The story of PFA
In spring 2020, the PFA Group announced completion of a change of ownership. The new owners are Oliver Warwick, Louise McLaughlin and Ros Wildey, who bring long-term experience as consultants and directors within the organisation, to ensure consistency and continuity for PFA’s employees and clients. They remain fully committed to continuing to uphold its strong reputation for high quality science and excellent service.
A new era
During restrictions in place due to Covid-19, the PFA consultancy team members have continued to collaborate, work and deliver effectively from the safety of home work-spaces, at this time of disruption and uncertainty.
“2020, although a year of change and challenge, also brought exciting developments for us as new owner-directors. We are enormously proud of the dedication and fortitude shown by our employees, who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic to minimise its impacts to ongoing projects.
One year on from the commitment we made together, we remain mindful of the responsibility entrusted to us. Our enthusiasm for developing and progressing the business we cherish into the future is stronger than ever.”
– Oliver Warwick, Louise McLaughlin and Ros Wildey, March 2021
Today and looking forward
Today, PFA has an international team with more than 30 staff members across the UK and in Belgium, covering a broad base of scientific skills and experience. We work closely on projects and in technical teams, respecting each other’s skills and experience.
In terms of client-base, PFA has a mix of small and large companies, consortia and regulatory authorities. We retain a sense of reality about commercial need balanced with objectivity that is effective in consulting, particularly when regulatory compliance is at stake. We take the view that the interpretation of data depends on objectivity and scientific rigour.
With a good understanding of new and forthcoming regulatory priorities, the PFA Group businesses continue to develop our service scope in the compliance arena, applying the same insight and effectiveness to emerging challenges.
We anticipate the challenges of compliance with UK REACH for our EU and UK clients as well as the wider global needs from other regulatory frameworks. The EU Chemicals Strategy has set the EU agenda for chemicals regulation for years to come and focuses on key areas in which PFA has specific expertise. We are confident that our experience and knowledge, built over last 25 years assisting our clients and working in partnerships, will continue to enable us to identify cost-effective and intelligent solutions to the problems that regulation of chemicals presents.
2016-2019: Brussels base and continuity
In 2016 PFA-Brussels SRL was established, as a subsidiary of Peter Fisk Associates Limited, with Oliver Warwick in a key role in management and business development from the outset. The team grew and thrived, with several well qualified scientists and experienced consultants joining the company at its office base in central Brussels.
PFA Limited continued to consolidate in experience and expertise, contributing to several European Commission research projects as well as supporting many industry clients through the third Phase-In deadline of REACH and beyond, and achieving a full decade of continuous service to several clients.
2009-2015: European compliance in focus
With the entry into force of the REACH Regulation, regulatory change in the EU established a new legal context for manufacture and supply of industrial and consumer chemicals with high standards of data and safety assessment required from the sector. During this time, many experienced scientists and consultants joined us and found freedom to use their knowledge, allowing PFA to offer hazard and exposure assessment services for human health as in-house services in addition to the existing service areas. Louise McLaughlin, Ros Wildey and Oliver Warwick all joined the Board of Directors of Peter Fisk Associates Limited.
The growing team relocated to new office premises, which remains our main trading address to this day. The business supported many clients in meeting their obligations under the first two key REACH Phase-In deadlines, and began offering services in wider areas such as policy and biocides compliance, in addition to REACH registration. PFA Limited developed its information security and environmental management systems, which were first certified compliant with ISO 27001 and ISO 14001 respectively in 2015.
2005-2008: growth of the team and quality principles
Peter Fisk Associates was incorporated as a private Limited Company in 2006. The team continued to support our clients as they began preparing for the challenges of REACH compliance.
During this period the team developed together the core operating procedures of PFA’s quality management system which have developed into our ISO business management systems today. PFA’s quality system was first certified compliant with ISO 9001 in 2008.
Peter Fisk Associates was created in the mid-1990s by Dr Peter Fisk:
“Peter Fisk Associates came into being after I left Shell Research Limited in 1995. After ten years in R & D, and five years in regulatory work in a multinational, I was ready to find out what I was really made of! Setting up a small company was very exciting and a great deal of fun, because I am the kind of person who can try out all the kinds of skills needed in small business.”
– Dr Peter Fisk (Founder)
From 1999 onwards the number of PFA staff grew gradually, working on physicochemical and environmental hazard and exposure as part of various regulatory projects and services, in collaboration with leading specialists in other fields. PFA’s work included EU level environmental risk assessments, expert services, and voluntary hazard assessment initiatives including ICCA/OECD HPV program for several chemical categories.