BCQ Group awarded BPIF ISO12647-2 Colour Management Certification.

ISO 12647-2 Certificate

Certificate of Registration ISO 12647-2


“BCQ Group joins an elite group of printers who can claim their work is printed to the official ISO12647-2 colour standard”

Allan Bates – BCQ Group Colour Champion


Chris Knowles, Managing Director and Allan Bates, Premedia Manager & Colour Champion with the ISO12647-2 Colour Management certificate.

BPIF ISO12647-2

BCQ Group has been awarded the prestigious BPIF ISO12647-2 colour management scheme certification in June 2015. The UKAS accredited certification, establishes BCQ Group as one of only three print companies thus far in the UK to achieve this coveted colour standard.

The ISO12647-2 colour management scheme, developed by the BPIF is the only scheme where certification is accredited by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). It is the only scheme, which provides a totally independent certification and is uniquely distinct from any individual manufacturer.

The scheme is a certification with fully global recognition that requires printers to operate a colour quality management system, which is independently audited by a third party specialist auditing body. To attain certification, BCQ Group had to pass an independent and third party audit of both the internal management system and across a range of test products.

BCQ Group first achieved the standard in 2011 – one of the very first in the UK to do so

BCQ Group first achieved the standard in 2011 – one of the very first in the UK to do so. Subsequently however, the accrediting body UKAS had redefined the standard and, as a result of which, the various accrediting bodies were in disarray, resulting in the various printing machine manufacturers “going their own way” and creating own brand versions of colour management based upon the press controls available on their latest machines. This led to a wide range of individually created colour standards – none of which were consistently reproducible across the vast array of machinery available within the industry.

Having the latest Heidelberg presses in place, printing to the standards claimed by the manufacturer and in spite of being content with the general quality being produced, we were not entirely satisfied with this unofficial approach. Therefore two years ago BCQ Group’s existing Premedia Manager, Allan Bates, adopted the mantle of Colour Champion and embarked on the lengthy programme of working towards the only fully UKAS approved 12647/2 standard (with PMC) in the UK and with the support of the British Printing Industry Federation (BPIF). Utilising Toyo FC ink and pressroom chemistry supplied by Kingswood Inks, Fuji plates and Heidelberg XL press technology, the new standard was nevertheless still fairly onerous and undeniably expensive but definitely worth the journey as BCQ Group is now one of only an exclusive handful of companies in the country to gain this important standard.

“Fundamentally, the overwhelming majority of printing companies, agencies and other procurement facilities that make claim they have, commit or run to this standard, simply do not conform and thus should only indicate that they print to a more easily or readily attainable but less arduously administered version of ISO12647-2. The difference is very clear between the true ISO12647-2 and the ‘lite’ version so therefore, we are delighted to say that BCQ Group are now in the distinguished position of being able to apply a stamp that shows our work is fully compliant to the ISO12647-2 standard”, Allan Bates said, before continuing, “We join an exclusive group of printers who can now legitimately claim their work is printed to the full standard. To bolster this and ensure we move this forward we will be looking towards adoption of the certification across other media platforms within the company to further cement our commitment to quality and create increasingly greater distinction between BCQ and its competitors.”

There are ultimately huge benefits to being awarded the BPIF ISO 12647-2 certification. This covers a range of printing operations, including sheet fed and web offset lithographic printing and also various paper types, and help redefine the requirements for predictable and reproducible print quality. By attaining this prestigious certification, BCQ Group can now run specific print campaigns using a range of technologies to the same exacting standards. The scheme enables production to be standardised, providing consistent colour reproduction regardless of the production process or substrate and ultimately a reduction in wastage and allowing faster make-ready times to be established.



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