This guide to BS 8522 has been created to provide an affordable and easy-to-understand alternative to the published standard itself.
Although it summarises and simplifies the contents of the standard, nothing has been lost in terms of laying out the requirements for compliance with BS 8522 – these are explained in plain English and a commercial mover seeking certification should be able to use this document in preparing and implementing a Quality Management System that will be fit for audit.
BS 8522 draws heavily upon the original “domestic removals” quality standard BS EN 12522 and shares some elements with BS 8564 the “overseas moving standard” and BS EN 14873, the “storage standard”.
These standards have all been developed to provide the moving industry with recognised, specific and measurable benchmarks that are relevant to its particular activities, unlike more generic quality management standards such as ISO 9001.
The development of the Commercial Moving Standard was initiated by the BAR CMG and it was published as a full British Standard in June 2009. As with most quality standards, some elements of the standard are mandatory, i.e. wherever the standard says that certain measures “shall” be carried out the exact requirement is specified and during an audit, any shortcoming against those areas will result in a “nonconformity” which will have to be remedied before a certificate can be issued.
In other areas the standard is less demanding and will give options or a recommendation for best practice rather than an absolute requirement. When assessing a company’s performance against those clauses, an auditor can use a degree of judgement and can make suggestions for improvement rather than raising nonconformities and those will be followed up during the next year’s visit.
BS 8522 has been developed and written by persons with experience and understanding of the industry and a well-run commercial moving company should find it easy to follow and should not have any difficulty interpreting and implementing the requirements (as can occur with more generic standards such as ISO 9001).
The standard covers the three phases of the work. Firstly the initial contact and handling of an enquiry, a survey and the provision of a quotation, then the operational phase and lastly the follow-up including quality measurement and remedying any shortcomings. It also specifies the resources, documents and administrative processes that need to be in place.
In developing the standard, considerable input was gathered from clients e.g. professional Facilities Managers, who made an invaluable contribution to the outcome. Their involvement ensured that the standard is meaningful and respected in the marketplace. It has become a common prerequisite for commercial moving tenders and contracts in both the public and private sectors.
Within its scope, BS 8522 (as with the other industry-specific standards) addresses a number of areas of a moving company’s administration, operations and service delivery that are also covered within the BAR Membership Criteria and the Code of Practice. By virtue of their membership, BAR Members will already be meeting all of those requirements. Therefore, for the purposes of this document, we shall explain some clauses where BS 8522 requires additional measures.
The additional requirements of BS 8522:2009 are explained here as follows:
3 – General
The mover should ensure that all relevant information is gathered for each stage of the move and that all persons and resources involved throughout are competent and appropriate to deliver the services required by the customer. All persons involved, whatever their role, shall be familiar with the standard and how to comply with it.
4.1 – Initial contact and preliminary information
The mover shall ask the customer for their requirements in sufficient detail to be able to provide the core service (together with any extras requested) in line with their Quality Procedures.
The mover shall point out to the customer the importance of giving all the necessary information.
If necessary the mover may need to liaise with other parties as well as the customer, to establish the full circumstances and what arrangements are required.
When communicating with the customer at this stage and in estimating the work involved, the mover shall ensure that the personnel involved are competent and have good sales and customer service skills and have had appropriate training and actual work experience.
4.2 – Core service
The mover shall gather all possible information about the origin and destination locations – anything that might have some impact on the carrying out of the move.
A pre-move survey of the premises and the items to be moved should be carried out. If the mover cannot do this using his or her own personnel, another mover certified to this standard may be engaged.
QSS holds accreditation from UKAS for its work on BS 8522 and is itself assessed by UKAS twice each year against the relevant auditing standard BS EN ISO-IEC 17065 2012.
You need to first purchase a copy of the standard and then budget costs for implementing the standard within your business prior to initial assessment. You may wish to do this yourselves or you may engage an appropriately qualified and experienced independent consultant who can quote to assist you through the preparation process.
QSS can then, on request, complete your initial assessment and set up an annual surveillance cycle.
Please contact us for costs.
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