Home Resources Blog November 2019

60 Seconds with Barri-Jon Graham

19 November 2019
I joined NQA in May 2019 following a 20+ year career in the military. My previous experience securing vital UK National Assets, Networks and Personnel was a good foundation on which to build a new career.

What is your role?

I am an ISO 27001 & ISO 9001 Regional Assessor (though I seem to have a national mandate!); I also help with other client facing activity such as representing NQA at industry events and the delivery of webinars.

My previous industry experience has been heavily invested in defence and government though I have been fortunate enough to work alongside international partners and institutions with a wide spectrum of business interests.

Most memorable moment at work?

Since joining I have been fortunate enough to meet many wonderful, diligent and hardworking people from across all sectors. However, two moments stand out:

I was responsible for being the Lead Auditor for MOD DE&S during their project to deliver ISO 27001 certification. It felt as though I had “home field advantage” during this audit programme as I had some familiarity with the policies in use throughout this vital UK Defence institution.

Examination of their management system from the perspective of an assessor brought unique challenges and required an adjustment. To be able to provide a thorough audit of their system across multiple sites and for some of the most important UK Defence assets and the people keeping them serviceable was hugely rewarding.

Secondly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my first visit to Head Office on accepting this role. The NQA team really are a great bunch!

Favourite things about working for NQA?

Without doubt the best thing is helping companies to improve their systems. The variety of organisations out there who are seeking certification or maintenance of their existing certificates is staggering to me. I really enjoy meeting diligent and dedicated people who work so hard to make a success of whatever it is they are working towards. Seeing the culmination of years of hard work or a project being completed during the audit plan is really gratifying.

Top tips for people looking at certification?

  • Identify what you want to get out of your certification; what are you goals and desired outcomes?

  • Closely examine interested parties and who will be required to implement, operate and maintain the system. Grab a copy of the standard(s) you are looking to implement and map across how this will work with your organisation; analyse, identify and find improvements.

  • Engage with your chosen certification body early and outline your goals and objectives.

The improvements will naturally come from day 0 of the project – don’t roll things out which are rushed to meet unrealistic deadlines, consider every step.

How might you be able to help our readers?

For obvious reasons, the role of the auditor must be impartial in the process of achieving certification. However, I like to make myself available to our clients about audit concerns or questions which are not apparent during our time together.

Like all of our clients, I want to help improve management systems so I ensure I am only ever a phone call or email away.