Considering the subtle differences when selecting a provider of ISO 19650 Accreditation


The LRQA ISO 19650 Accreditation Scheme was originally launched in 2012, as a direct response to industry discussions and requests for a method to assess an organisations BIM capability and capacity.

Back then LRQA were part of Lloyds Register and the scheme was very much focused on the UK Governments BIM Level 2 mandate, and as BS/PAS1192 standards and specifications were published the schemes assessment areas adjusted. These amendments continued through to the transition to ISO 19650 international standards and the UK Accreditation Services (UKAS) pilot and its successful completion. This latter UKAS initiative was requested by industry back in 2016 and its final completion last year has increased demand and interest in ISO 19650 Accreditation exponentially.

So, does this mean all the UKAS ISO 19650 Accreditation Schemes are now equal and all the same? The simple and straight forward answer is NO. In this blog, I am going to explain why by using a comparison in another sector, hospitality.

If you go out for an evening meal to a Michelin star restaurant, the stars provide a clear indication of quality, you can book a table in confidence knowing you are going to have amazing service and exquisite food. However, not all Michelin star restaurants are the same, they have different chefs, menus, wine lists, décor, ambience, and prices.

This same analogy can be applied to the UKAS backed Accreditation Schemes in the market, including LRQA’s, they all have their differences, but you should expect a quality service as defined by UKAS by these providers.

Whichever UKAS backed provider you select, which can be based on price, approach, culture or even just a ‘gut feel’, I have seen compelling evidence when evaluating pre-qualification questionnaires and tender returns that those that hold accreditation do out-perform those that don’t in the winning work process. This may be because those that have invested are more committed to BIM and Information Management and have had the opportunity to evaluate and resolve any gaps in their processes and understanding.

How LRQA differs

One of the main differentiators in the LRQA scheme has always been its focus on the organisation itself with an understanding that BIM and Information Management is not a standalone process. Instead, it needs to align with internal quality assurance, quality control and business systems, as well as change and risk management. The LRQA scheme has since 2012 assessed BIM and information delivery risks, a concept introduced more recently in ISO 19650 in 2018. The intention of these schemes is to confirm competency and provide confidence to clients, who understand that accredited companies will be audited annually by an independent third party. When we consider competency of individuals this typically starts with an individual starting a new role, learning, and developing new skills, and being supported as they implement them, this is also a focus area for the LRQA scheme which assesses how the business manages these processes.

Once again using our Michelin star restaurant example, from the matradee, the wine sommelier, head chef, sous chef, to the plongeur (dishwasher), a well-run restaurant and kitchen provides an unrivalled dining experience for the customer. We can’t offer you an amazing taster menu or a glass of wine but ISO 19650 Accreditation provides many organisations with increased understanding, significant business improvement opportunities and increased confidence to clients.  

In summary:

  • UKAS backing has accelerated industry adoption
  • UKAS approved accreditation providers instils increased confidence   
  • Accreditation providers schemes and services are not all the same
  • Accreditation provider’s approach, assessment areas, and costs are different
  • Assessments go far beyond simply having a BIM Execution Plan

Symetri have partnered with LRQA since 2016 and provide the first part of the accreditation journey globally via gap analysis and reporting services. We can assist companies further by developing their standard method and procedures, documentation and understanding via our ISO 19650 educational courses and programmes.   

If you are interested in starting your journey towards ISO 19650 Accreditation for your organisation, please complete the form on your right to book an appointment with us to discuss your options.