Route to the job
I graduated in 1974 with a BSc in geology, and began my career as a quarry management trainee with Tarmac, joining its readymix arm in 1975 as concrete technician. In 1976 I went to Qatar with a materials testing company as materials technician. For the next 13 years I spent most of my time working in the Middle East. Much of this involved the design, manufacture and testing of concrete. In 1989 I joined geotechnical engineer Harrison & Co who had a number of materials testing laboratories. In 1995 I went to Beirut for Hochtief/CCC joint venture as the senior QC engineer on the rehabilitation and extension of Beirut International Airport. In late 1997 I returned to the UK and rejoined Harrison & Co. In February 2000 I went to QSRMC.
When I joined QSRMC, I anticipated that I would carry out audits (assessments) much as I had been trained to do elsewhere. With my knowledge and experience of concrete and construction, I thought the training would be easy.
QSRMC is the UKAS accredited certification body for the ready mixed concrete industry. As an assessor I have to confirm that certified suppliers are complying with specific product conformity regulations. I have been in the post for two and a half months, and training has taken up most of this time. Now I have been through just the first part of my training, I can honestly say that it isn't easy, and there is far more to know about just the plant aspect than I imagined. Auditing the QSRMC Regulations (the construction industry standard) is very demanding. The amount of information given to you is incredible. Having said this, I am really enjoying my new position. There is a great sense of satisfaction following an assessment, especially if the plant is fully in compliance.
My advice to anyone wishing to become a QSRMC assessor is as follows: do not come with any preconceived ideas, be prepared to work hard, think on your feet and believe in your own logical conclusions. If you do not like staying away from home, getting up early or have a fear of heights, then the job is not for you.