In UKAS’s Strategic Development Director, Jeff Ruddle’s article for this year’s Annual Report, he describes how UKAS, as a business, aims to live up to its own values.
In early 2021 UKAS saw the culmination of an important project in which we re-launched our Purpose, Vision, Mission and Values, as well as updating our strategic priorities to align with the updated strategy.
Once launched, the challenge of the past year has been to live up to these values and statements whilst delivering our strategic priorities.
UKAS’s values are neatly contained within our ‘PRIDE’ acronym, incorporating a commitment to professionalism, respect, integrity, dedication and excellence. It is our hope as an organisation that all UKAS employees embrace and embody these values and that they can all be confident of a supportive work environment which enables them to execute their various roles to the best of their abilities.
The PRIDE values have equally supported one of our key priorities of the year; that of recruitment and retention of staff. UKAS has been highly successful in 2021-2 in increasing the staffing resources available to us and we are proud of the high levels of technical ability and knowledge that permeate every section of the assessment teams.
We have successfully progressed each of our five strategic priorities in the last year.
In terms of exceling in areas of technical expertise and service, we have expanded our workforce to capture more skill and have also provided considerable training opportunities for all existing staff, including a four-day Technical Conference for knowledge exchange.
With respect to being agile, enabling the organisation to adapt and innovate, the development and roll-out of customer and assessment portals will streamline customer experience and the assessment process. We have also successfully deployed UKAS CertCheck, a free to use, online database of accredited certification.
In being perceptive in developing talent and building knowledge we also look towards our extensive in-house training opportunities, which recently includes access to eLearning modules created specifically for UKAS by an instructional design specialist.
We have delivered financial stability and productivity even in times of national crisis and have also built-in contingency to deal with further consequences that might be presented by the outgoing pandemic, whilst simultaneously holding prices for our customers.
It is not really for us to say whether we are respected and recognised as the world’s foremost accreditation body, however with several members of the UKAS team having taken on key leadership posts in ILAC and IAF as well as UKAS’s central role in the roll-out of UKCA – the UK’s replacement of the CE marking system, we can be confident we are on the right track.
As with the assessment process, it is not a case of achieving these goals once and moving on. Instead, the process is one of continual self-assessment and ensuring that a golden thread of technical excellence, adaptability, learning and PRIDE runs through all that UKAS does as a body of individual employees, and that is the challenge we readily accept for the following years to come.