Gloucestershire County Council together with its partners Ringway and Atkins have announced they have been recommended for accredited certification for ISO 44001: collaborative business relationship management systems.
ISO 44001 is an international standard which provides guidance for identifying, developing and managing collaborative business relationships within or between organisations.
In2019, the county council announced plans to break down the county’s highways contract into three areas. The areas were broken down into a highways term maintenance contract (pothole repairs, patching, winter gritting, grass cutting and gulley emptying); highways structural maintenance contract (resurfacing works) and the highways professional services contract (works design and consultancy support).
Assembling a new collaborative working model which follows best practice and a joined up approach has allowed the service to deliver continuous improvements over the past couple of years and beyond.
Cllr Vernon Smith, cabinet member for highways at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Over the past two years Gloucestershire Highways have been working incredibly hard to make the service as collaborative as possible.
“Achieving accredited certification for collaboration is a remarkable accomplishment; and this joined up way of working will help us to continue to deliver high quality roads and good value for money for tax payers.”
Kath Haworth, head of highways at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is fantastic news, achieving accredited certification for collaboration means that we have the right framework in place to successfully work together delivering services for Gloucestershire going forward.”
Hayley Raven, Atkins framework manager for Gloucestershire, said: “I’m so pleased that our relationship and evidence of the behaviours, integrated processes and leadership was recommended for ISO44001 accredited certification today. This is the international standard for collaborative business relationships and this external scrutiny helps us get most value from our relationship and drives continuous improvement in our approach.
“We’re just at the start of our journey but I’m confident we’re setting strong foundations for the future of our working partnership in Gloucestershire Highways.”
Nick Radford, divisional manager for Ringway, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into making the highways service collaborative and the benchmark for other authorities. From tender stage it was clear that Gloucestershire wanted to engage providers with the right culture and truly wanted to work in a joined up collaborative manner.
“Two years in and we are still on a journey; this certification is the foundation to build upon and reflects how far we have come and the hard work put in by the people from all three organisations. It’s pleasing that all parties recognise the benefit of collaborative working and operate to this ethos, it is a credit to the people that work across the county council, Ringway and Atkins, and will benefit of the highway service as a whole.”