Day In the Life of: Rachel Rawlings, Accreditation Manager


As part of our series showcasing some of the varied careers at Bureau Veritas, we chat to Rachel Rawlings, one of our Accreditation Managers: 

Name: Rachel Rawlings 

Job Title: Accreditation Manager (UK)

Location: Didsbury, Manchester  

What are the key responsibilities of an Accreditation Manager?

The core responsibility of my role is to ensure that that the business’s Licenses to Operate (LTO) are protected at all times, by working closely with the Technical Managers and Quality Control Co-ordinators, as well as the wider operations team. I host regular review meetings and workshops with the team to make sure everything is in place and guidelines are front of mind ahead of upcoming audits. A large part of my role is focused on training for existing engineers and new starters, to equip them with the knowledge and skills they require to carry out their role and to ensure continued best practice.  

Talk me through a typical day. 

With my role, no two days are the same. My day mostly revolves around working with the Technical, Quality and Risk (TQR) team to anticipate and resolve problems as they could arise, preparing for and attending  monthly management meetings for all Operational Units and liaising with UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Essentially, the common theme of each day is being prepared for all scenarios and ensuring that procedures and accreditation guidelines are being followed. 

Alongside the Crane Technical Manager, Gary Keenan, I recently introduced the ‘Target 8’ modular training programme for the Crane Discipline, which takes the core skills needed and covers them in detail over an intense eight week period. This approach has been so well received that it is due to be rolled out across the rest of the Mechanical and Electrical disciplines. I also work with the wider team to review internal processes and procedures so we can continually evolve and best respond to the changes in the industry, including monitoring non-conformance trends.   

How did you get your start in the industry? 

I graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and shortly after that joined the Graduate Training Scheme at British Steel as a Graduate Engineer, before progressing to the Environmental Engineer.  When UK Steel industry began to flounder, I moved to Renishaw as a Quality Engineer and after three years I moved to the Bristol Port Company as Development Engineer.  Up until I joined Bureau Veritas in March 2015, I had not previously been involved in the Test, Inspection & Certification industry. 

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industry is something that I have always been passionate about, as it is so crucial to our future. I have focused on supporting the Women in Engineering campaign and I recently went to Glyndwr University for the Women in Engineering Day, where I spoke about my journey through engineering. We then we proceeded to build towers from marshmallows and spaghetti as a team building exercise, to show that STEM can be fun too! 

I also do some work with Mersey STEM, as a STEM Ambassador and for the past three years I have been running the Bloodhound Project at my son’s school.  The Bloodhound Project is first and foremost an education project designed to inspire future generations to take up careers in STEM, by showcasing these subjects in the most exciting way possible. This includes wacky things such as building cars from junk and powering them by stored energy (blown up balloons or elastic bands).  It's amazing how inventive the children can be and makes me remember why I became an engineer!

What do you enjoy about working at Bureau Veritas? 

Bureau Veritas is a fast-paced and dynamic company and as such there is always plenty of variety, opportunities and fresh challenges to conquer. One of the most enjoyable things at Bureau Veritas is that it is a company that invests internally and as such I have enjoyed being involved in all the exciting developments - it is fantastic to see them come to fruition and hear the great feedback from fellow colleagues. 

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