» UKAS Launches New Integrated Business System ‘DARWIN’

25 May, 2011

18 months ago UKAS embarked on Project Evolution to implement an integrated business system with the key aim of improving the service provided to our customers. You may have kept track of the progress of Project Evolution via the many communications in UKAS Update, the UKAS website or direct communications from the Project Evolution Team. The new business system, named ‘DARWIN’, uses Microsoft Dynamics AX and Microsoft SharePoint technology.

On Wednesday 25th May 2011 Project Evolution reaches a key milestone when we Go-Live with our new DARWIN system. As any of you who have previously been involved with the implementation of a new system of this scale will be aware, it will take time for us to fully utilise the benefits of the DARWIN system and the associated process changes. During this time I would ask that you bear with us if it takes a little longer than normal to provide information that you have requested and/or to carry out our processes. In time we are certain that as DARWIN becomes established you will see a significant improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of our processes and will recognise overall improvements to turnaround times and the further added value of UKAS’ services.

One of the key improvements that DARWIN will bring is the Customer Portal that initially will provide our customers with direct access to track the progress of their work with UKAS. They will be able to upload and download information regarding their assessment activities and related improvement actions and view/update their contact information. This portal will go-live later this year once we have completed the internal implementation of DARWIN.

Immediately after go-live on 25th May 2011 UKAS customers and stakeholders will notice some small changes to the appearance of some of our documents and some of the terminology used within them. Details of these changes are provided below

If you have any queries about the Project Evolution or DARWIN please do not hesitate to contact your Assessment Manager.

Changes and Enhancements being introduced after 25th May 2011

Microsoft Office 2010
From the 25th May 2011 UKAS will be moving to use the new Microsoft Office Document format that was first introduced with MS Office 2007 (e.g. .docx and .xlsx). However, much of our documentation will now be provided in PDF format. If we do provide documentation in the MS Office 2010 format and you have not yet migrated to Office 2007 or 2010, Microsoft provides a free converter tool that you can install and use.

It will not cause UKAS any problems if you continue to complete and submit documentation to UKAS using earlier versions of Microsoft Office.

New referencing system for work conducted by UKAS
You may well be familiar with the term Business Event ID which UKAS has previously used to track the work that we conduct for our customers. From 25th May 2011 UKAS’ documentation, including purchase orders and assessment reports, will make reference to a Project Number which will be a six digit number (e.g. 200123). This Project Number may at times have suffixes (e.g. 200123-01) where the work has multiple elements such as several sites or additional witnessed assessments.

UKAS will now also be including a description of the work on invoices and quotations (e.g. Extension to Scope for Arsenic in Water) to make it easier for customers to identify the work that the quotation or invoice relates to. Examples of the new format of quotations and invoices are included in the covering email to this letter.

New Improvement Action Report
We have taken the opportunity to update the format and style of the improvement action report (IAR) during the implementation of DARWIN. The IAR is now in Microsoft Excel format and we will only issue one IAR per assessment which will hold all findings from the assessment team. Once our Contractor and Customer Portals are launched this new form will enable us to directly upload the findings to the customer portal following the assessment.

New UKAS Customer Numbers
UKAS has previously had a customer reference system based on an alpha numeric code, e.g. 0001C and 0001N. These references will remain as the Accreditation Number for existing customers and will be present on UKAS Certificates and Schedules. You will continue to use these as your Accreditation Number with the relevant Accreditation Symbol on your documentation and publicity material. However an additional 4 digit numeric reference (e.g. 5123) will be present on purchase orders and some assessment documentation alongside the existing reference number (legacy number).