When Allan Scott, Mike Holden and John Haugh set up The Forensic and Policing Services Association (FAPSA) they had no real idea of the powerful nature of business relationships that can be forged through collaboration. The association was launched at The Forensics Europe Expo in London in 2012 and in the past 18 months its membership has grown to include over 40 small and medium size businesses, students and interested followers and its influence has attracted interest from around the World.
At an early meeting, the founders explored what they wanted their vision to look like. They knew that there were many small businesses operating and struggling in the forensic science market place. FAPSA’s founders felt that, as small business owners, they had a range of experience and expertise that could only benefit other companies and so their vision is two-fold: the first to provide a members’ association that would have a significant voice in the forensic science industry and represent the views and concerns of small businesses. The second was to recognise that if companies operating expertly in niche areas are to survive and thrive, they need to explore opportunities to work together. This was recognised as being particularly true when products and services overlap or complement each other.
So, the FAPSA founding members came up with the vision statement for the Association – “Success through Collaboration”. This has turned out be an apt and succinct vision as member companies have been drawn together through the networks created within FAPSA. Much of what has happened has been truly remarkable in such a short space of time and there are many success stories.
One such is FAPSA member company Equas Ltd, which provides ISO consultancy to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK and abroad. Julian Russell, a Director at Equas, has been collaborating with the Gareth Byron Consultancy to explore opportunities for providing ISO expertise and quality management systems to police forces and to the private investigations sector. Equas has supported FAPSA at the Forensic regulator’s Conference in Birmingham and at the Forensic Europe Expo in London in 2014. The collaboration has seen Equas consultant Mark Pendleton has provided FAPSA member Paul Champion at AIS 2000 Ltd with his route to BS 102000 (Provision of Investigatory Services) certification. Equas has also been introduced to UK police forces where they are working to build effective quality management systems.
This is new business for Equas and one which would not have been reachable without the FAPSA introductions.