Implementing a management system aligned to the BS EN ISO standards does have an initial cost. While the long-term benefits of ISO, such as increased business and profit, outweigh this, it can nonetheless be difficult for companies to afford the initial outlay.
This is particularly true for smaller businesses, those looking to grow into new markets or become an approved supplier. However, there are grants available that allow businesses of all sizes to achieve certification. These can cover up to 50% of the cost.
Grants / funding have been available for many years however, due to the current state of the economy, they are becoming harder to understand and, quite frankly, harder to obtain. However, Clear Quality are here to take the pain away and support you through the process step by step. In 2022 our team supported over 300 businesses nationally obtain funding towards the cost of implementing a controlled management system aligned to the requirements of BS EN ISO standards and upskilling their workforce saving them thousands of pounds. The money saved allowed business owners to invest in new machinery, equipment, people, tools etc that ultimately supported the growth of their business.
Government grants are the most common form of funding to support business improvements. Business Link (a government initiative for the support of growing businesses) gave help to hundreds of SMEs looking to grow by embedding a controlled management system. However, they ceased operation in October 2012. Nonetheless, the service wasn’t completely halted; the telephone service was maintained, and the information relocated to the gov.uk website. You can now find business support information, including those about grants and loans there.
Since then, local enterprise services have replaced Business Link. Grants can now be accessed through award schemes, such as those offered by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), or through local councils.
Many national organisations will offer grants and support to allow you to achieve certification with ISO including training for your workforce. These include specific industry departments such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Education. Your eligibility will vary according to the scope of services in which your company operates.
In addition to national organisations, there are many local bodies and authorities that will help you obtain a grant. These include the SYMCA, Enterprise Trust, Business Connect in the Channel Islands, SMAS (Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service), local enterprise offices and more. Many authorities will specifically give grants to non-for-profit organisations. It can be really difficult to find the correct board or office for your needs. If you are in doubt, contact us today so we can support your needs.
In order to obtain a grant, your business must be eligible. Some specialist grants will have particular requirements, such as being a non-for-profit organisation. Some organisations will specifically offer grants for businesses concerned with environmental, sustainability, aviation, desire to up skill their workforce etc. However, standard eligibility normally depends on three factors:
- The industry in which you work
- Your business’s size
- Your location
These will vary according to the organisation who are offering the grant. The best way to understand eligibility is to contact the body or company directly or speak with our team at Clear Quality.
Grants are generally offered to SMEs as it is widely recognised that these businesses not only need the most support in order to obtain certifications as a pre-requisite and require training for their workforce, they will also see the most positive return on investment.
Contact our team today at firstname.lastname@example.org so we will discuss your needs and where possible access funding towards your projects.