Bristow & Sutor achieves NQA COVID Secure Verification
Midlands-based enforcement firm Bristow & Sutor has received independent verification this month for its processes related to the coronavirus health pandemic. The business has been awarded NQA COVID Secure Verification accreditation, which assures staff, clients, customers and the public that company measures successfully mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 per government guidelines.
The NQA is a recognised and renowned global certification body, operating in over 90 countries and with experience of providing improvement standards and certification to businesses for the past 30 years. Bristow & Sutor has engaged with the NQA many times previously, including for the provision of ISO standards.
A thorough audit of the company’s Safe Working Procedures and Risk Assessments for Enforcement Agent (EA) visits was required, along with a detailed look at PPE/hygiene standards and on-site site compliance. NQA assessors joined Bristow & Sutor remotely for a pre-verification assessment, followed by visits to offices as well as accompanying an agent on the road. Every Bristow & Sutor employee conducting physical visits has been trained on the use of PPE and must pass an industry approved course before being allowed to conduct visits. They are not permitted to enter properties, so any resolution found is done so in a socially distanced manner from the doorstep.
No requirements for change were identified during the NQA assessment and all processes were deemed suitable for verification. Despite one-off accreditation being available, Bristow & Sutor has committed to an annual update of these assessments taking place, ensuring the business remains at the forefront of advice and best practice at all times.
Debbie Mayneord, Health & Safety Officer at Bristow & Sutor, says, “NQA COVID Secure Verification is testament to our approach and the members of Bristow & Sutor staff who have implemented best practice advice and processes throughout this pandemic. We hope that achieving this standard provides further assurance to employees in our offices, EAs on the road, clients at home and debtors that we visit that all of our operations remain safe and secure.”
Before achieving the NQA benchmark, Bristow & Sutor First Aiders took part in the Human Focus COVID-19 First Aid Training programme. This gave employees additional training in how to treat a casualty during the pandemic, the safe use and disposal of PPE, and the clean-up operation after dealing with a suspected coronavirus case. The business has started to undertake additional refresher training with all field staff on the latest coronavirus rules and is set to progress with further verification in the coming months, this time related to company’s ability to successfully identify and support vulnerable people.
An ongoing digital transformation project has seen Bristow & Sutor enhance its services throughout the past year, including the introduction of webchat for debtors, a dedicated WhatsApp channel, text reminders for cases in payment arrangements, more payment methods and the prioritisation of successful contact techniques based on behavioural science and analysis.
Bristow & Sutor is one of the UK’s leading players specialising in debt recovery and has over 42 years’ experience in the collection of local council tax, non-domestic rates and unpaid Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs).