Excellence as standard!


If you’re motivated by the fear of past events, you’ll behave a certain way – but being motivated by the future and by what you can achieve totally changes the game.

According to the dictionary, ‘compliance can be defined as the act of conforming, acquiescing or yielding. Whereas ‘excellence’ can be defined as the fact or state of excelling, superiority, eminence.

I don’t know about you, but I know which definition most inspires and excites me to do an amazing job in our business and for our clients.

In these unprecedented times of what I can only personally describe as chaos, it is certainly going to take more than simply ‘conforming’ to get us through the coming turbulent weeks and months.

With all the changes being made across businesses and within teams, we’ve already seen that it’s the acts of innovation, creativity and ultimately excellence that are making the biggest differences.

We are seeing that it is communities, teams, groups, family units and friendship circles all coming together, going above and beyond and applying the much-needed discretionary effort, which are making all of the critical differences.

With all the changes being made across businesses and within teams, we’ve already seen that it’s the acts of innovation, creativity and ultimately excellence that are making the biggest differences

Now anyone who is as passionate about the power of excellence as I am will already understand. And they will likely have been banging the drum about the benefits of streamlined systems, processes and controls that are well thought through and strategically planned – the very things which are now proving to be the most essential tools for businesses.

However, this is not an article on the value and importance of business continuation and disaster recovery; this is an article about why having a business and a team whose sole focus is striving for and achieving excellence is, was and has always been the best line of defence.

I can honestly say that, as a business, we have seen very little impact and even less interruption than normal in our day-to-day workings – and that’s because, for over 10 years, we’ve always thought a little bit differently and certainly behaved a little bit differently to many other business – we are now reaping those rewards.

As a best practice standard body striving for excellence in financial services you would of course not expect us to be experiencing anything different, but we are still a business just like you. A business with our own day-to-day challenges that we have to face and deal with, and distractions that are constantly pushing us to work in the business rather than on the business.

So, what do we have in place?

First of all, we have built a management system that meets and, in many cases, exceeds best practice British and International standards. While we have to select generic business standards, you can benefit from meeting the benchmark of BS 8453:2011 Compliance framework for regulated financial services firms.

Each year, we undergo a rigorous assessment conducted by impartial and independent assessors who stress test and challenge our ways of working.

The process is extremely valuable and has certainly played its part in preparing us for the current challenges and complexities of doing business.

An impartial and independent assessment process is established to ensure that

  • your strategic leadership team have the necessary skills, abilities, qualities and attributes to add value in their roles, to the team and to the business as a whole
  • your business maintains objectives, plans and processes for continual improvement and that your commitment to quality and excellence is maintained at all times
  • the needs and expectations of all interested parties are considered fundamental to operational goals
  • your business and all team members meet all applicable requirements, laws, regulations and controls
  • all your team members have all the capabilities to ensure that clients (internal and external) receive the best possible service and that they demonstrate a high level of competence at all times
  • your services and systems are designed, engineered and managed to meet your clients’ requirements by the simplest and most cost-effective means possible.

Once in place, your commitment to excellence should be understood by and communicated to all staff within your business. It is normally the responsibility of the Quality Manager to investigate any failings or shortfalls and ensure that corrective action is implemented as soon as possible.


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We believe everyone has the power to realise their extraordinary potential. “Standards International is the powerhouse behind professionalism and operational excellence in financial services. We set the standards, we live the standards, we are the standards!” That’s us in a nutshell! We support the development of financial adviser business owners, their business partners, practice and business managers, and support teams in all areas of personal and business development. We have some super-exciting developments under way and it gives me such a buzz when I sit for a moment and realise what an impact all of this could have on our magical profession! Please be sure to keep in touch with us via social media, use our contact form or email us on enquiries@standardsinternational.co.uk to say “Hi”.

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