ISO – spotlight member for ICW magazine


What a lovely surprise to open the latest edition of the Institute of Collaborative Working (ICW) Magazine and find myself as their spotlight member. I spoke to them some time ago, but didn’t know when (or if) I would appear in print!

Read the full article below to find out more about my development and the start of ISO Specialists.


ICW Magazine – Issue 12 Mar-Apr 2024


Managing Director, The ISO Specialists Ltd

I have been a member of the ICW for 5 years now. My awareness of the ICW came about following an internet search after hearing about ISO 44001:2017 at a Nuclear Industry event in Manchester in November 2017.

I was employed at that time by Sarah Purdham, MD of Prima Uno Ltd  (an award-winning consultancy specialising in project controls, forensic planning, risk/value management, programme 
and project management, dispute resolution, training, quality, and collaboration) and it was my 
second day in the job as Quality and Office Manager.

During one of the presentations, we were made aware of the ethos and principles of ISO 44001, and we wanted 
to find out more. This led to the internet searches and my subsequent awareness of the ICW. Before long I was on a train on a Sunday afternoon in January 2018, heading for a weeklong ‘Leaders’ Course at Warwick University. I am happy to say I passed the course, and the rest as they say, is history!

I think it is true to say that my real learning started then and continues to this day. As Sarah and I came to know more about the Standard we began our own internal assessment into our collaborative capabilities, behaviours, and values. Would another organisation want to collaborate with us? Did we have the right internal culture, capabilities and behaviours that would give that confidence and build trust in us from an outside perspective? Where could we add value to another organisation through collaboration?

We began to apply the Standard from the ‘ground up’ internally and looked externally at our relationships with other organisations particularly our supply chain. Prima Uno has successfully managed multi-million pound collaborative business relationship contracts, for over 10 years now , and won awards for doing so, and gained certification to the Standard in 2018. What we learned during the process of embedding the management system into our day-to-day activities supported our internal culture and beliefs, behaviours, and values, and gave us a firm structure to work from for the future.

3 years ago, I started my own company during lockdown, and it has been quite a journey on which I have learnt most about my self – my strengths and my weaknesses – and I continuously strive to grow and learn something new every day.

I could not have got where I am now without the support of family, friends, and previous work colleagues – a unique collaboration all of its own.

Collaborative relationships come in all shapes and sizes, and for me have varied from the large contracts mentioned above to:

  • Collaborating with other businesses to provide funding for a local primary school to enable the children to do some personal development activities such as canoeing
  • Working with other organisations to create WiN Cumbria (Women in Nuclear) – which has its 5th birthday on the 8th of March – International Women’s Day – winning a Northern Power Women Award
  • Working with other organisations to develop an idea for a community skills centre, providing skills for local people and the creation of a commercial nursery growing trees and providing skills and jobs for residents of a local open prison
  • Collaborating with other local businesses to provide 16–18-year-olds with mock interview practice and work experience

I value being a member of the ICW and am proud to be. For me it means friendship and support and access to knowledge and information. I have formed friendships with other members through the Ambassador Wellbeing Forum and through working with others on collaborative projects. I have recently joined the Sustainability SIG too. Support and advice I have found, is always available, readily on hand and freely offered. I look forward to the future and the people I haven’t yet met, new things I will learn that I don’t know now, and the new collaborations waiting to be made.

about us

The ISO Specialists make management systems simple for SMEs in a wide range of sectors. We support organisations to meet the challenges of three key International Standards – the established ISO 9001 for Quality Management, ISO 44001 for Collaborative Business Relationship Management and ISO 14001 for Environmental Management.

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