Lessons learned working in the Testing, Inspection and Certification industry

18/05/17

I started my career over 25 years ago by managing our family security business, before moving onto various roles including area manager for a leading global integrated security company, working on one of the organisation’s largest contracts. Having worked in finance, operations, marketing and sales throughout my career, I began to yearn for a position which was both progressive and stable and after a short stint working in Health and Safety in 2014, I approached Bureau Veritas about a position as an area manager in asbestos.



In comparison to other applicants, I did not have the most extensive list of asbestos skills; but my soft skills were seen to be a valuable asset and I am pleased to say I have had a good two years in the company to date. Starting in asbestos where I managed contracts for the Northern region in the UK; I have since moved on to become a business unit manager for engineering technical services and product conformity assessments. As a day to day job, I develop and manage business expectations, ensure that the business delivers work to a high standard and work with colleagues to develop new opportunities.

Bureau Veritas has opened up a multitude of opportunities for me and without the support, training and opportunity to explore experiences offered; I would not have progressed as positively. With encouragement from the business, I developed a vision for where I thought business units should be and I firmly believe this helped me to secure my latest position.

So, what have my experiences taught me?

1. There are few industries which can offer strong job stability, but Testing, Inspection and Certification is one of these

Whether organisations enjoy partaking in assessments or not; there is an expectation to be transparent and therefore a demand for services. This demand comforts me greatly.

2. Due to the nature of contracts, more often than not organisations in our industry prioritise quality, purpose and fit for the client over profitability

When making a decision as a manager, it is refreshing to look at the best outcome within the guidelines rather than looking at the profit margin and moving those guidelines to suit.

3. It can be stimulating to work for a transparent organisation

Particularly when working with testing, inspection and certification, it is important for organisations to demonstrate best practice, ensuring health, safety and wellbeing is at the heart of company culture. This both guarantees minimal disruption to the happiness and health of employees at work and reassures clients that the organisation does what it expects of others. I am pleased to work for Bureau Veritas which does this well; the stop work authority that every employee has is one of many fantastic examples of how this is prioritised.

4. As with any industry, it is as important to develop technical skills as it is soft skills

It was because I had the ability to manage projects, negotiate and provide attention to detail, that I was offered the position at Bureau Veritas in the first place.

5. Technical skills can be transferrable

Understanding regulation processes can offer opportunities to explore different areas of testing, inspection and certification as the purpose of the product is the same: proof of good practice and compliance. Whether an organisation has had their lifts inspected or asbestos tested; the processes to gain rubber stamps of approval from an authorised inspection body are similar. This can open more doors open for progression within an organisation.

Starting as an asbestos area manager at Bureau Veritas in late 2014, I now manage a team of over 15 engineering professionals in our technical centre. Looking forward, I am excited to seeing and developing future business initiatives with the organisation.

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