100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why What is Service Certification? This presentation is designed to give you a very brief overview of the concept of Service Certification. The last slide gives contact details if you would like further information. Service Certification began life in France about 5 years ago, since then it has been developed throughout Europe and there are now over 1600 certificates in existence. Service Certification is unlike ISO9000 certification in that it is about certifying the service provided, for example In a supermarket, ISO 9000 is great at managing behind the scenes processs for things like purchasing and supplier approval, but does not cover the actual service provided, e.g staff attitude and facilities available. (See next slide) So its about the less tangible items which make up the customer experience as well as reassuring the consumer that the service will meet their expectations through a certification process.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Supermarket processes
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Who is SGS Founded in 1878, the SGS Group is the worlds largest organisation in the field of inspection and verification. Truly worldwide and benefiting from a unique network of affiliated companies with over 845 offices, 338 laboratories and more than 31,000 employees, the SGS Group is able to provide its international clientele with a comprehensive range of services in more than 140 countries. This global capability allows clients to have their interest protected anywhere in the world with a single source solution. The SGS Group has built its international reputation on a commitment to quality, based on the individual and collective responsibility of all employees at the service of customers worldwide.. Since it was established, the SGS Group has remained dedicated to its independence as a guarantee of its total impartiality. SGS does not engage in any manufacturing, trading or financial activities which might compromise its independence and neutrality For more information visit
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Who is Service Certification Suitable for So which sectors and organisations could benefit from a certification scheme ? In fact it can be applied to virtually every type of organisation. However, it may be more relevant to service organisations which have direct dealing with the general public. If you can answer yes to any of these then it could be of benefit: developing a trust factor between us and our customers is important developing a trust factor between us and our customers is important we are in a highly competitive market place and need to differentiate our service offering we are in a highly competitive market place and need to differentiate our service offering our service is the best in the industry but our competitors say the same our service is the best in the industry but our competitors say the same we have a large number of outlets and we need to control our brand we have a large number of outlets and we need to control our brand need to control brand value where our product is sold through 3rd parties need to control brand value where our product is sold through 3rd parties we are a franchised based organisation we are a franchised based organisation we sell directly to the general public we sell directly to the general public Trade association wishing to standardise or improve the service of its members. (see slide 12 for more info on trade associations) Trade association wishing to standardise or improve the service of its members. (see slide 12 for more info on trade associations)
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why How do you implement Service Certification There are 6 main stages in implementation as shown on the left. We will focus on the first two stages.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Developing the service reference document The heart of Service Certification is a document called the Service Reference Document or SRD, which is developed by SGS and the client. This document holds the list of the service features/characteristics which are to be certificated. For each characteristic the following information should be given: The characteristic: e.g. Our staff will be easily identifiable The Specific Requirements: e.g. All customer facing staff will wear uniform when on duty A name badge will be clearly worn The duty managers name and picture will be displayed All staff will attend induction training which will include customer service The Method of evaluating the characteristics: e.g..A mystery shopping visit (undercover audit) Audit of staff records and procedures
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Developing the reference document The Characteristics/features then appear in the reference document as below. A typical reference book will include between 8-9 different certified characteristics and normally will run up to 30 pages.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Where do these ideas for characteristics come from?
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Validation and approval of the service reference document Once the Service Reference Document (SRD) has been created by ourselves and approved by the client and other sponsoring organisations it is sent to a committee for validation. The committee looks at the SRD to see if the characteristics are: providing customers with a plus in comparison with the service generally provided the characteristics must be objective and verifiable go beyond statutory requirements enhance the image of the organisation or sectoras a whole comparing the document with others in similar sectors Once approval has been obtained the document is published. This then becomes the standard which is used during auditing.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why Auditing and certification With a standard to work to, the auditing can start. Elements of the auditing process is similar to Quality Management Auditing. This is when we are looking at policies and procedures. However, as we are looking at the softer side of business practices we need to look at the actual service provided. Here we use techniques like Mystery Shopping. Mystery Shopping utilises specially selected people to visit the establishment to experience the service provided and compare it with the requirements set out in the SRD. As the name suggests the establishment does not know they are being audited as the mystery shopper does not introduce themselves. Mystery Shopping produces valuable results and when combined with a Service Standard gives the customer detailed information on the actual service provided and enables them to develop their management systems in line with the SRD. Certification lasts 3 years, with regular surveillance and mystery shopping visits. However, If the SRD is changed then the renewal may be sooner.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why The why !! Why would we need service certification when the new version of ISO 9000 includes adding value and a focus on the customer? Yes the new standard now includes sections covering this, but on closer inspection it remains very internally focused and does not cover the less tangible aspects.. Why replace an ISO 9000 system with Service Certification? As you can see with the supermarket example Service Certification can add to an existing QMS system giving it a new customer angle. It is often the case that Service Certification is used in areas that are traditionally not QMS territory. Why is it called Service Certification, why not SGS Qualicert? Service Certification is very much the concept, like Quality Assurance. Qualicert is the scheme like ISO Why should we introduce Service Certification when we have our own internal standards ? A number of clients have used service certification to enhance their own standards. For example it can give internal worded standard a more customer focused approach. Organisations with several outlets have used it to control the brand image of each outlet. We can also audit to your existing standard without the certification element, for more information ask us for a copy of our 2nd party auditing presentation (see last slide for contact information)
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why The why !! Why would a trade association benefit from Service Certification. For a trade association Service Certification gives the opportunity to develop a unique service that can be offered to its membership. The trade association can develop the Service Reference Book based on documents like articles of membership etc. Individual members can then be certified to this standard. Thus giving the association greater control over the service offered by its members. Case Study - Case Study - The Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) was founded in The ISIA is a security industry trade association for a wide spectrum of security services with members of all sizes in Ireland. The Association represents members in the manufacturing/distribution of security equipment, monitoring centres, electronic security services in the installation of fire and intruder alarms, CCTV and access control systems, and guarding security services, including uniformed guarding, retail security, Cash in Transit, key holding facilities, etc. In the absence of legislation for the industry the Association at present regulates its own members through the ISIA Quality Assurance Scheme. SGS was asked to develop a service certification scheme based on the associations QA scheme and undertake auditing and certification of members. During development ISIA and SGS worked closely with all interested parties including the Irish Government. One of the key objectives is to enhance the image of its members by the use of a third party certification body and thus promote consumer confidence when dealing with member organisations.
100% Service Certification the what, who, how and why What next ? Interested ? If you are interested, then ring the Service Certification team on or us at If you would like to see an example of a Service Reference Document then we can send you a copy of our Catteries and Kennels standard Just send an to or for an overview visit Service Certification Team SGS United Kingdom Ltd SGS House John Lane Tividale, Oldbury West Midlands B69 3HX t: f: w: