60 Seconds with Rick Hill
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE?
I’m NQA’s TL 9000 Program Manager, which means that I have overall responsibility for the care and feeding of our global TL 9000 program.
This includes working with the other members of the Business Performance Community at TIA (the Telecommunications Industry Association) on development of the TL 9000 standard and oversight of the TL certification process; providing support and mentoring for NQA’s TL clients, auditors, salespeople and support staff; ensuring our conformance to TIA and ANAB requirements; and reviewing TL audit reports and making certification decisions (I do this for the ESD S20.20 standard, too).
In addition, I perform audits (as just about everyone in a management role at NQA in the USA or Canada does). Being a Canadian, most of my audits are conducted in my home country. I cover TL 9000, ISO 9001 and ESD S20.20.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT WORK?
Possibly arriving at the address of a small distribution centre in Kansas to perform an audit, and finding that it was situated underground in a former limestone mine. Offering the advantages of stable temperature and humidity, the mine was honeycombed with logistics operations large and small. There was room enough down there for a tractor trailer (a.k.a. a “semi”) to drive in, load or unload, turn around and drive back out.
FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT WORKING FOR NQA?
I like working for a small company that provides a big service. I’m very proud of the high quality, value-added audits that NQA performs, of the superior customer service provided by our Operations team, and of the deep industry and standards expertise that our program managers and consultants can offer in support of our clients and our auditors.
I’ve had exposure to other certification bodies; and they simply can’t all do it the way NQA does.
TOP TIP FOR PEOPLE LOOKING AT CERTIFICATION?
I don’t say this just because I used to be a consultant; but I would encourage any organization considering the implementation and certification of a management system to engage a consultant to help them. This is certainly true of a standard like TL 9000, which has some unique characteristics; but it’s applicable even to plain old, vanilla ISO 9001. You may believe that you’ve understood what the standard’s requirements are getting at; but, when the time comes for your certification audit, you may discover that you actually didn’t. At the very least, invest some solid, in-depth training on the standard for your key people, you won't regret it.
HOW MIGHT YOU BE ABLE TO HELP OUR READERS?
I can certainly help anyone considering TL 9000 certification for their organization to understand the necessary steps and options, to get set up in TL 9000’s Registration Management System, and to make their initial submissions of the mandatory TL 9000 measurements.
I can also help you get a great TL 9000 consultant on board so feel free to get in touch for any assistance.