"We knew we needed expert help for what is a very demanding standard. Our business is fast moving and complex, and we needed to incorporate anti-bribery into our existing ISO 9001 quality management system.
Episode were able to make the process as simple as possible, and helped us every step of the way. We were so pleased with their work we have subsequently signed an ongoing support services contract with them.
Ferran Alcazar, Operations Director
Dale Care's contracts are typically with public sector bodies such as local authorities. Given the sector they provide services in, their clients need assurance that the company has robust anti-bribery systems and processes in place.
ISO 37001 is recognised internationally as the best and most comprehensive approach. However, it is a very demanding standard to achieve, requiring a thorough analysis of the risk of bribery occurring in all aspects of the business, as well as systems and processes to address the risks identified.
Dale Care is certified to ISO 9001, quality management, and the anti-bribery system needed to be integrated with this.
About the Organisation
Dale Care has been delivering care and support services to individuals since 1986 ranging from low-level domestic assistance through to 24/7 services for people with complex needs. They are the largest home care provider in the North East, and are recognised by both the local authorities and the CQC as providing a high-quality service.
Their many hundreds of care workers help thousands of people in their own homes. They provide personal care services, bathing, medication, palliative care and complex care all in varying degrees. Other services offered include companionship, outings, shopping & cleaning anything to enhance your life.
What the issues were
There are many aspects of the business where bribery could take place in Dale Care. They are bidding for multi-million £ contracts. Equally important, they have many hundreds of staff working in people’s homes where the care worker may be approached to vary the service they provide (arriving at times preferred by the service user, providing services not catered for in the care contract, etc.).
As a result there was a need to carry out a detailed risk assessment of where bribery could occur, and find ways of removing or reducing the risk.
It was also a challenge to train the large number of staff – both in terms of the number of people that needed to be trained, & in a way that made sense to them.
What we did about it
One of the best things about ISO standards, especially ISO 37001, is that they force you to fundamentally review every aspect of the organisation. The starting point is always the “context of the organisation” – what you and I call your strategy and business plan, or in this case, your anti-bribery strategy.
Before starting the anti-bribery system, we carried out a comprehensive review of the existing ISO 9001 system, and what was already in place to manage bribery. We knew it was important to integrate anti-bribery management with the quality management system, so that anti-bribery would become an essential part of the normal running of the business.
Once the initial gap analysis was done, we held a workshop with the senior management from Dale Care. Using a robust risk assessment mechanism based on the best practice advice laid out in the Annex of ISO 37001, a detailed register of potential circumstances where bribery could occur was produced.
With as light a touch as possible we then agreed how best to remove or reduce the risk.
Throughout the process we coached directors and managers on the key aspects of anti-bribery management, and provided training material to be used with the care workers themselves.
The system was successfully certified by BSI in February 2020, and Dale Care continues to be certified with Episode’s help..