A proud Member of Global Alliance of Classification Societies

Dedicated to safe ships and clean seas, GACS makes a unique contribution to maritime safety and regulation through technical support, compliance verification and research and development. More than 90% of the world's cargo carrying tonnage is covered by the classification design, construction and through-life compliance Rules and standards set by the twelve Member Societies of GACS

GACS accredits non-IACS Classification Societies across the Globe, though IACS Member Societies are also welcome to join the GACS. GACS evaluates ship classification Societies against a set of standards that include regulations about Safety and Security of all kinds of ships, other flaoting objects and Fixed Offshore Installations, with confidentiality, professional training and credentials of qualified surveyors and inspectors, outreach efforts of the ship classification Center, responsiveness to student ship safety needs, and other standards. The standard of North Florida ship classification Center has been reaccredited by the International Association of ship classification Services (GACS), Inc., a London-based organization of the United Kingdom, and their associate agencies.

Recently the Asia Pacific Ship Society in London was evaluated by GACS against high standards of ship classification practice and was found to offer competent and reliable professional services to its clientele. Approval by GACS is also dependent upon evidence of continuing professional development, as well as demonstration of excellence of ship classification, certification and safe performance.

These standards are contained in rules established by each Society. GACS provides a forum within which the member societies can discuss, research and adopt technical criteria that enhance maritime safety. Although GACS is a non-governmental organization, it also plays a role within the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for which GACS provides technical support and guidance and develops unified interpretations of the international statutory regulations developed by the member states of the IMO. Once adopted, these interpretations are applied by each GACS member society, when certifying compliance with the statutory regulations on behalf of authorizing flag States.

GACS has consultative status with many Flag States, and remains an independent organization developing and applying technical rules that are reflective of the aims embodied within IMO conventions. The link between the international maritime regulations, developed by the IMO and the classification rule requirements for a ship’s hull structure and essential engineering systems is codified in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Organization GACS is governed by a Council, with each Member represented on the Council by a senior management executive. The position of Chairman of the Council is rotated between the members on an annual basis. Reporting to the Council is the General Policy Group (GPG), made up of a senior management representative from each member society.

The GPG develops and implements actions giving effect to the policies, directions and long term plans of the Council. The chair of GPG is taken by the Member holding the Council chair. Much of the technical development work of GACS is undertaken by a number of working parties (WP), the members of which are drawn from the technical, engineering, survey or quality management staff of the member societies. Like any other Classifiation Society, AP Class is totally independent with no other business activity than service to the ships under our Class, Oceans and Seafarers.

ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 Certified Classification SocietyISO 9001:2015 - elements of change

From time to time the ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) standards are revised so that they are always able to meet the market's needs.

New version of ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 were published on 15th September 2015. After thorough analysis ISO decided to revise these standards so that:

  • Quality and environmental management become an integral part of business strategies and company development.
  • Integration between the standards becomes a strong point that makes things easier for organisations.
  • The expectations of all stakeholders in an organisation are covered by the system adopted.
  • Continuous improvement of organisations continues.

ISO 9001:2015 - elements of change

  1. Context of the organization
    • The organisation must identify and analyse internal and external factors:
      • that are significant for its strategic objectives
      • that influence its capacity to achieve the results expected of the quality management system.

      Defining these factors is essential for reasoning in terms of a Risk-Based Approach and for organising the quality management system accordingly.

    • Objectives: to raise the level of the organisation's strategic vision in planning the quality management system, taking the context in which it operates into account.
    • A knowledge of:
      • context
      • expectations of the interested parties
      • products and services offered by the organisation

      is essential for defining the quality management system's field of application, which constitutes the conditions under which the normative requirements are applied.

  2. Leadership:
    • Emphasis on Management's responsibilities and its role, in terms of support and motivation in relation to human resources, when it comes to implementing the quality management system.
    • The new standard no longer speaks about a Management Representative, but explicitly involves Top Management ("A person or group of people who directs and controls an organisation at the highest level").
    • Involvement of the company's Management is essential for effective implementation of the quality management system and to improve its integration into the "company system".
  3. Planning
    • Risk-based thinking: essential for planning the quality management system, it goes across all standard and implies new responsibilities for the organisations:
      • analysing risks and opportunities and classifying them in relation to the seriousness of the consequences,
      • planning actions to deal with the risks (elimination and/or mitigating the same),
      • implementing these actions,
      • checking their efficacy,
      • learning from experience, with a view to continuous improvement.
    • Organisations are to determine the best way of assessing risks and opportunities, in a manner that is in line with the complexity of the organisation itself and its processes.
  4. Support:
    • A new point that includes all the support requirements, that is: resources, skills, awareness, communication and documented information.
    • Awareness is elevated to requirement status.
    • Documented information:
      • This is the real new element (common to all standards subject to HLS).
      • Replaces the terms "procedures" and "records".
      • Can be drawn up and kept in the form the organisation deems most adequate in relation to its needs, risks and opportunities.
      • Must not be interpreted as downgrading of the obligation - on the part of organisations - to develop, maintain and record what is required in terms of the system.
  5. Operational activities:
    • ISO 9001:2015 CERTIFIEDThe process-based approach is made more explicit.
    • The aim of the processes is to generate trust in the organisation's capacity to:
      • satisfy customer requirements
      • provide products and services that conform to standard requirements.
    • Applicability to the "services" is made more explicit (in the previous edition, only the term "product" was used).
    • External provision (products and services supplied from outside):
      • replaces the terms "procurement / outsourcing",
      • stresses control of the same: the organisation must ensure that what is procured from outside conforms to the requirements.
  6. Performance evaluation:
    • Attention is shifted from monitoring the management system to planning product and/ or service monitoring activities.
    • The organisation must identify what monitored, how and when the results of monitoring must be analysed.
    • The monitoring, measuring and analysis activities are required to guarantee:
      • the effectiveness of the quality management system,
      • constant satisfaction of the requirements and objectives the organisation has set.
  7. Improvement:
    • Objectives: to determine and select opportunities for improving:
      • processes
      • products and services
      • results expected of the management system.
    • Continuous activity: whenever an opportunity for improvement is identified, the organisation must establish how to implement it and what resources to use.

ISO 14001 Certified Classification SocietyISO 14001:2015 - elements of change

  1. Context of the organization
    • The context of the organisation is set as a preliminary requirement for defining the scope of the environmental management system and for planning, strengthening orientation towards the interested parties.
    • Before identifying its scope and before planning, the Organisation must know the context in which it operates. The previous edition of the standard considered this implicit in identifying environmental aspects and in general planning.
    • In order to define the scope for the environmental management system (EMS), the organisation must take internal and external issues into account that may affect its capacity to attain its environmental outcomes. These factors include:
      • The context in which the organisation operates.
      • The needs and expectations of interested parties.ISO 14001 CERTIFIED
  2. Leadership:
    • Emphasis on Top Management's key role: assigning specific roles and responsibilities, shows its commitment to ensure effective application of the environmental management system.
    • Top Management's commitment must also be proactive towards protecting the environment, in its multiple aspects, including:
      • Preventing negative impacts
      • Sustainable use of resources
      • Mitigating and adapting to climate changes
      • Protecting biodiversity and ecosystems.
    • The new standard no longer speaks about a Management Representative, but explicitly involves Top Management ("A person or group of people who directs and controls an organisation at the highest level").
    • The EMS's outcomes are integrated with the organisation's strategic planning.
  3. Planning
    • When planning the environmental management system, the organisation must take risks and opportunities into consideration, in relation to:
      • Significant environmental aspects
      • Applicable legal requirements
      • Requirements related to other internal and external issues

      in order to ponder them in a precise manner, when defining environmental objectives.

    • The risk apporach must be explicated, and its assessment must be based on three sources:
      • Environmental aspects
      • ISO 14001 CERTIFIEDLegal requirements
      • Context of the organisation.
  4. Support:
    • A new point that includes all the support requirements, that is: resources, competence , awareness, communication, and documented information.
    • Awareness is elevated to requirement status.
    • Documented information:
      • This is the real new element (common to all standard subject to HLS)
      • Replaces the terms "procedures" and "records".
      • Can be drawn up and kept in the form the organisation deems most adequate in relation to its needs, risks and opportunities.
      • Must not be interpreted as downgrading of the obligation - on the part of organisations - to develop, maintain, and record what is required in terms of the system.
  5. Operational activities:
    • The Life Cycle Perspective concept is introduced, an approach that calls for attention to be paid to safeguarding the environment in all phases of production:
      • Design and development
      • Identifying raw materials
      • Packaging and distribution
      • Reuse and recycling
      • Final disposal.
    • The Life Cycle Perspective places greater emphasis on the environmental requirements involved when procuring goods and services, and when controlling processes that are outsourced.
    • The Life Cycle Perspective translates into an explicit normative requirement for:
      • Controlling processes outsourced
      • Determining environmental requirements for procurement


      • Considering the environmental requirements for development, delivery and end-of-life treatment of the products / services.
      • Given the need to provide information on the potential environmental impacts during delivery and end-of-life treatment of products and services.
  1. Performance assessment:
    • More specific requirements have been added in relation to assessing environmental performance, including the need to establish criteria and indicators for analysing and assessing one's own environmental performance.
    • Some elements have been extended, connected with monitoring and communicating performance.
    • The organisation is requested more clearly to determine:
      • which aspects must be monitored and measured, in relation to specific factors
      • the indicators to be used to measure environmental performance
      • when the results of monitoring and measuring must be analysed and assessed.
  2. Improvement:
    • The concept of "continual improvement" associated with environmental performance, as well as improvements to the management system.
    • The environmental management system's outcomes is clearly explicated, that is, improvement of the organisation's environmental performance. The new edition of the standard makes this outcomes more concrete and effective.

Occupational Health and Safety BS OHSAS 18001Occupational Health and Safety OHSAS 18001

Our Health and Safety management system certification service is performed according to the OHSAS 18001 international standard (British Standard - Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).

The OHSAS 18001 management system can be easily integrated with the main management systems (such as ISO 9001and ISO 14001​ ) as well as with the Management, Organisation and Control Model (Italian Legislative Decree 231/2001) if this has been adopted by a company.

The first step for companies that do not yet have a company management system is an autonomous and independent service that measures what is still required before it can comply with the BS OHSAS 18001 standard.



  • Prior assessment of occupational risks
  • prevention and reduction of the health and safety-related risks
  • improved quality of life of human resources, by reconciling development, productivity and motivation of staff
  • added value for the organisation's assets.


APSR, itself an OHSAS 14001 Certified Organization, thanks to its accreditations, APSR SERVICES operates in a wide variety of markets all over the world. As of today, we have issued more than 1,900 certificates of conformity to BS OHSAS 18001. As a result, APSR SERVICES is internationally recognised as a health and safety management system certifier.



The certification procedure comprises the following steps:

  • on-site verification of conformity with applicable health and safety requirements and legislation
  • issue of certification if the audit is successful
  • periodic audits to certify maintenance of conformity and the renewal of certification, at least once a year, though varying depending to the critical nature of the activities performed by the organisation.

The OHSAS 18001 standard (may also be mistakenly referred to as ISO 18001) is internationally accepted as a method of assessing and auditing occupational health and safety management systems. Developed by leading trade and international standards bodies, it provides a framework for organisations to instigate proper and effective management of health & safety in the workplace.

By having a clearly defined management system in place to identify and control health and safety risks, organisations are able to minimise risks to their workforce and visitors or external contractors on their premises. The standard will enable organisations to put in place processes for continually reviewing and improving occupational health and safety.

Key areas that will be assessed by OHSAS certification

  • Management systems in place
  • Planning and risk assessment
  • Staff training and awareness
  • Communication of safety management systems
  • Response to emergency situations
  • Monitoring and continual improvement

Health and safety management System

Achieving a structured health and safety management system throughout the organisation will demonstrate your commitment to the welfare of your staff and external parties.

It will provide a framework to implement the OHSAS 18001 requirements and a process for continual improvement.

The development of a robust and manageable system will provide benefits to the organisation and its workforce. Cost savings and a reduction in accidents are just two of the many benefits. 

ISO 18001 CERTIFIEDWho is it for?

OHSAS 18001 is suitable for all types of organisation wanting to become more efficient in managing and reducing accidents in the workplace.

By setting up systems that are assessed by a third party certification body, organisations will prove to their staff, suppliers and customers that they take health and safety seriously.

OHSAS 18001 accreditation provides a framework to help organisations meet their legal obligations to Health and Safety in the workplace.

The audit can be undertaken by a number of Certification bodies, however it is important to note that not all auditing organisations are UKAS accredited. If you do not use a UKAS accredited auditor your certification could end up being worthless.

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