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Our ISO certification and why it matters

Published Oct 18, 2023 – By Wardour

A magnifying glass hovering over a piece of paper with the letters ISO enlarged

Processes, audits, certifications and accreditations; not the sexiest of subjects but they matter – for us as a creative agency and our clients.

Creatively, we set ourselves a high bar in our thinking, strategy and output. These standards also apply to every little detail and process across the agency.

Clients put their trust in us. The relationships we’ve forged, the services we provide every day are proof of our professionalism. But being independently certified for these standards is also important because it helps us deliver a better experience for our clients.

We achieve this through our ISO 9001 certification – one of the most widely adopted and recognised quality management systems (QMS) globally. The international ISO 9001 standard is a collection of principles designed to ensure an organisation meets the needs of clients, its own staff and other key stakeholders.

These principles are about what we do within the agency and how we do it. They are the beliefs, values and norms we live by to keep clients satisfied and exceed expectations too. Internally, everything we do – from how we support our people to compliance or the way we invoice – plays a part in keeping clients happy. So continually reviewing our approach as a creative agency makes sense. If our staff are getting the training they want (for example, in the latest AI tools), they’re better placed to keep clients ahead of the curve. And if the lifeline of a project, from client brief through to billing, gets a regular audit, it helps us to deliver the best service.

Our ISO certification comes with the ‘royal’ stamp of approval because our agency is externally reviewed and certified by a UKAS-accredited body (another acronym, sorry). UKAS is the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. In many cases, for tenders where clients ask for ISO certification, agencies must be UKAS-accredited. UKAS is globally recognised, which means we can also compete in markets internationally, across advertising and marketing comms.

Under the bonnet of ISO 9001

ISO accreditation shows we have efficient processes in place to ensure our products and services are high quality, delivered on time and within budget. To keep our ISO status, we regularly review each key process within the agency: looking at how well we’re doing them, what can be improved and how we move forward if something goes wrong. Equally, when something is working well or we get positive feedback from clients, these form part of our internal audits too.

We use a bespoke Wardour quality manual as our guide, which includes our quality policy. The three core commitments of the policy (also regularly reviewed to ensure it stays suitable) are to:

  • Develop and improve our QMS
  • Continually improve the effectiveness of the QMS
  • Enhance customer satisfaction

As part of these commitments, our senior leadership set objectives for different functions across the agency, as they apply to our teams and processes (whether that’s in client services, HR, finance, content or creative). We audit different areas of the business each month, and third-party auditors assess our competencies annually. It makes our agency much more accountable and means we’re not just going through the motions; we’re always looking to do even better.

With ISO 9001 certification, we’re not just saying our processes are top quality, we can prove it. We don’t need this accreditation to operate as a business, but we believe by holding ourselves to the highest level in quality management standards, we are a stronger agency, delivering a better client experience.

Got something we can help you with? Let’s get the conversation started. Drop us an email at hello@wardour.co.uk.

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