When applying for accreditation to a quality standard, please ensure that you only use a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited certification body. If unsure, send an e-mail detailing the standard and you will be sent details of accredited certification bodies or a link to enable you to check. If services are being provided by Lowton Consultancy, this check will be part of the process. Please note that accreditation fees will always be separate from any consultancy fee and payable directly to the relevant certification body. Some standards also require a purchase or licence fee which again is separate from any consultancy fee and will be payable directly to the body providing the licence or standard.
A brief guide to the standards worked with is given below. Lowton Consultancy offers implementation services of any of these standards.
British Standard Institution
ISO International Standards & British Standards provide confidence that that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are used as strategic tools enabling the reduction of costs by minimising waste and errors and increasing productivity. Companies that are accredited to these standards find that the accreditation helps them access new markets, provides assurance to their customers and provides a tool for continuous improvement & growth. These standards are recognised internationally in both business and consumer markets and organisations of all sizes and types of industry find implementation of these standards beneficial to their business. The ISO 9001 standard is the most popular Quality Management standard both nationally & internationally as it provides an excellent framework for quality management systems and ensuring continuous improvement & growth. The BS 76000 is an excellent option for organisations committed to improving their HR processes, improving competency and creating a better working environment that values people.
- ISO 9001 – Quality Management
- ISO 27001 – Information Security
- BS 8477 – Code of Practice for Customer Services
- BS 76000 – Human Resource Valuing People Management System
Customer Service Excellence
This standard is a unique improvement tool that enables professional, high-level customer service concepts to be the norm in organisations and helps those delivering services to focus on their customers and ensure that they are at the core of what they do. Send a clear message to Customers on the standards of service to be expected.
Licensed by the Cabinet Office.
Investors In People
Investors in People is a standard for better people management. Successful accreditation against the Investors in People Standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustainability. Assessment is against a framework which reflects best practices in high performance working.
The following standards are specific to the Legal Industry only:
LEXCEL – Law Society’s quality mark for excellence in practice management & client care
Specifically designed for providers of legal services, it sets out required rules and guidelines to help raise standards and ensure consistency in the technical quality of legal advice offered and levels of client service. Provides Quality Assurance for Consumers & Organisations of good legal practice management & excellence in client care. In England & Wales only available to legal providers that are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. Law firms based overseas can also be accredited against the Lexcel International Standard. Provides a tool for legal practice enabling effective risk management, improved client services, ensuring compliance and operational efficiency leading to cost reduction and increased profitability. Provides quality assurance.
CQS – The Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
A recognised quality standard for residential conveyancing practices which the Law Society states establishes a level of credibility for firms with stakeholders such as regulators, lenders and insurers as well as residential homebuyers and sellers.
WIQS – The Law Society’s Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme
A best practice quality mark for wills and estate administration advice.
It sets client service standards to ensure transparency in process, costs and communications. It outlines required practices for will drafting, probate and estate administration to help address common risks, errors and inconsistencies that arise in delivering advice.
SQM (Specialist Quality Mark)
A quality management system for legal aid providers and aims to enable Legal Services Providers/organisations to demonstrate that they are well managed, provide good levels of client care and have systems in place to ensure delivery of good quality advice. Mainly used by organisations that are contracted to provide legal aid services.