ISO44001/BS11000 Certification: Stage 1 achieved by VolkerRail and supported by Key Performance Limited

Over the last few years it has become increasingly apparent that the dissolving old certainties of business, the increasing complexity of requirements and new technology are revolutionising strategic thinking. Organisations have to think how they can maximise their expertise and offerings. One major way is to seek partners and bid jointly for work. Collaboration can achieve amazing increases in turnover, reduced costs and improved performance. However unless collaboration is done properly it can cause conflict, unnecessary costs and a tarnished reputation.

Network Rail have realised that a new approach was needed for major contracts. The long established model for contracts was inefficient, extremely costly and subject to extensive litigation: the old strategic procurement model was no longer tenable. Increasingly Network Rail is seeking to form alliances with a group of partners to carry out major investment projects. Such alliances have a governance structure which encourages joint risk and reward, joint processes and the motivation to jointly innovate.

ISO44001/BS11000 is a framework of logical and staged requirements which helps facilitate positive joint collaborative ventures. VolkerRail; a long established rail infrastructure company recognised that achieving certification would help them consolidate and build on their collaborative successes. A very good example is how they have successfully collaborated with Laing O’Rourke in building the Manchester Metro over a number of different and discrete phases of the project. They felt they were a naturally collaborative organisation.

They asked Peter Westbrook of Key Performance Limited, to help them pull together all their collaborative documentation and evidence in order to help them successfully pass stage 1 of the certification process. Despite their very extensive bank of collaborative knowledge and significant evidence of enhanced contract outcomes, VolkerRail needed to bring together their best practices and develop a more systematic and integrated approach to collaboration.

Amongst other things they needed:

  • To develop appropriate Relationship Management Plans
  • A agreed approach to partner selection
  • An overall collaboration process
  • To agree how to capture knowledge
  • Integrate their collaborative approaches with their ISO9001 and Rail safety case documentation

The Stage 1 assessment was carried out over 2 days in mid August 2013. It was a very methodical and robust examination of their documented approach. VolkerRail passed but will still have to address some requirements prior to the stage 2 assessment of evidence. Key performance has been retained to help VolkerRail achieve ISO44001/BS11000.