A day in the life of Marc Dobney, our compliance manager
What is my role?
As custodian of the five ISO and five none ISO standards that Granby are currently certified to, my working life is aligned to the series of audits, assessments and site visits that are critical to the integrity of the certificates.
The lifecycle of the management systems is such that each needs to be re-certified every 3 years, and as such annual assessment dates range from 10-15 per year up to 35. Each visit includes a full review of the ‘office’ part of the system, which is the collection of measurements, meeting minutes, internal audits, non-conformances, continual improvement measures and action plans that go towards demonstrating the effectiveness or otherwise of the system being assessed. As dates for these visits are often agreed up to 12 months in advance this allows me to be able to create a timetable of requirements to ensure everything is prepared in a timely manner.
What is a ‘typical day’?
A typical day begins by referring to my action plan and embarking upon the requirements of the day. This may be anything from carrying out internal audits to preparing for social compliance visits to gathering information to create trend analysis on various aspects of any system to ensuring our register of legal requirements is up to date to creating awareness and training plans to reviewing the minutiae of each system. Outcomes of this activity vary in size and complexity from the introduction of new processes to demonstrate awareness of and compliance with new legislation to recording that aspect of the system is managed effectively.
Additionally, to this many of our clients require specific and often urgent responses to issues around our management systems, from simple queries such as the expiry dates of certificates to complex, time consuming and often challenging questionnaires that need relatively complex statements and evidence of how we do or do not comply to processes that are relevant to their organisation.
What skills are required?
The job requires good organisational skills, an ability to anticipate queries and issues that may result from changes to personnel, business structure and activity, an appetite for and awareness of detail in the way we document our activites and an ability to communicate well with all levels of the business. A sense of logic and knowledge of the standards we have adopted is also crucial in being able to articulate how our activities and processes align with the requirements, especially to people who have never encountered our type of business before. Pragmatism too is a good trait to have, as ultimately the processes and policies we adopt need to work for us commercially as well as in alignment with the requirements of the standards.
This role can be challenging in many ways due to the varied and fast paced way we must conduct our business. Ensuring processes are streamlined, simple and flexible enough to be understood and be relevant to our business needs, to contain the depth required by the standards they must align to while being light enough to not add unnecessary pressures to staff can be a difficult problem to resolve. Explaining the nature and character of our business to people more used to dealing with manufacturers, efficiently and clearly can also pose problems.
What is the most rewarding part?
Attaining and maintaining the certificates is extremely rewarding, and having external professional assessors and auditors congratulate us on the way we manage the many challenges that we encounter is a source of great personal and business pride.