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60 Seconds with NQA Assessor Margaret Rooney

18 January 2016
Dr Margaret Rooney talks about actively using your management system to influence change and shares the height of her auditing experiences.

Audits against

ISO 9001:2008, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2004,BS8555 (Acorn scheme) and EcoCampus,  (an EMS scheme for universities and colleges).

Most memorable auditing moment

Where to begin?! Going up the side of a London building, five storeys high, in a cradle, to observe building survey work, was memorable to say the least – and great fun. A dynamic risk assessment, before undertaking this activity, quickly established that my addition to the cradle load, was still within 28 kg of the acceptable load. Slimming World certainly paid off that day!

I have also been several hundred feet up in a crane at Felixstowe Port, and am looking forward to observing fence erection in a SSSI (Site of Specific Scientific Interest), in the Peak District fairly soon.

Most common Non-Conformance (NC) encountered

The most common NC I used to encounter was finding little or no evidence of evaluation of compliance, but that has changed. I think this reflects the value of ISO 14001 EMS certification, which has helped enhance knowledge and understanding of issues such as evaluation of compliance, emergency preparedness and the value of a good management review.

Most of my findings centre around management review and internal audit. Timely and effective close out of internal audit findings can be a weakness.

Greatest client benefit gained from ISO certification

The engagement and active involvement of everyone, due to recognition that their ISO system in place - really is adding value to their business. The certificate should be the icing on the cake, not the cake itself!

Top tip for getting the most from your management system

Constantly ask yourself why you are doing the things you do. Is it because it is helpful, or because an auditor will expect to see it? If you spot a better way of doing things, actively use the system to influence and initiate change and improvement.
Hear more from Margaret in NQA’s ISO 9001:2015 Essentials Webinar and Annex SL Essentials  Webinar.