Connect Derby, the managed workspace scheme that operates seven buildings across the city, has become the first service within Derby City Council to be awarded the highly coveted ISO 9001 quality management accreditation.

ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for those organisations seeking recognition of their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs of their customers and other relevant stakeholders.

Based on the idea of continual improvement, ISO 9001 helps businesses and organisations to be more efficient and improve customer satisfaction. A measure of a consistently quality service, it is only awarded following a rigorous assessment process.

The audit assessed areas including Connect Derby’s management, operations, IT services, customer support, finance, business support and conference provision.

ISO 9001 accreditation was awarded to Connect Derby after it demonstrated that it operates to the highest levels of professionalism and competence and delivers a high standard of customer satisfaction and excellent quality management principles – notably its processes and controls, strong customer focus and commitment to continuous improvement.

Connect Derby will benefit considerably from the new accreditation, as it provides senior management with an efficient management process which helps set out areas of responsibility across the project.

In addition, ISO 9001 communicates a positive message to staff and customers, identifies and encourages more efficient and time saving processes, highlights deficiencies, reduces costs and provides continuous assessment and improvement.

The report, carried out by auditors Keith Mythen from Lloyds Register, praised the quality management system at Connect:

The current system is so well detailed and therefore provides an excellent foundation for the current scope within the Connect Derby operation.

It’s clear that the Leadership of the organisation has clearly directed the various departments and functions in the right direction. The structure that supports continuous improvement through the Departmental Plans is first class and offers a full spectrum of improvements either through the formal objectives or the preventative action associated with the subsequent risks.

It was evident that all staff ‘buy-in’ to the quality ethos that has been developed over the past couple of years. There is no doubt that the current structure will lead to many improvements within the future,” the report concludes.”

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection said:

I want to congratulate everyone at Connect Derby whose hard work has led to this accreditation. It really is an accolade that the team can be quite rightly proud of.

With competition growing, and businesses demanding the highest quality of service, achieving ISO9001 offers a real advantage against competitors and recognises Connect Derby’s commitment to all of its customers who are benefiting from a service that meets their needs.

Connect Derby’s customer-focused mentality has always remained at the forefront of everything that they do, and that has really paid off.”

Commenting on achieving ISO9001, Ann Bhatti, Head of Connect Derby, said:

Connect Derby is the first service within Derby City Council to receive this accreditation and I’m exceptionally proud of all the hard work put in by the Connect Derby team.

Connect Derby has been set-up to operate commercially and be fully customer facing. This accreditation is proof of our commitment to the quality of the services we deliver and will strengthen our relationship with our 200 plus customers, who remain at the forefront of all our activities.

It demonstrates that there is consistency and professionalism throughout our operation and reinforces our already strong reputation for delivering a high standard of services throughout the managed workspace market.

It will also help us to stand out from our competitors, improve efficiency, engage our staff and save money in the process.”

Connect Derby is Derby City Council’s £30m portfolio of managed workspaces, which has created a strong market for mixed use and sector specific serviced offices across the city at its seven buildings – Friar Gate Studios, Marble Hall, Sadler Bridge Studios, Riverside Chambers, Kings Chambers, Shot Tower and the iHub on Infinity Park.