Our next IOSH Managing Safely course takes place via zoom from 7th – 11th June 2021.

Location             Date                                    Cost exc vat

Zoom course      07/06/21 – 11/06/21            £530

View IOSH Managing Safely course information

Duration: 4 days

About IOSH Managing Safely

IOSH Managing Safely course is non-industry specific and is suitable for any managers and supervisors, bringing them up-to-speed with current health and safety requirements, helping them manage their legal responsibilities and guiding them through day-to-day aspects of safety management.

IOSH Working Safely Courses

Zoom In-house    Please phone for information   From £900 for 5 delegates

If you would like to book any of our courses, please email us, telephone 0333 321 0131 or complete our enquiry form.

We are delighted that our client, Universal Networks, has become certified in meeting the new international Quality Management Standard ISO 9001:2015, and is leading the way within the sector to achieve the new standard.

Our MD, Rebecca Russell, who supported Universal Networks in achieving their certification, commented: “A significant amount of work was required to transition to the new standard, and to have achieved it without any non-conformities or observations at the audit is an outstanding result for Universal Networks. Our congratulations to Eddie and the Universal Networks team”.

The independent assessment was conducted by Alcumus ISOQAR, a UKAS Accredited Certification body, and firmly establishes Universal Networks as a leading player in its field for customer service and quality in delivery.

Managing Director at Universal Networks, Eddie Hing, commented: Adopting this international standard is a strategic decision for Universal Networks and will secure our future as a premium provider. This certification confirms to our customers that we continue to be fully committed to quality improvement and providing reliable and consistent solutions and services to support their growth and success.”

The ISO 9001 standard requires organisations to demonstrate that they have risk based quality management systems in place that ensure consistency and improvement, assuring customer of high levels of performance and satisfaction. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are independently assessed annually to ensure that progress is being maintained.

The new 2015 standard, introduced only in September last year, has evolved to meet the needs of a more technology driven world with increasingly complex global supply chains, and focuses more on addressing business risk and process improvement, and less on documentation. With just a three-year transition period from September 2015, companies now have less two years to move to the new standard. This means that, after September 2018, certification to the ISO 9001:2008 will no longer be valid.

Does your business need support in achieving the new certification? Please get in touch to see how we can help your business take the next step. Call us on 0333 3210131 or email us


SWOT AnalysisContext of the organisation is one of the new requirements of ISO9001:2015. It also applies to ISO14001:2015 (Environment), ISO27001:2013 (Security) and the soon to be published ISO45001 (Health and Safety).  An organisation must consider both the internal and external influences that can impact its strategic objectives, the planning of the Quality Management System (QMS) and its scope.  To find out more, read our factsheet, Understanding Context

Humans were not designed to sit for hours on end. In evolutionary terms we have made a very rapid transition from working the land to sitting all day at a computer screen. Just a few decades ago, if you were a draughtsman, engineer or even an accountant, you would have worked at a high sloping drawing board or ledger and with the option of sitting on a high stool. But computers changed all that, and  with it certain health conditions have become prevalent.

Risks of sitting

As long ago as 2007, the Daily Mail published an article about the health effects of sitting. A new phrase was coined – ‘Sitting is the new smoking’. Nearly 10 years on, we now known that sitting increases your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and blood clots, or thrombosis.

In the US studies have shown some dramatic effects of sitting for long periods of time. People who sit a lot are 54% more likely to have a heart attack. Men who sit for more than six hours a day have a 20% higher mortality rate; women have a 40% higher mortality rate. If you sit for more than 23 hours a week, you are 64% more likely to have a heart attack.

Recent studies in the UK along with other studies, have indicated that even regular, cardiovascular exercise are insufficient to counteract the damage done through our sedentary lifestyle.

Health benefits of a sit-stand desk

Sitting for long periods of time causes metabolic issues – you don’t produce the chemicals necessary for processing sugars and fats and as a result your circulation suffers. Your skeleton and muscles form a reactive frame for your body which needs to move and respond to outside forces. Additionally, muscles need to regularly flex to support healthy functions and chemical production.

Standing allows your body to adjust and move easily, flexing muscles continuously. It also keeps your blood circulating well. Movement regulates your blood sugar and keeps your blood pressure lower.  Another benefit is that you burn more calories throughout the day. Standing while working, burns a third more calories than sitting.

Standing and sitting can reduce pain

There is anecdotal and scientific evidence to show that standing while working will help to alleviate back pain and some repetitive stress injuries. The problem can stem from not using your back and stomach muscles enough when sitting. When you sit, you don’t hold your upper body with your muscles; rather you let the chair hold you.

This can lead to compression within the chest and abdominal cavities, slouching of the shoulders and rolling of the spine. These are classic contributory factors in repetitive strain injury and back pain. Working at a standing sit-stand desk gives you the choice to sit or stand for optimum comfort and by working a standing posture will help to keep the core and back muscles engaged throughout the day and improve posture.

Mental benefits of standing

When standing, it is easier to release restless energy. Combined with good circulation, stable blood sugars and an active metabolism, it is easier to stay focused on the task in hand.

But beware

In the US many companies have tried to fit sit-stand desks retrospectively in a mixed seating environment, often after pressure from employees. It has proved difficult.

In a purpose designed office, where all the desks are sit-stand, it works well, so much of it is down to the culture of the company, the attitude of the users and the general housekeeping on the desk and the surroundings. Imagine trying to raise or lower your desk when the person next to you has spread their paperwork on to yours!

So training is key. Users need to know how to adjust their desks, how long they should be in different postures for, and understand what a good set-up looks like.



We were very happy when two of our clients, Universal Networks Ltd, based in Hungerford, and Link CCTV Systems in Stevenage passed their ISO9001:2008 assessments with flying colours – no non-conformities or observations, but complementary reports from their 3rd party assessors and a clean bill of health.

Now they are both preparing for ISO9001:2015, and we are delighted to be helping them achieve that, making it as painless as possible, and ensuring that the changes will benefit the companies, not only by helping them to get ahead of their competitors, but by ensuring that any changes benefit the business and not just meeting the standard.

Q Associates, the IT Services and Solutions specialists in Newbury, have passed their Stage 1 assessment towards ISO27001:2013. It’s a big step towards their goal of achieving certification to the IT security standard by May 2016. Watch this space!

In September the Quality Management Standard, ISO9001:2015 and Environmental Management Standard, ISO14001:2015  were published. This followed the publication of ISO27001:2013, the IT Security Management Standard in 2013. The management standards are all being restructured to align with a model called Annex SL, which will ultimately make it easier to integrate the management systems in practice.

In November 2015, Rebecca successfully passed the ISO9001:2015 Lead Assessors course and ISO27001:2013 IT Security Lead Assessor course. We’re already helping companies transition to the new standards and integrate these standards.

We are delighted to announce that Steve Rogers has joined us as an Associate Consultant, offering safety, quality and environmental management systems support.

Steve has a wealth of experience in the rail and telecoms industries. Working with other consultants using the same SSFB principles, we are able to offer a seamless, integrated approach to assisting with and implementing a wide range of management systems.

Stepping Stones for Business has been sponsoring swimmer, Harry James, for over five years. In October 2014, Harry went to Plymouth University to study photography, but also to follow his dream – to train with the Olympic swimming squad.

More recently, Harry has been training at the Olympic training camp in Lanzarote doing some fantastic mirroring drills with Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Ruta Meilutyte.  View the training clip here (featured on the Jon Rudd Swimming Consultancy facebook page).

We are very proud of Harry and all his wonderful achievements to date.

Stepping Stones for Business has been sponsoring swimmer, Harry James, for over five years. In October 2014, Harry went to Plymouth University to study photography, but also to follow his dream – to train with the Olympic swimming squad.

Last weekend, Harry competed in Lisbon, Portugal, and set personal bests in all of his breaststroke events, winning silver in the 100m breaststroke with a 1.05.3 time; bronze in the 200m breaststroke with a 2.20.8 time and gold in the men’s 4 x 100m individual medley relay, in which the team set a competition record.

Last month, Harry won the Devon County Championships 200m breaststroke in January 2015, with a 10 second lead!

Harry has also been invited to an Olympic training camp in Tenerife in September.

What a brilliant start to the year for Harry, and we continue to support him and are so very proud of all his achievements.