A cost management firm has achieved the notable milestone of achieving four nationally recognised accreditations in just four months.

Following a period of intensive preparation and assessments, Great Annual Savings Group has successfully completed Investors in People (IIP) and attained the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.

The company sees the accreditations as a key step in its evolution as it looks to expand and create jobs after recently moving its headquarters to Seaham.

Judith Bennison, Group HR Director at Great Annual Savings Group, said: “We are committed to investing in our staff and creating systems and procedures that will allow us to demonstrate outstanding quality, environmental, health and safety practices.

“In working towards the ISO and OHSAS standards, we have built an infrastructure that will allow us to cut unnecessary costs, reduce our carbon footprint, increase our efficiency, become more competitive and give customers and suppliers the confidence to know that they’re working with a high-quality, ethical business.

“In addition, the IIP accreditation demonstrates our desire to provide great career opportunities for our staff – we never lose sight of the fact that great people make a successful business. We actively encourage our staff to get involved in projects that sit outside of their job role, which allows them to tackle different challenges and learn new skills.”

Steve Burrows, Managing Director of Investors in People North of England, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Great Annual Savings Group and I would like to congratulate the team on their success. We believe that good people make a great business and as a proven organisational development framework, Investors in People is designed to help organisations and their people to realise potential, enhance performance and meet goals.”

Great Annual Savings Group is the latest company to achieve Investors in People, which provides a management framework for improving a company’s performance through the development of its staff. The internationally recognised standard is held by more than 15,000 organisations across 75 countries.

ISO 14001 allows companies to map out a framework for the creation of an effective environmental management policy, while those that want to achieve the OHSAS 18001 standard must demonstrate that they have a robust occupational health and safety management system in place.

Meanwhile, ISO 9001 is a certified quality management system (QMS) for organisations that can demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the needs of customers and partners.

Great Annual Savings Group is committed to improving standards across the company and is already working towards the Information Security Management accreditation ISO 27001 which helps firms manage the security of assets such as financial information and intellectual property.

Established in 2012, the company works with businesses across many sectors to reduce their variable costs and save money in a range of areas including energy procurement, energy and water cost management, fire safety, telecoms and insurance.

The company was founded by North East entrepreneur Bradley Groves, who has a strong track record of improving the performance of high-profile FTSE 250 companies. Previously he was a board member of Caudwell Group and helped build the telecommunications giant into a high-growth business and a major global employer, prior to which he held a senior board level role at Blacks Leisure Group PLC.​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.