VAN AKEN the first architectural firm in the EU to be BSI Kitemark ™ EN ISO19650 certified!

VAN AKEN Concepts, Architecture & Engineering is the first architectural firm in the EU to obtain the BSI Kitemark ™, the highest level of BIM certification for excellence introduced by BSI (British Standards Institution), for BIM Level 2 in accordance with the international standard EN ISO 19650-2 : 2018.
With this ISO certificate, VAN AKEN demonstrates that it manages and applies the processes for formulating, planning, producing, supplying and checking digital information and information requirements for the entire delivery phase.
It is a confirmation of the knowledge and way of working that VAN AKEN has built up in recent years and that it uses for its clients.

The reason that VAN AKEN has chosen to be certified for EN ISO 19650-2 is the following. VAN AKEN likes to be at the forefront of BIM (national and international) and has been looking for years to show its BIM skills to clients. International customers of VAN AKEN appreciate a certified process and take it into account in their decision-making process, after which VAN AKEN has investigated which certifications there are for BIM. At that time, the European Union put the finishing touches to EN ISO 19650 parts 1 and 2, which led to the choice for this ISO standard.
EN ISO 19650-2 describes collaborative processes for effective management of information throughout the entire building delivery phase using BIM, and provides a globally simplified and common approach to BIM.
In addition, the BSI Kitemark ™ certification is the international benchmark for excellence in digital engineering and project delivery.
Now that we are certified, we can offer our clients a structured BIM process that is internationally accepted. In doing so, we give the confidence and certainty that our deliveries and projects meet the highest international BIM standard.

Becoming certified as an agency does not happen overnight, but is always a process. First, our BIM manager and agency coordinator followed a 3-day course provided by BSI to better understand the new ISO standard:
The first 2 days consisted of the part “BIM Fundamentals Training Course”, the last day consisted of “BIM ISO 19650-2: Project Delivery Training Course”.
This was followed by several appointments with BSI to see what the certification process will be like in general and in particular for an architectural firm. Especially as we are the first 'smaller' agency for the Dutch BSI to be certified for EN ISO 19650-2, coordination was necessary from both sides.
After everything was clear, VAN AKEN chose to have a so-called GAP analysis performed first. This is a one-day analysis in which BSI looks at how far away one is from a possible certification. In the end, we also scheduled a 2nd GAP analysis two months before the actual audit, to go through the last missing points from the 1st GAP analysis. This allowed us to enter the 3-day audit with reasonable confidence, in which of course the ISO standard is discussed much deeper. However, most of the time was spent on actually implementing all processes from EN ISO 19650-2 on projects. Since the ISO standard has only recently been published, there was also a challenge to convince our clients and project partners that this way of working has added value.

Naturally, VAN AKEN already carries out projects in accordance with the EN ISO 19650-2 standard, this is even a condition for meeting the BSI Kitemark ™ certification. The BSI Kitemark ™ certificate demonstrates the internal compliance and external added value of using EN ISO 19650 processes on actual projects. It is not necessary to carry out all projects in accordance with EN ISO 19650, however, it must be demonstrated annually (during the audit) that the processes are applied to a few projects (and are improving in this) in order to continue to comply with the BSI Kitemark ™ certificate.
To receive a Kitemark ™ certificate, all processes of the EN ISO 19650-2 standard must be met. The verification (carried out by BSI at VAN AKEN in September 2020) recognizes the effective implementation of all processes of the EN ISO 19650-2: 2018 standard with project-based evidence.
In addition, customer satisfaction and partnerships are also tested and assessed, which, in addition to the ISO standard, is also an important part of the BSI Kitemark ™ certification. With this, the focus of the BSI Kitemark ™ is on continuous improvement and involvement, which perfectly matches our core values ??as an agency.

In the Netherlands, VAN AKEN is already very experienced in the field of BIM, which means that most processes are already satisfactory.
Of course we had to make adjustments in the internal processes, but these were not many and they did not require any major adjustments. In addition, it has turned out that if one explains why the ISO standard prescribes this, the adjustments to the processes are understood and therefore easier to apply.
We are extremely proud to receive this recognition as the first architectural firm in the European Union.

For more information, please contact our BIM manager Bart Jeurissen: bart.jeurissen@vanaken-cae.nl