How Beard achieved BSI accreditation
Mark Beard explains how people were key to Beard Construction achieving BSI accreditation.
When thinking about standards in construction, there’s a tendency to think exclusively of the physical outputs of a project. That’s clearly very important – high quality should be an end in itself as well as being at the heart of the promise to clients.
But the output is only the end of a story that also has a beginning and a middle. To deliver a high-quality finished product requires high standards to be observed and maintained throughout the process. The key to delivering this is people.
Last year, Beard decided it wanted to achieve accreditation from the British Standards Institute (BSI) across a range of different measures, reflecting its commitment to effective quality management, improving environmental sustainability, and – most importantly, as recent events have brought home all too clearly – the health and safety of its staff, all those working on its sites, and the general public.
Achieving all these standards in one year was a challenge but it was one Beard was determined to take on – not as a tick-box exercise, but as a way of ensuring the firm as a whole remains fit for the future.
As a family-owned business, Beard has always put its people first. As the company has grown in recent years, Beard has increasingly adopted an operating model that gives staff at all levels responsibility for driving change. To ensure that high standards are rigorously and routinely adhered to, the company needed to embed a commitment to best practice throughout the organisation.
That meant providing all staff with training so that they understood what Beard was trying to achieve and why it was important; what the requirements were to meet the accreditation standards; and, crucially, what that meant for each and every person in the organisation.
Beard was clear from the outset that achieving accreditation is not simply a ‘nice to have’, a shiny badge to put on our website, or a certificate to put in a frame and hang on the wall. It is part of the firm’s culture and how we want to operate – what it calls The Beard Way.
Everybody has a role in delivering high standards and they will perform that role much more effectively if they share in the big picture of what the firm is trying to achieve.
Mark Beard is chairman of Beard Construction