Two West Midlands companies, Portech Systems and , are among the first in the country to be certified to Accredit UK’s software design, development and testing standard.

Accredit UK is a quality mark that promotes trust in IT and helps suppliers prove their excellence. The two companies were presented with their certificates on 29 April in Coventry.

Since 1992, Portech’s R&D team has been developing mobile computer solutions for small to medium sized companies, as well as household names such as Habitat and PayPoint.

Shaz Naeem, managing director of Portech, views Accredit UK as an invaluable addition to the IT industry, and one which will help all aspects of the company’s operation.

"We will use the certification to help grow our business as we will have a recognition which many of our competitors will not yet have.

"With the Accredit UK certification, we can say that we are the best of the best and our customers can rely on us."

The Accredit UK Assessor said: "Portech Systems has a systematic approach to providing high quality software and levels of customer service. This means that they consistently achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction." is an employee-owned business. It develops acms software that allows website owners to manage their content easily and OutBox, an ethical mass emailing system.

Unusually for an IT company, 50 per cent of employees are female and in the last 12 months sales have grown by 87 per cent and turnover by 50 per cent.

Chief executive Nick Harris said: "Although we are already ISO9001:2000 QA accredited, we feel that by undertaking the Accredit UK certification process we have further improved our internal quality systems which in turn will benefit our clients."

The Accredit UK Assessor said: " have a culture of continuous improvement that means they set themselves high standards of customer satisfaction.

"They achieve this through a dedication to implementing robust processes and recognition that their staff are their most significant asset."

The addition of the two companies brings the total number of Accredit UK certified companies up to seven, with five suppliers already accredited in the field of network, design and installation.

Targeted at small to medium sized companies, the standard has been developed to help businesses technology purchasers to identify technology companies that will provide an honest, reliable and efficient service.

Vaughan Shayler, programme director for Accredit UK, said: "By using the Accredit UK standard, these newly certified companies are helping to make it easier for purchasers to feel confident to buy services from technology companies.

"Ninety four per cent of people that we surveyed think that the Accredit UK standard is a good idea. That is because it solves their burning need – they can now get what they want without fear."