FIRST Scotland East bus customers are set to benefit from a more consistent and reliable bus service after the company secured a prestigious and highly sought after management system accreditation.

The company's Galashiels depot passed the strict criteria at the end of 2012 to pass the accreditation, called ISO 9001, along with other depots in the East of Scotland.

It is designed to provide quality management systems to help manage businesses of all descriptions and provide foundations for better customer satisfaction, staff motivation and continual improvement.

Staff at First Scotland East have been working hard for almost a year in order to attain the standard. Vic Duddy, the company's quality and environmental manager, led the project. He said:"My colleagues right across the business have been incredibly supportive and committed in striving to achieve the standard, so it's especially pleasing that we've been successful. We are a better company for it and will be working just as hard going forward to ensure we keep raising standards." First Scotland East, Managing Director, Paul Thomas, said: "Achieving the ISO 9001 standard is good news for our customers. Certification is only awarded to those companies who demonstrate a total commitment to continuously improving the quality of the service they provide.

"For our customers it means they can expect a more consistent and improved service. For example, we already enjoy good punctuality and reliability performance across the business, however, we anticipate further improvement thanks to better staff engagement, enhanced communications and new procedures that we've introduced as a result of ISO 9001. We are also building upon the skills of our staff and investing in new technology to ensure that customers enjoy a better bus service." He continued: "To secure ISO 9001 is a tremendous achievement and is a reflection of the commitment and talent of the entire team at First Scotland East. From driving and engineering staff to management, we are all working hard to deliver the best bus service possible."