Storage of Furniture and Personal Effects
Organisations that are certified to BS EN 14873 operate to clearly defined standards and their procedures are designed to benefit the customer at every stage of their move.
Some elements of the standard are mandatory, i.e. the standard says that certain measures “shall” be carried out and sometimes the exact requirement is specified. During audit by the certification company, any shortcoming against those will result in a “nonconformity” which will have to be remedied before a certificate is issued.
In other areas, the standard is less prescriptive and there are recommendations for best practice. When assessing a company’s performance against those, an auditor can show greater flexibility and if there is room for improvement the report will include appropriate recommendations and these will be followed up during the next year’s audit.
BS EN 14873 was written by persons with experience and understanding of the industry and a well-run removals company, offering storage services, should find it easy to follow and should not have any difficulty interpreting and implementing the requirements (which cannot always be said with more generic standards such as ISO 9001).
The standard is published in two parts. Part 1 dictates the Specification for the storage facility and related storage provision, whereas Part 2 describes the provision of the service; the resources and the methods to be used.
This European Standard specifies minimum requirements for the provision of storage facilities and related services, for furniture and personal effects belonging to private individuals and is applicable to all forms of such storage whatever the means of containment employed.
This does not exclude its application to services and facilities provided for the storage of items of furniture in other ownership. Part 2 specifies service activities designed to ensure that such a service is customer oriented.
A guide to the principles of the standard would include:
When an organisation engages QSS (Quality Service Standards Ltd) to carry out its assessment and certification processes, a full day’s “Initial Assessment” will be carried out by QSS to audit the company’s compliance against the entire standard. Following this (and subject to the clearance of any nonconformities) a certificate will be issued, usually valid for 12 months. Annual assessments are then carried out, each covering certain elements of the standard and taking a half-day and normally leading to renewal of certification for a further 12 months (subject to any nonconformities).
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