The two-day audit consisted of a day in the office when auditors from Achilles looked at APEM’s systems in detail, followed by a day on site to check that the systems were being properly implemented on the ground.

Most companies expect their suppliers to achieve a compliance score above 80 per cent, but APEM scored 97 per cent for our systems and 100 cent for our onsite implementation.

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High scores on the Achilles system are important because this demonstrates that suppliers have robust systems in place across a wide range of key business activities and that these are being consistently implemented to a high standard.

The system is used extensively by water and power companies as part of their procurement process. It means that the companies can be sure that their suppliers – such as APEM – are working to the required standards, including complying with EU regulations.

APEM’s senior health, safety, quality and environment consultant, Gemma McLean, said: “We take our Achilles audit extremely seriously, not only because we know how important it is to our clients, but also because it’s a great opportunity to make sure that our business systems are working to high standards.

“That’s particularly important if, like us, you have lots of staff working in potentially hazardous situations, whether that be in the field or in the laboratory.

“So we have a policy of continual improvement and in the last year we’ve really worked to involve people at every level and in every part of the company in making sure our systems are robust and properly implemented.

“It’s great to see that work recognised by Achilles.”