Importance of UKAS Accreditation

The importance of UKAS Accreditation

There are a many reasons why you should use a UKAS accredited testing laboratory. Here are some of the most important:

  1. Demonstrate credibility – A UKAS accredited laboratory is able to demonstrate a full audit trail fortheir full service.
  2. Keep your reputationintact – Confidence in your product is enhanced if clients know it has beenthoroughly evaluated by an independent, competent testing facility.Increasingly customers are relying on independent evidence, rather than simplyaccepting a supplier’s word that the product is fit for purpose.
  3. Minimise your risk – While risk can never be removed altogether, employing the services of a UKASaccredited testing company means you have chosen a technically competentlaboratory, thus minimising the risk of producing or supplying a faulty service/product.
  4. Reduce ongoing costs – precompletiontesting of buildings can be expensive and time consuming, even when they aredone correctly the first time. If not done correctly, then the cost and timeinvolved in undertaking the re-testing can be even higher if the product hasfailed to meet the specification and building signoff cannot be achieved.  
  5. Defend against litigation – The use of a UKAS accredited sound testing laboratory is a powerful demonstration that you have exercised all due diligence in the selection and appointment of a supplier.

 APT is a multi UKAS accredited company to undertake pre-completion testing; here are some links to our UKAS accreditation:

If you would like more information in regards our acoustic design service or UKAS sound insulation testing services, please contact us at: or call APT Sound Testing Direct on 07775623464. Alternately, If you would like more information on how to prepare for your sound insulation testing please download our sound test checklist.

Banks Could Have to Pay ‘billions’ More in PPI

Banks Could Have to Pay ‘billions’ More in PPI
People who were not mis-sold PPI policies may be able to claim billions of pounds more in compensation, following a court ruling in Manchester. Christopher and Joanne Doran were awarded all the sales commission they paid plus interest for a policy, a total of £17,345. They are the first people to have all of their commission payments refunded for a legitimately sold policy.

However anyone wanting to make similar claims would have to go to court.

The commission is the money paid to firms who sold the policies to consumers on behalf of the insurers.

Under the Financial Conduct Authority’s existing guidelines, consumers who were sold their policies legitimately may still be entitled to claim back commission which is deemed excessive. This means that policy-holders can reclaim any amount of commission that was in excess of 50% of the premium.

Around 1.2 million complaints have proved successful under this, the so-called Plevin rule, out of the total of 13 million PPI pay-outs.

But the judge in Manchester ruled that the Dorans were entitled to receive the whole of the commission – in their case 76% of the premium – plus interest.

Paragon Personal Finance, which lost the case, is deciding whether to appeal against the ruling. Lawyers have claimed the ruling is a new precedent that could mean that banks are liable for another £18bn in pay-outs. However, sources in the City were sceptical about that figure.

Shares in Lloyds Bank – which has had to pay the largest share of PPI mis-selling claims – fell in early trading, but have since recovered.

So far banks and insurance companies have had to pay out a total of £30bn to compensate consumers. Under the FCA’s deadline, all claims have to be lodged before the end of August next year.

EU to Launch Counter Tariffs Against US

EU to Launch Counter Tariffs Against US
The European Union will launch a raft of retaliatory tariffs against US exports on Friday, a top official has said. The move comes after US President Donald Trump imposed steep duties on steel and aluminium earlier this month.

American exports such as blue jeans, motorbikes and bourbon whiskey will be targeted, trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom confirmed.

However, she said the bloc “did not want to be in this position. The unilateral and unjustified decision of the US to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on the EU means that we are left with no other choice,” she said.

Brussels drew up the list of products in March when Mr Trump initially proposed the 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, which also target Canada, Mexico and other close US allies.

Cranberries, orange juice, sweetcorn and peanut butter are among the other goods targeted.

It comes amid an intensifying row over trade between the US and its partners.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump threatened to impose duties on an additional $200bn (£151bn) of Chinese goods after hitting $50bn of products with tariffs. He said the 10% duties would come into effect if China “refuses to change its practices”.

However, China accused the US of “blackmail” and said it would “fight back firmly”, raising fears of a full-blown trade war.

US Arrests 74 in Global Email Scam

US Arrests 74 in Global Email Scam
The US has arrested 74 people including nearly 30 in Nigeria, as part of an effort to combat email scam artists. It said the arrests reflect a coordinated crackdown on people who convince correspondents to wire them money for fraudulent activities. The US said such scams are “prevalent” and pledged to pursue perpetrators “regardless of where they are located”.

Authorities said they have seized, recovered or disrupted more than $16m (£12m) since January. The effort, which involved local and federal law enforcement agencies, targeted scammers who trick people into transferring them money, for example by impersonating a business partner or colleague.

In one case, the US alleged that two Nigerians living in Dallas posed as a property seller when requesting a $246,000 wire transfer from a real estate attorney.

Authorities also went after “money mules” – “witting or unwitting accomplices” who receive the money from the victims and transfer it as directed by the fraudsters.

The US said arrests occurred in the US, Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius and Poland.

One man was extradited from the UK in 2016 for his role in a scheme that allegedly sought to take $2.6m. He pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud and identity theft.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, whose agency funded and coordinated the operation, said: “This operation demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that target American citizens and their businesses.”

The FBI said people have reported losing more than $3.7bn since it started tracking the issue through its Internet Crime Complaint Center. “The devastating effects these cases have on victims and victim companies, affect not only the individual business but also the global economy,” the US said.


Executive Search and Interim Management

Executive Search and Interim Management

Working for a company with little scope for promotion or being stuck in a role that you are over qualified for can be really demoralising and reduce your motivation to do well in your career so sometimes finding a new challenge can be the perfect way to renew your passion for working life.  So if you have recently begun to feel that you are beginning to outgrow your current job role but find the process of looking for suitable vacancies can be frustrating and time consuming finding out more about agencies offering executive recruitment services might be a good idea.

Many good recruitment agencies understand this and will do everything they can to help you get the role that you deserve, so if you would be interested in finding a new and exciting role within interim management approaching an agency that is able to offer executive could be your next step to achieving your goal.  They are able to let you know when suitable vacancies arise, put you in touch with prospective employers and also pass all your relevant information such as your CV, identification, reference details and certificates directly to the employer on your behalf helping you to save a lot of time and effort.

Agencies that specialise in executive recruitment will aim to make excellent working relationships with the clients they work with so they will often be the first or only place that specific vacancies are advertised, they will also often contact them with short term contracts to cover sickness or other leave within their organisation which is the ideal way to build links within your industry.  Being able to access vacancies before they are advertised elsewhere gives you a massive advantage when looking for vacancies within the competitive jobs market so signing with an agency that has a proven track record of successfully offering executive search services is essential if you want to be to find the perfect role for you.

If you are looking for jobs within interim management or at any management level you will already know that opportunities are sparse unless you look in the right places, at this more essential level of the workforce business are reluctant to take on anybody without a proven track record in a similar role.  However when they need short term cover quickly they are more likely to give somebody with less experience a chance.  If you are signed up with an agency offering executive search they will often get roles like this at very short notice, and if you are able to undertake that job for them it is the ideal way to add experience and skills to your CV, this can be especially helpful if you have just qualified or are returning to work after a break.

So no matter what type of industry you work within if you feel it’s time to take a step up the ladder to just want a change why not pas your details to an agency offering executive recruitment services and see what interim management roles they are able to offer you?  Whether you are looking for full time, part time, temporary or permanent work they could help you find a role that is suitable for you much more quickly and easily that you may first think!

Professional Tree Surgery Services in Newcastle

Professional Tree Surgery Services in Newcastle

If you are looking for professional tree surgery services in Newcastle you might want to get in touch with Stan Timmins and Sons where they have an excellent reputation for getting the job done properly for a reasonable price.  If you are having problems with diseased or nuisance trees, deep rooted weeds or overgrown shrubbery at Stan Timmins and Sons they will know exactly what to do to gets things right again.

Offering Tree Surgery Services in Newcastle to both commercial and residential customers at Stan Timmins no matter the size of the job they will always be willing to come over to fully discuss the problem with you and give you a free estimate for any work required.  With a wide range of horticultural and arboricultural qualifications gained by all members of the team they have the expertise required to assess each job throughly and give a full analysis of what work needs to be carried out so you will have all the information you require when considering the available options.

As full qualified tree surgeons at Stan Timmins and Sons they have the expert knowledge required to be able to distinguish between different diseases in trees and plants and carry out the most effective treatment so you can be certain that they will be able to help you prevent further problems in the future, they will also be happy to give you any information you may need and answer any questions you may have regarding future maintenance so you can be sure the problem won’t recur.   They will also be able to dismantle and remove trees for you using the safest and most effective methods available, or remove overgrow or dangerous branches.

With a wide range of tree surgery and arboricultural services on offer at Stan Timmins and Sons they will be able to help you solve the majority of outdoor problems with the minimum of disruption.  Along with tree surgery services they are also able to offer deep rooted weed removal, shrub pruning, ivy removal, site clearance and storm damage work among many others they will be able to get things under control for you in no time at all.  They also offer a range of arboricultural consultancy services as well if you require reports for reasons like mortgages, planning applications, safety reports or site assessments for any other reason.

Having spent over fifty years working within the industry Stan Timmins and Sons have the experience required to know how to give each customer excellent service every time, so you can be sure you won’t be disappointed.  They will make sure that you are fully informed at every stage of the process and liaise with the local council on your behalf to ensure the the work proposed is completely legal, their service is also fully insured and all work complies with current health and safety best practise, they will also dispose of any waste for you when the work is completed making sure that the whole process is as straightforward as possible.

So if you need a reliable tree surgeon in Newcastle why not find out more about the great range of services available from Stan Timmins and Sons?  With reasonable rates, excellent customer service and all the knowledge required to make sure the job is done properly you can be certain that you will be happy with the service you receive.

We believe at Stan Timmins Tree Surgeons that we can provide you with the quickest and most accurate tree surgery, to suit whatever work you need done. We offer the advantages listed above and we have had many customers who have praised us and thanked us for our work. You can see these customers at our Testimonials page. For further information on the range of gardening and tress surgery services available please call 07966 207280 or visit the Stan Timmins Tress Surgery website today.

Executive Search and Professional Interim

Executive Search and Professional Interim

HW is a global Executive Search and Professional Interim business operating out of the UK. Our focus is on the senior talent needs of a broad range of dynamic organisations from small capitally invested start-ups through to publicly traded multi-nationals. We have a significant breadth of functional and cross industry expertise that incorporates both local and global geographies, enabling us to genuinely appreciate diversity, cultural differences, social responsibility and how commercially business is done across continents.

We have a passion for challenging the conventional thinking of our clients, demonstrating an in-depth understanding of cross-industry synergies whilst representing high-potential and seasoned executives that frequently sit beneath the radar. Our candidates typically become clients meaning many relationships have spanned 3 decades; our commitment to consistently delivering best-in-class solutions is without compromise.

Our practice areas in Executive Search and Professional Interim are Consumer, Financial Services, Business Services, Industrial, CFO, CIO, Chair & NED.


In a dynamic and highly challenged economy the role of senior executives across all sectors, functions and geographies remains business critical.

Being able to recognise cross-industry synergies, attract business professionals who are passionate about utilising their skills in new areas, and applying decades of knowledge to

shape and support clients’ strategic initiatives remains at the heart of our continued success.

Having a global perspective and multi-cultural appreciation enables us to shape richly diverse executive teams helping our clients to achieve outstanding results.


As a true client partner HW work tirelessly to ensure that we genuinely appreciate the intimate detail of every search we undertake. We believe in providing healthy challenge and honest feedback through each phase of the assignment, tackling potential issues collaboratively whilst offering constructive solutions throughout.

Our sole aim is to exceed expectations by providing a breadth of highly talented candidates delivered through a smooth and efficient process.

To achieve this we follow a number of clearly defined steps.

· Agree the priorities of the search

Define the need through critical evaluation of the business and unique role requirements

Agree the responsibilities of the role and the person specification

Challenge the scope of the search – Salary range, sector expertise, academic/commercial skills

Finalise brief

· Define target audience

Agree company target list for initial approach work

Utilise local and global relationship network to identify potential talent

Reference individuals who meet agreed criteria

Create a longlist of candidates for discussion

· Approach work

Engage with target market to understand and evaluate suitability

Challenge competency, cultural and commercial skills

Evaluate personal and professional drivers

Finalise shortlist for client presentation

· Shortlist presentation

Formal client review of all shortlisted candidates incorporating our assessment of both hard and soft skills vs. the brief

Provide supporting evidence of track record, career achievements, qualifications and fit

Agree client interview availability

· Completion

Manage both client and candidate needs and expectations until the preferred individual is selected

Provide formal references

Lead the salary package negotiation process to finalise the offer

Support the on-boarding program through regular communication with both parties

Complete client satisfaction survey

Remain in touch with both client and placement to check on progress and transition


With over 40 years combined experience, the Interim Practice has been at the forefront of one of the most dynamic and prolific service offerings within the Human Capital industry.

HW Interim provide experienced and talented interim and change management executives to PLCs, private companies, SMEs and private equity backed organisations for assignments in the UK and overseas.

The fabric of the Interim proposition consists of an elite network of senior Executives, all of whom specialise in change, turnaround or transformation. HW have met, vetted, referenced and known, many who are also clients.

Working alongside the Executive Search business we adhere to the same principles and high standards, enabling us to source the ideal interim to match our clients’ needs.

Our strategy is to develop longstanding partner relationships with all our clients. Working with a team of dedicated and experienced Researchers we are able to provide solutions within a 48hr timespan and with well over 90% completion rates.

The business offers both purist Interim cluster solutions as well as Interim to substantive options. Daily rates are typically between £850-£2000 per day. For further information please visit the HW Global Executive Search website today.

US Fed Urges Patience as Inflation Lags

US Fed Urges Patience as Inflation Lags
Policymakers at the US central bank are growing increasingly concerned about lagging inflation rates. Many policymakers are worried that the slow pick-up in price increases may be due to long-term trends, not just short-term factors. They urged that “some patience” guide the Fed as it considers plans to raise interest rates.

Many analysts expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates once more this year. But several members said their willingness to take action would depend on incoming economic data. A few said a rise should be deferred until it was clear that inflation trends were on pace to hit the Fed’s 2% target. “All agreed that they would closely monitor and assess incoming data before making any further adjustment to the federal funds rate,” they said.

The publication of the minutes from the Fed’s September meeting follows recent remarks and speeches by Fed policymakers that have highlighted questions about inflation rates.

Interpretation of new data is likely to be complicated by efforts to tease out temporary effects from recent hurricanes, which wreaked havoc in parts of the country, including Texas and Florida.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen also gave a speech last month focusing on the Fed’s uncertainty about what is driving inflation trends. She had previously stressed that the lagging inflation was probably due to temporary factors, such as lower prices for cellphone plans. But in her speech, she said other factors could include long-term changes to health care prices, driven by the Affordable Care Act, as well as economic shifts unleashed by the internet, such as online shopping and greater price transparency.

The uncertainty strengthens the case for “gradual” adjustments, she said.

Sarah House, a Charlotte-based economist at Wells Fargo, said she thinks the Fed remains on track to raise interest rates once more this year. But she said the discussion is a reminder to investors that increases will remain relatively limited. “The Fed is in a tightening cycle, but it looks nothing like the tightening cycle we’ve seen in previous years,” she said.

UK Construction Activity Shrinks

UK Construction Activity Shrinks
Activity in the UK construction sector contracted for the first time in 13 months in September, according to a closely watched survey. The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the sector fell to 48.1, below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.

The survey found “political and economic uncertainty” had affected the commercial property industry. It also reported a “steep” fall in civil engineering work. The survey found that new construction work had fallen for the third month in a row, which it said was the longest period of decline since early 2013, excluding the drop-off in work following the EU referendum last June.

Some companies said the fall in civil engineering work – the steepest for almost four-and-a-half years – was due to a lack of new infrastructure projects to replace completed contracts.

IHS Markit said that house building was the only area of construction which showed a rise in activity last month, but added that momentum had eased because of “worries about less favourable market conditions ahead. Fragile client confidence and reduced tender opportunities meant that growth expectations across the UK construction sector are… among the weakest for four-and-a-half years,” said IHS Markit’s Tim Moore, the author of the report. At the same time, cost pressures have intensified, driven by supply bottlenecks and rising prices for imported materials.”

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club, said: “There is the particular concern that potential clients will be cautious over committing to major projects if economic, political and Brexit uncertainties remain elevated over the coming months. “Construction companies will be hoping that recent government measures aimed at boosting infrastructure and housebuilding have a material beneficial impact.”

On Monday, the PMI survey for manufacturing indicated that the pace of growth in the sector slowed slightly last month, with a reading of 55.9 compared with 56.7 in August.

As a consequence, Mr Archer said that “much attention” would now be focused on the PMI survey for the service sector, which is due to be released on Wednesday. The service sector accounts for about three quarters of the UK’s economy.

Boss Tells Women to Steel Themselves for Leadership

Boss Tells Women to Steel Themselves for Leadership
N Brown group chief executive Angela Spindler knows what it’s like to be the only woman in a room full of men. When she was at retail giant Asda 20 years ago, women in her position were rare: “I’d go to a networking event or a conference and I would be the only female among 100 men.”

She says that’s not the case now, but accepts women are still scarce at the top and some women still find it scary. Her advice: “You have to just steel yourself and go for it.”

Ms Spindler runs N Brown, which owns plus-size clothing brands Jacamo, Simply Be and Marisota.

After a degree in psychology she worked in marketing at confectionary giants Mars and Cadbury. She then moved on to senior jobs at Asda and Debenhams, where she became that rare woman at the top.

She says one of the key things needed to help boost women’s presence at a senior level would be to strengthen the pipeline of candidates available: “It is the responsibility of recruiters that feed the industry to always make sure there are female candidates. I’m not talking about positive discrimination, but getting their names on the list.”

Ms Spindler says if she sees a list of candidates without a woman’s name on it she “sends it straight back.”

She says you need three things to be successful in business: “You need to be good at something, you need ability – some work at it some are born that way – you need to be lucky and in the right place at the right time, and you need to be brave, you’ve got to have courage. “You’ve got to take things in your stride and that’s where women have got to steel themselves and just go for it.”

Women sometimes fall down on that last point, she says: “It’s expected of men that they are going to be successful in their careers, it’s more unusual for women to get to the top of the ladder. It’s got to come from inside. “A lot of it is to do with will, determination and personality.”