What does your role involve?
I support our clients with anything that relates to safety, health, environment or quality. This can range from a simple telephone call if something crops up that they want a bit of insight into, all the way to supporting them with accreditations and requirements to satisfy PQQs and tenders. The other side of my role is site inspection. I go out to see clients in their working environments and take a look at what they’re doing. We’ll then produce a report for them, detailing any actions they should take to ensure they are as safe as possible.
How long have you worked for SHEQ Aspen Thorn?
Not long – I started in April this year.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role?
The variety. From one day to the next, or even within the same day, what I’m doing may change. We also work with all sorts of clients – that’s why it’s so interesting, it’s such a broad sector. One of the areas I really enjoy working in is care homes. It’s quite satisfying to have a positive impact on them, as it’s an environment you or one of your loved ones might find yourself in one day, so that’s a really rewarding one for me.
And what do you find most challenging?
It’s a steep learning curve – there are a lot of things I’m not an expert on. Under those circumstances, I reach out to the people around me. You have to accept and recognise what you don’t know – and find out who does. We’re a close knit team, so we work closely together and support one another very well.
What led you to a career in the industry?
It had been a long time in the pipeline. I’d been working in finance and ran my own company for five and a half years as a contractor. I learnt a lot of transferable skills from that environment – quality, audits and compliance requirements. I’m very well suited to scrutinising the detail, finding the gaps and plugging them.
What do you think differentiates SHEQ Aspen Thorn from the competition?
In all honesty, I don’t tend to think about the competition too much. If we focus on looking after our clients, we have no need to worry about the competition. There’s plenty of work out there, you just have to find the right clients and take good care of them. We support our clients very well; they know who we are and they find us approachable.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to work in your specialism?
You can’t rely solely on having the qualifications – you need to go out there and get some experience. Find somebody you know who’s already in the industry and ask them for advice. If you don’t know what to do, don’t take a punt – you’ll quickly get found out. If you try and bluff somebody your credibility is out of the window, and it’s very hard to regain that. If you don’t know the answer, just be honest and tell them you’ll find out. I think people respect that an awful lot more.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Much to my wife’s annoyance, I’m a massive football fan. We’re an office with split loyalties – we’ve got a few blues scattered about among the reds… I’m a big Liverpool supporter, but I’ll watch anything from the Champions League to the Welsh Premier League.
I also love spending time with my daughter – we’ve just started going to netball on a Saturday. She’s a novice, as she’s only five. The second time the woman started putting up the net at full height, so nobody ever gets anything in!