rapid progress.

Greg Wilkes (21:15):


Yes so that was going to be my next question. If someone was going to do this in your estimations, what is an average time for someone to get their certification from contacting you to completion?


Andrew Foy (21:27):


Most of my clients do this in about four to six, four to eight weeks, Greg.


Greg Wilkes (21:33):

Okay. That’s pretty quick.


Andrew Foy (21:34):

Again, I stress that’s not four to six weeks of continuous activity, that’s coming at it methodically in the bite-sized chunks. We can work on two things at once. There are some generic requirements which every business has to do. Normally I would say to my clients, “Look, there’s no point you reinventing the wheel. This is the best way to do this.” Although I’m not precious about it. If we want to create something new, we create something new. Then the other work stream is what’s unique about their business. This is the opportunity for them to define the best practice, sort out all the issues that they’ve always wanted to sort out in the business. With those two concurrent work streams, that four to six, six to eight time scale is about the average.


Andrew Foy (22:21):

Now, I’ve had big clients who’ve done this a lot quicker, in a couple of situations. I’ve had people phone me up and say, “I’ve just signed a contract saying I’ve got my three ISOs and I haven’t!”


Greg Wilkes (22:33):


Andrew Foy (22:35):

They have to move quickly! It can be done, I’ve done this from start to finish in 30 days.

Greg Wilkes (22:41):


Andrew Foy (22:42):


Now that’s not for everybody, but it is just an example of what can be done. Because it really is one of those processes. The more you put in, the more you get out, the faster you want to go, the faster you get there. Some people leisurely, but others have a need to do it quickly and there’s no loss of quality by doing it quickly. The ISO assessment is the ISO assessment. They don’t give it away. That’s the same whether you get there in three weeks or three months, you know. But it can be done by just giving that little bit of extra time to it. But most of my clients are where they’ve got their businesses to run. Of course they’ve got the day job. So we do this alongside their current business needs which is important of course.


Greg Wilkes (23:28):

That is, that’s great. Would the business owner have to be fully involved in this? Or can you get someone in your business to help you get through it? Like maybe you’ve got like an office manager or something like that that might assist?


Andrew Foy (23:40):


That’s a great question, Greg. What the ISO standards ask is that the top management is committed to the process. It doesn’t mean that they have to be involved in all the nitty gritty, it doesn’t mean that they’ve got to be be a living expert on ISO and the system that’s created. I often work through someone like a PA sometimes, Someone who can pull all the strands together. we pull the various people in for input to their areas as we go through. The MD / CEO doesn’t have to be involved in all the nitty gritty, but really does have to support the process and delegate properly with time and resource if that’s what they want to do.


Greg Wilkes (24:27):


Andrew Foy (24:27):

That was my experience when I was a contractor. My MD absolutely gave me authority to go and to put our ISO’s in. He didn’t want to be involved and I’m not being disloyal to him, he said that. He wanted to do the sales and all that sort of stuff, but he wanted what the ISOs gave us. I had absolutely everything I needed. That’s the important point. If it’s not driven from the top, it really does flounder. The managing director of the owner setting others up to do this properly is all we need.


Greg Wilkes (25:01):

Well, that’s really good to know because there are going to be ones listening to this that can probably think, “Yes, I’ve got the time and I want to do it myself.” There’ll be others that will think, “Actually I’d rather support someone and hand this off.” Which that’s good to know that you’ve got both options.


Andrew Foy (25:13):

I just add to that, Greg, the result in system is always the clients. It’s not mine that’s imposed upon them or ISO’s generic system. I have some clients who I do 80-85% of the donkey work and I’m happy to do so. But that 15-20% of real focused input from the client, be it the MD or the delegate, really makes the system their own. It’s going to be recognizable as what you do. Even that 15% effort really has the unique elements of your business, within this system. It’s not just about satisfying ISO of course, you want to be getting everything that’s good about your business into that management system and really showing it off.


Greg Wilkes (26:02):


Yes that’s it. So we’re not just ticking boxes, we’re making it work for the unique business that everyone has.

Andrew Foy (26:07):

Absolutely, yes.

Greg Wilkes (26:09):


How long does the certification last for once you’ve got it?

Andrew Foy (26:14):


Your certification lasts for three years. For example, if you were to be certified in July 23, you’d be then re-certified in July 26. In the intervening years, you have what are call surveillance visits by the auditors, but almost like half an audit.


Greg Wilkes (26:34):


Andrew Foy (26:35):


Itt’s just to make sure that the system’s alive and well, it’s being maintained, ec, still serving the business. Then you’re re-certified every three years. The thinking is that three years is a long time in business. I said to you earlier, my experience of going from 20 to 60 people in three years. So three years is deemed an appropriate timescale to have another in-depth look.


Greg Wilkes (27:01):

That makes sense. Obviously, everything could change, the management and all sorts. So

Andrew Foy (27:06):


Absolutely, yes.

Greg Wilkes (27:07):


You’re a company for certification. You’re an advisor and you help businesses through this. Why would someone use an advisor and maybe not overdoing it themselves? What are the benefits of using someone like yourself?

Andrew Foy (27:20):


Sure. Well, people certainly can do it themselves. You can get copies of the standards and work through it. The benefit of using a consultant is they’ve worked out all the hacks, all the efficiencies, been there, done that.

Andrew Foy (27:36):

250 times, every audit’s different, and you get that wealth of experience. An advisor can really cut through, to get to the practical solution. I also, when I set up, I trained as a lead auditor for quality environmental health and safety. I don’t want to do any auditing. I do a little bit now and again to keep my hand in, but I trained as an auditor to be a better consultant. You see what I mean, Greg? I offer my clients a guarantee that you’re going to pass first time, 60% of our fees only payable once you’ve passed your audits. So you’ve got certainty with that approach. Been there, done that, seen it all. As I said earlier, if you were to work through 238 requirements, one by one <laugh, you’d lose the will to live!


Greg Wilkes (28:33):

I can imagine you get a lot that maybe try it on their own and start it and then think, “Nah, I can’t do this on my own” <laugh> and give up.


Andrew Foy (28:39):

Yes, you do. I wouldn’t say you can’t do it because believe it or not, that’s what I did at the start. But I’ve worked out, there are not many nerds like me, you know, <laugh>.


Andrew Foy (28:48):

ISO encourages you to apply the standards in the manner most appropriate to your business. Plowing through 238 requirements, it takes something. But you’re allowed to satisfy 7, 8, 9, 10 requirements in one go if it’s appropriate. I’ve developed loads of examples and methods over the years that does just that, it cuts through and satisfies a dozen requirements in one go. That’s another benefit you get from consulting: what is the most appropriate and practical application of the standards to what we do.


Greg Wilkes (29:29):

Yes that makes sense.

Andrew Foy (29:30):

You get the guarantee that everything’s going to be fine and you get that cut through all the minutiae, all the fluff to what is this about?

Greg Wilkes (29:42):

That’s brilliant. Yes I think that’s fantastic. And the reason I wanted you on, Andrew, is because as you know, in our podcast, we are helping business owners scale. We want to give business owners more time, freedom and money. So we’ve got to scale the business the right way. Whether or not they get ISO certification, we want them to get the systems and processes in place that’s going to work for them and their business so they can be the best business they can be. I really think that ISO is a great way of demonstrating that and getting the merit from the outside. Everyone can see you on the outside and think, “Yes, this is an ISO certificated company. They’re obviously doing things the right way.” I think it is a great concept and it’s not just box ticking. It really works. I think it’s fantastic.

Andrew Foy (30:24):

It it does. You just reminded me of something else, Greg. A lot of construction contractors, they’re often started by a damn good craftsman, a damn good tradesman who’s not necessarily had the experience of running a business. The best carpenter in the world can get mired in legal, cashflow, inefficient… He’s still the best carpenter in the world, and the ISO gives a framework for what a business looks like. If you are doing what the ISO framework requires, you can be pretty assured yourself that your business is doing the right stuff. That peace of mind, I get a lot from my clients. If we do this framework that we’ve worked out together is the best for us, If we keep doing these things, we are going to be pretty covered. Certainly in environmental, health and safety standards, there’s an obligation to understand the legal framework within which you operate. You really can have that high level risk management that can keep you out of jail sometimes.



Greg Wilkes (31:30):

Yes well that’s it, there is that risk!

Andrew Foy (31:32):

Good practices about protecting yourself, getting paid, all that sort of stuff that can really rob your enthusiasm for your business that you’ve started when you get into that sort of stuff. Yeah. Often it gives people who haven’t got management experience, but I’ve got all the super trade experience, the peace of mind to have to run their business.


Greg Wilkes (31:55):

Yes, fantastic. Is there a certain type of business that you won’t take on? Will some people be too small for you or too big? What sort of range do you generally work with?


Andrew Foy (32:05):

Well again, part of my nerdiness being reinforced all the time, Greg, is that ISO is for any business in every, any sector. I’ve done two man businesses that are just setup a little contracting business. And again, they want to go and work for X and they need their ISOs. At the moment, I’ve got one client who’s 700 million pound turnover.

Greg Wilkes (32:28):


Andrew Foy (32:31):

Now their ISO solutions should be a little bit different to the guys with the two man business. You’re never too small. I I didn’t see the benefit for a business, I would certainly say to them, “I don’t think you need this right now. Don’t waste your time.” Do some of the good practices come back? In some industries as well, you can’t even get on a tender list before you’ve got your ISOs before you’ve done anything. I did the deep sea diving business, they can’t even get on a tender without having their ISOs in place.


Greg Wilkes (33:04):



Andrew Foy (33:04):

So it is really is for any business, any sector and what’s really important, Greg, my favorite word in all your standards is: appropriate. The Ford Motor Company can have ISO, it should be a little bit different to two electricians jobbing in the industry. That’s what an ISO is all about, how do you apply this in the manner most appropriate to the business. It really is for any business.


Greg Wilkes (33:30):

That’s fantastic.

Andrew Foy (33:31):

Little two man startups can have a management system like this, my big 700 million band client is going to be like this and it should be/ No one size fits all approach. That’s the worst thing you can do. It absolutely is for anybody. But typically my contractors are in the £2-£5K to £5-£10K, £10-£15K and up. But I’ve done this for main contractors doing £300 million pounds. it really is to be applied appropriate to any business, any sector.


Greg Wilkes (34:03):

Yes. Do you only deal with UK clients, because we get a lot of US listeners to this podcast as well. Ddoes it cover the US or not?

Andrew Foy (34:10):

Yeah, ISO is quite big in the US. I’ve got clients in Australia, South Africa. What we are doing now, Greg makes this all worth while / easy. The biggest trick for doing Australian/ New Zealand clients is just getting the timing right. On my days its the end of yours and the end of your days= the start of mine. But no, look, I mean most of my clients now, we do it online. It saves time and money. We can do this for anybody wherever they are. I was doing this online even four or five years before the pandemic hits and we all went online. It absolutely can be done with modern meeting technology like this. I say it saves time, a very efficient way of doing it. We can go on to Zoom or Teams for five minutes just to sort out something out or we can go in over two hours and do a deep dive. Wherever ISO is big and it is in Australia, the US, middle East, India, I’m looking to help clients get their ISOs.


Greg Wilkes (35:22):

If anyone wanted to contact you Andrew, and get some help and just discussing if it’s right for their business or taking the plunge and going for it, and how would they get hold of you?


Andrew Foy (35:31):

The best way is just drop me an email. I’m always happy to chat about this stuff I think you’ll find Greg <laugh> and I promise people there’s no hard sell from us ever. I’ll just give you all the information you need. I can give you my email address. The website is www.voicecertification.com. There’s lots of downloads on there, brief stuff about the benefits of ISO, what the process looks like, what audits look like. There’s a couple little videos on there. people are welcome to that. oR I will happily have a chat or jump on a Zoom and do what we’ve just done, Greg. Answer any questions whatsoever. More than happy to do that. And I’m just on andrew@focertification.com. Very simple.



Greg Wilkes (36:21):

That’s excellent, Andrew, we’ll make sure we put your links in the show notes so people have got them. But can I just say, thanks so much for your time today and run us through that. I think you’ve really cleared up what it’s about and if there’s any misconceptions about it, it’s nice and clear for everyone now on what ISO certification means.

Andrew Foy (36:36):

Well that’s great, Greg, really enjoyed it. As I say Greg, this is a topic where don’t get me started <laugh>.


Greg Wilkes (36:43):

Thanks a lot Andrew. All the best.

Andrew Foy (36:45):

All the best sir. Cheers.

Greg Wilkes (36:57):



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