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NQA Supports The Armed Forces Community

05 March 2018
After receiving the Bronze Award in the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme towards the end of 2017, NQA is proudly working towards achieving the Silver Award. 

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces and their families are treated fairly. The Covenant Scheme enables employers to publicly declare their support for defence personnel. The pledge is voluntary and employers are able to tailor their pledge to the needs of their business.

To view our Armed Forces Covenant certificate click here.

NQA has pledged to support the Armed Forces community, including existing or prospective employees who are members of the community. We have already recruited a number military veterans in 2017, three of our regional assessor team include: Chris Smith, Judith Hargreaves and Archie Gemmell; we asked them what their thoughts were on NQA’s commitment to supporting this scheme.


Chris served as a Junior Non Commissioned Officer - Information Assurance Project Manager where he was responsible for the delivery of multiple concurrent projects to provide strategic benefits to high profile Government agencies.

He is now a Regional Assessor for NQA and an expert in ISO 27001, our Information Security certification and has said:

“Leaving the armed forces after 9 years or any amount of time is always a daunting prospect. I wasn’t sure what was out in ‘civvy’ street for me or whether I had made the right decision to leave. One of the problems is recognising the skills and experiences gained whilst serving and how these can translate into civilian life.

When I met NQA at a Career Transition Partnership Recruitment Event I was surprised to learn how the skills I had acquired were relevant to the industry and job role that NQA were currently recruiting for, the Technical Director was ex-forces himself and put me at ease with regards resettlement.

I started employment with NQA shortly afterwards and haven’t looked back since. I have gained internationally recognised training and qualifications such as IRCA Certified ISO Lead Auditor.

Throughout my training I have been supported not only by the company as a whole but by my peers and specially assigned mentors. I have recently applied to study a NEBOSH course that has been funded by NQA as it is a vital qualification in relation to the type of work I carry out. The commitment to further development is widely evident as is the opportunity to join Industry specific professional bodies such as the CQI/IRCA.

The company value my opinion on issues regarding my subject matter and regularly ask me to write blogs, host webinars and provide content for our company website.

Early into my career my wife gave birth to our first daughter. Although I was not entitled to paternity leave, I was able to take time off at short notice and we were overwhelmed by the kind gift we received from NQA a few days after the birth.”


NQA has also recently welcomed Regional Assessor Archie Gemmell to the team after he completed and impressive 22 years’ service in the Royal Air Force as a highly trained multi-skilled Propulsion/Airframe Technician on various Fixed and Rotary Wing Aircraft including Harrier, Tornado and Puma.

He worked in many roles across numerous Stations and Aircraft types including 1st Line (Forward) and 2nd Line (Depth) Maintenance and various managerial Engineering Support roles both in the UK and Overseas.

Archie explained “NQA have been exceptional at every point in my transition from the RAF to civilian life. I served 22 years in the Military and the decision to leave a career with financial stability and further prospects of promotion was not taken lightly.

The need to find the ‘right’ employer was paramount and one who understood the structure and skills a military career brought with it. I needn’t have worried, everyone across the whole of NQA has been immense and willing to help or offer advice at any point. What appeared small things to the company made a big difference, for instance a director taking the new starters for dinner each evening during the induction highlighting the team ethic of the organisation. They have invested time and effort in me, most notably training opportunities, having attended courses on 3 standards.

Nothing appears too much as my on-going training continues. The nights spent worrying about “would I find a credible employer” seem like wasted effort now as the NQA have made the transition seamless and I haven’t looked back. Long may it continue and hopefully I can repay their commitment to my future career over many years with the same loyalty and commitment they’ve shown me in a short period.


Judith Hargreaves served as a Combat Medical Technician in the Royal Army Medical Corp where she was part of the first line management in trauma in medical centres and operations such as war.  She bravely completed a tour of Kosovo but we’re proud to say she is now part of the NQA team working as an Assessor. 

“A large perk of NQA is the investment of training, since joining I have been on 2 globally recognised qualification courses in 3 months, and I know I will receive another course this year. The military trade training and experience opens ex-forces up to being able to claim many codes which keeps our role varied and diverse. It is easy to feel valued, veterans got a special mention at the company conference and line managers through to director level have supported all aspects of training, recognition of achievements and are easy to approach with personal and work related issues. I joined NQA at very turbulent personal time and my manager has gone above and beyond to ensure that I’m ok and that I have received regular in touch support. NQA deserves merit for the work they do for veterans because we are not number or an award application, we receive a genuine commitment from the company.”


This recruitment and maintenance programme is not considered a short term goal for NQA, it’s something we are incorporating into every-day business and we will continue to strive to offer further support to our ex-service men and women following their time in the military.

We understand that they bring with them an extensive range of skills and that often the regimented military ways compliment the structured processes that we have to follow within certification and assessment.

We are always looking for talented people to join our team, so please send your CV to careers@nqa.com.