Following on from the work started in 2019 to audit all members of the BSIF Registered Safety Supplier Scheme (RSSS), 2020 so far has presented great opportunities to engage with the membership and to expand and develop the scheme to provide even more value.
The 3 months from January to March saw our Membership Manager Paul Manning and I conduct a total of 36 audits of members obligations/responsibilities, as laid out in the RSSS handbook and covering aspects related to claims made about products and or services to ensure that they meet these claims and the quality management systems that back this up.
As part of this audit process, we received 39 PPE products to audit, by conducting an indicative test to one or more of the claims of conformity made for the product. From this 39, 32 product tests have been completed with 25 products passing the testing (performing in line with the claims made),
7 failed and 7 are still pending. It is worth noting that failure in this context could refer to paperwork issues that need to be addressed, rather than just a specific failure of performance.
Part of the RSSS is the obligation to ensure that customer-facing staff are educated in key aspects related to the UK safety marketplace, such as relevant legislation, product marking etc. The Safe Supply accreditation (SSA) is our own online, module based training and qualification process, which rewards successful completion of the course and final invigilated exam with a publicly recognised qualification.
During the 1st 3 months, we have signed up 41 new registrations to the SSA, invigilated 13 exams with every person taking the exam passing the exam successfully and achieving the BSIF/IQ level 2 award in Safe Supply.
The online presentation of the SSA scheme posted to our YouTube channel last November has had 82 views to date and is proving a great resource for those members who need to explain the process to their customer-facing staff. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=par4H80neIw.
As well as auditing members of the BSIF, the team conduct routine ‘mystery shopping’ activities to obtain PPE from non-member organisation s(including online sellers) and then test these products to 1 or 2 of the claims of conformance – the same as we do with our members.
This year to date, we have obtained 31 items of PPE – including some provided by member organisations of the BSIF – for assessment. Of this 31, 10 products passed the physical testing, 16 are pending test results and 5 products failed. However, once the issue of incorrect/insufficient paperwork is factored in the failure rate is much higher with 20 products not having the correct paperwork available at point of purchase.
The impact of the Covid19 (Coronavirus) pandemic in the UK, obviously affected how we needed to manage the audits following the large number of contacts and BSIF staff now working from home. With the use of WebEx online meeting tools, we have continued to be able to offer and conduct audits (including one very early morning meeting with a member based in Western Australia) with products then being sent on afterwards for relevant testing.
The volume of requests for guidance and support for our members has meant a lot of my time recently has been spent helping members assess product certification and provide some support in understanding the impact of EU commission legislation relating to certification of products to help protect those in the frontline healthcare arena.
Aside from this, an important task has been the assessment and expansion of our RSSS handbook and auditing processes to not only include, but also document how audits can be conducted for those members providing Safety services, such as calibration of, and/or servicing/maintenance of safety equipment. This is well underway and we hope to publish this early in Q2.
Manager – Registered Safety Supplier Scheme
T: 07494 677874