Northumbrian Water Group achieve two star Service Desk Certification

05 March 2015

Northumbrian Water Group’s (NWG) Service Management team are celebrating after being officially awarded two star Service Desk Certification (SDC) by the Service Desk Institute (SDI), the leading professional body for the IT service industry.

SDC is a globally recognised standards-based accreditation programme specifically designed to certify service desk quality.

Northumbrian Water Group provides water and wastewater services to 2.7 million people in the north east of England, trading as Northumbrian Water, and water services to 1.8 million people in the south east, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.

The service desk team based in Durham support 3000 internal customers and up to 1000 contractors and consultants working on behalf of Northumbrian Water Group. The service desk consists of five full time and one part time analysts, a problem management co-ordinator and a team leader and deals with around 4000 incoming telephone calls and 4000 emails each month.

The Service Management department and the service desk were rigorously assessed in the nine¬†certification concepts: leadership, policy and strategy, people management, processes and procedures, partnerships and resources, customer satisfaction, people satisfaction, performance results and social responsibility. Their highest scores came in people and management and social responsibility which reflects the broader organisation’s focus on investing in employees and their
commitment to environmental and community welfare.

The team first embarked on the SDC programme back in 2011 but were delayed due to a departmental restructure, which resulted in a period of transitioning to new roles and responsibilities. Certification started with renewed determination in 2013 and the team worked hard to address recommendations made by the SDI auditor in time for the full audit.

Lisa Burt, NWG’s Service Desk Team Leader, commented: “The highlight was definitely seeing how much we had improved from the first assessment to the audit. It has been a very positive experience for us – the knowledge of the SDI auditors and their support and guidance was invaluable. The service desk analysts felt a great sense of achievement and pride in being recognised as professionals and knowing that we had been assessed against best practice and been judged as ‘pro-active’.”

The process of tackling the improvements needed to achieve the 2 star scores also resulted in other benefits besides the accreditation itself. Commenting on this Lisa Burt added: “Undertaking service desk certification has acted as a catalyst to deliver many of the initiatives we have been talking about for a while, such as, introducing a new service catalogue, formal service level management and being able to influence the decision to implement a new service management tool.”

The team are now keen to build on their success by using certification as a springboard to keep moving forward and improving all that they do. Already in motion are activities to improve customer satisfaction and work on engaging and listening to business customers. Of future plans Lisa says: “There will be a number of other initiatives starting in 2015.” Howard Kendall, master auditor for SDI, said “In a cost constrained environment the progress made since the auditors first visited has been superb. The service desk clearly benefits from experienced leadership fostering a motivated and
committed team.”

The SDI Service Desk Certification standard is based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model and provides a clear and measurable set of benchmarks for a service desk operation, many of which are not included in ITIL or ISO/IEC 20000. By achieving certification an organisation is demonstrating that it is truly dedicated to best practice.

For more information please contact or call 01689 889100 or visit our website: 

For more information please contact Zoe James at SDI at or by calling 01689 889100

About SDI

The SDI company mission is to inspire service desks to be brilliant. To achieve this mission SDI has
developed a set of goals by which it aims to inspire service desks to:
# Embrace: To raise the quality of service delivery by valuing best practice
# Engage: To create an inspiring and engaging customer experience
# Invest: To empower their teams to be inspired, take action and be better
# Shine: To demonstrate and deliver exceptional business value

SDI sets the globally recognised best practice service desk standards that provide clear and measurable benchmarks for service desk operations and professionals. The standards are designed to encourage service desks to embrace best practice to in order to raise the quality of service delivery.

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