UKAS speaks to Road Safety Support to find out how accreditation underpins competence and quality in the road safety sector.
Road Safety Support (RSS) provides a number of services to police forces and highways authorities around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This includes collision data analysis, traffic enforcement strategies, forensic analysis of motoring offences and legal assistance with prosecutions.
One of the most important services RSS provides is speed camera testing and speedometer calibration, which they offer in their UKAS accredited calibration laboratory based on a track in Leicestershire and at their office in Hertfordshire. RSS can also deliver their calibration service at any location where a road vehicle can be driven.
When UKAS spoke to Steve Callaghan, RSS’ Technical Support Manager, he explained that their main customer is the Home Office, who have stipulated that any organisation providing speed camera calibration must be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025. The Home Office has no in-house testing facilities for these purposes so RSS achieved the necessary accreditation to provide this service on their behalf.
“We provide a whole range of road testing and are unique in being able to use the car itself as a testing tool through GPS tracking. I believe we are the only organisation that is accredited for this particular test and we are proud of that unique service. Our testing covers the whole speed measurement from the road to the measurement record.”
Finding the correct pathway to accreditation
When asked about the actual assessment process that led to their initial accreditation in 2017, Steve explained that they first needed to agree with UKAS that the test could be accredited against the standard and how they would be able to practically evidence this.
UKAS Assessment Managers established a new approach to allow this assessment to take place. Steve describes a collaborative approach that allowed the RSS team and the Assessment Managers to work together to establish how to demonstrate this within the framework of the standard.
“We found it a collaborative process rather than an adversarial one and have formed a really good relationship with our UKAS assessors. In spite of this there is no question that UKAS provided us with a consultative service as it was always down to us to demonstrate how we meet the required standards for accreditation.”
RSS is an organisation that depends on innovation and is constantly introducing new and improved testing services for the use of their police and highways authority customers. Some of these innovations include the calibration of digital speedometers and dashcam footage, which due to the accreditation can be used with great weight and persuasion in court for motoring offences.
Accreditation for trust and credibility
“Our accredited status gives weight to our expertise and test results, which is essential in cases where a legal decision may rest on our findings.”
Steve describes the symbol of accreditation that they have earned as a proof of the quality that runs through the tests, the staff and the whole company structure.
Additionally, the continual assessment process encourages RSS to check processes to ensure they are operating with maximum efficiency and competence, therefore proving their ability to generate accurate test results.
Adding to Steve’s comments, RSS’ Media and Marketing Manager, Rebecca Morris, stated that “achieving and maintaining our UKAS accreditation is a great source of pride for us and we value the credibility it gives us and the confidence it brings to our customers.”
UKAS would like to congratulate RSS on their innovation and commitment to quality, as well as maintaining their accredited status in an important if niche service provision.