Quality Team

IQA Team

Meet the Team: Graham Long

   28 February 2024         Blogs


In the world of education and compliance, there exists a silent hero, quietly ensuring that the wheels of knowledge keep turning smoothly. His name? Graham Long, a Quality Assurance Auditor at Develop Training. With a twinkle in his eye and a passion for precision, Graham is the backbone of our Quality Assurance and Audit Team, dedicated to ensuring Develop stays compliant with legislation, keeps pace with awarding body changes, and ensuring that the business continues to deliver high-quality learning experiences to our delegates.

But there’s more to Graham’s role than meets the eye. Beyond the confines of Develop, he serves as an external consultant, a wizard of compliance, working tirelessly on two significant external quality assurance projects with Develop’s sister company, CompEx, and Network Plus.

A week in the life of a Quality Assurance Auditor

Picture an average week in Graham’s life – a dynamic mix of assurance activities. On some days he can be found meticulously monitoring courses, both within Develop and externally, to ensure that they are executed flawlessly. On others, crucially, he checks that paperwork is filled out correctly and every exam meticulously marked, maintaining the highest standards for accreditation.

As Develop’s Operational Training Managers collaborate with Graham to develop new courses, he ensures these courses align with the exacting requirements of awarding bodies. And when those awarding bodies decide to update their courses, Graham is on the frontline, ready to adapt and refine our offerings.

But what makes Graham Long the go-to guy for all things quality and compliance at Develop?

It’s not just his passion and dedication; it’s his impressive arsenal of qualifications. He boasts a range of certifications, including AET, IQA, Auditor Qualification, Compex – EXF+, 18TH Edition, Water Jetter, First Aider, Mental Health First Aider, Safeguarding and Prevent trainer, Engineering Quali, NEBOSH, and Streetworks supervisor. He’s a one-man army of expertise!

An impressive career journey

Graham’s journey to becoming Develop’s Quality Assurance Auditor aficionado is equally impressive. He kick-started his career as a Mechanical Apprentice at Anglian Water, and over 21 years, he honed his skills as an Operational Mechanical Engineer in both Wastewater and Drinking Water divisions.

His next step was as a Trainer Assessor in their training unit, which later became Develop Training. After stints in the delivery team and as a dedicated IQA lead, Graham found his true calling in the Internal Quality Assurance & Audit team when it was established two years ago.

A moment to be proud of

Among his many accomplishments, Graham’s proudest moment arrived in 2022. The Quality Assurance and Audit team clinched the coveted ‘Team of the Year’ award at the Develop Employee Conference. Achieving this accolade within just nine months of the team’s formation was a testament to Gary Fisher’s leadership and the entire team’s unwavering commitment to excellence. It also shows the respect that the wider business have for the team and the work they do.

Outside of work

Beyond his professional achievements, here’s a delightful tidbit about Graham: In 2005, he received a royal invitation to attend the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace!

As Graham continues to play an integral role in maintaining quality and compliance at Develop Training, delegates and their employers can rest assured that our courses will always be delivered with precision, passion, and the IQA seal of approval.

To find out more about Develop’s Internal Quality Assurance & Audit Team, visit our dedicated webpage here.

Develop’s Quality Assurance and Audit Team celebrates its 2nd anniversary

   30 October 2023         News

Develop Training, one of the UK’s leading accredited providers of compliance, technical and safety training, is celebrating the success of its Quality Assurance and Audit Team (QAA) as it marks its two-year anniversary.

Launched in 2021, the team was established to ensure that Develop could continue to deliver exceptional quality training and an unrivalled service to its delegates and the industry employers it works with. Two years on, the QAA team’s work has become a recognisable success, providing insights and consultation on risk-based quality assurance for external clients.

As a testament to its growth, the team now works with six awarding organisations to provide Develop with the risk-based assurance of 19 accredited schemes that cover 80 qualifications which are delivered to over 8,000 delegates every academic year.

External quality assurance & audit consultancy work

Develop credits its success to its ‘Three-Lines of Defence’ approach to quality assurance — (1) management of training, (2) focus on quality assurance, (3) facilitating an independent audit. This technique was applied as part of Develop’s external quality assurance consultation to Network Plus, a leading utility and infrastructure service provider, when appointed by the organisation in 2022 to provide an independent external audit service.

2022 Team of the Year

The team has not only created a successful consultation service and established an external reputation for stringent processes and procedures but has also been recognised internally at Develop’s in-house awards in 2022 when named Team of the Year.

Andy Holmes, Head of Audit & Quality Improvement at Develop, stated:

We are pleased to celebrate our 2nd anniversary and acknowledge the hard work of the whole team in order to reach this milestone. This has been a remarkable journey where our offering has continued to grow and evolve, resulting in excellent results for Develop and our clients.

Looking ahead, we are excited to continue working with the wider team at Develop as well as offer out our services externally to those who require an un-biased quality assurance check.”

For more information about the Quality Assurance and Audit Team (QAA), please visit: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/quality-assurance

Staff Conference Award Winners 2022 - Team of the Year
Staff Conference Award Winners 2022 - Team of the Year

Independent Quality Assurance & Audit Services for Network Plus

Network Plus

Originally established in 2000, Network Plus is a leading utility and infrastructure service provider. The business offers a full range of proactive and reactive services across the water, wastewater, gas, power and telecoms sectors.

The Challenge: Quality Assurance of Network Plus’ Training Programmes

A leading service provider in the utility sector, Network Plus is committed to providing high-quality training and development programmess to its workforce. In 2022, Network Plus approached Develop with a unique proposition to verify and enhance the quality of its teaching, learning, and assessment provision.

The Solution: A Bespoke Audit Plan

Under the guidance of Develop’s Quality Assurance Auditors, Gary Fisher and Graham Long, a meticulous audit plan was developed. This plan involved observing all Network Plus trainers on a rolling basis, ensuring adherence to UK educational standards and the criteria specified by Energy and Utility Skills under the EUSR scheme.

Develop’s experts carried out these observations, assessing competency and assessment quality.

Following on from the observations, Develop compiled a comprehensive report detailing the standard of the internal training, including the level of competency and assessment that was noted. This report was then sent on to the training lead at Network Plus, featuring many suggested recommendations to assist the business with working towards the EUSR standards.

The Result: An Un-biased Assessment of Training Provision

Develop’s audit services provided Network Plus with a clear and un-biased assessment of its internal training provision. The comprehensive report detailed the standard of training and assessment, along with a wealth of suggested recommendations.

This insight empowered Network Plus to understand their standing in the industry and areas for improvement, ensuring learners receive the most from their courses.

Ashley Courtney, Training Manager at Network Plus, said:

Develop Training has been assessing our trainers who deliver EUSR accredited courses to help support us in being able to verify the level of competence and quality being delivered. We have found this process to be extremely helpful, as it allows us to understand in depth where we stand as a business and potential areas in which trainers could improve to ensure the learner gets the most from the course.

The competence assessments will also help us when it comes to EUSR audits. We will be able to provide EUSR with the relevant paperwork to show we value quality and aim to better ourselves, and the service we deliver where possible.”

Conclusion: A Dynamic Partnership for Training Excellence

Regulatory compliance is a critical concern for businesses in today’s landscape. Develop’s audit services helped Network Plus ensure they were adhering to all relevant regulations, mitigating risks, and providing the highest quality of teaching and assessment possible.

Implementing the audit recommendations has also helped Network Plus to improve their training provision as well as showcasing their commitment to quality and improvement to EUSR.

Bespoke QAA support for your organisation

Simply contact our Customer Service team on 0800 876 6708 or enquiries@developtraining.co.uk and one of our Quality Assurance specialists will get in touch to discuss your unique needs.

In the meantime, find out more about our Quality Assurance Team here: https://www.developtraining.co.uk/quality-assurance

Develop adds ISO 27001 to its 9001 and 45001 accreditations

   16 October 2023         News

Develop Training is thrilled to announce the successful acquisition of the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System accreditation.

A decade has passed since Develop first sought accreditation for its Health and Safety Management Systems, a move that ran parallel to the then existing accreditation for Quality Management Systems. This recent success further solidifies our dedication to continuous quality improvement and stringent standards.

Ten years have seen a multitude of changes in the certification landscape; ISO 18001 has transformed into ISO 45001, while ISO 9001 itself underwent a significant update in 2015. Despite these transformations, the heart of Develop remains unchanged – a steadfast commitment to the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” mentality that drives continuous improvement.

Develop’s accreditation to ISO 9001 and 45001 standards has been a journey rather than a destination. We have continued to evolve, improve, and meticulously document our company processes to better support the organisation and the clients we work with. This year, we have reached a new level of maturity in utilising these standards to drive policy objectives that align with company strategy and key performance indicators.

The benchmark for quality

ISO 9001 serves as the benchmark for Quality Management Systems; the systems that underpin the quality of the product we deliver and a key driver for improvement in customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, ISO 45001 is the benchmark for Health and Safety Management Systems; it’s one of the reasons we audit our centres regularly to ensure compliance with processes and legislation. It’s also the reason we continually seek to reduce risk in practical training whilst still providing the highest quality practical training – something that has long been at the heart of Develop’s training programmes.

A decade of commitment to excellence

Holding these standards has not been without its challenges. Surveillance visits have demanded unwavering dedication, clear commitment from higher management, and significant resources to manage documentation and monitor performance. Develop has significantly invested in training to build greater audit capacity and skills, most notably in the creation of a dedicated internal Quality Assurance and Audit Team in 2021.  Those trained auditors use their skills to monitor performance both internally and externally – a measure of our commitment to quality improvement and a key part of the company strategy.

Looking ahead

We acknowledge that information security is a pressing concern for our clients, necessitating a commitment to the highest standards. To acquire ISO 27001 has meant revisiting all aspects of data security, from paper records and archive to digital records and disposal of data, from virus protection to firewalls, data backup and disaster recovery plans, all underpinned by enhanced training and awareness for colleagues.

As we celebrate a decade of growth, commitment, and excellence, Develop stands ready to continue leading the way in quality management and information security. Quality systems have, and will always be, an integral part of the Develop Training brand.

Quality Assurance and Audit team

   27 April 2023         News

Established in October 2021, Develop’s Quality Assurance and Audit (QAA) Team was designed with the direct objective of ensuring the highest level of quality possible was being delivered to Develop’s customers.

This strategic initiative was designed by Develop’s Head of Operations and Training, Matthew Gray, and built collaboratively through to implementation with Gary Fisher, a former instructor and the current Quality Assurance and Audit Manager. Matt and Gary assembled experienced individuals from multiple departments within Develop, and further individuals from outside the organisation.

Though initially designed to provide risk-based assurance, insight, and advice for Develop as it worked toward its strategic objectives, the QAA team’s work became such a recognisable success that Develop began offering their quality assurance services to external clients.

The QAA team credits their success to their ‘Three-Lines of Defence’ approach to quality assurance.

  • Line one is the management of technical training and assessment.
  • Line two is about using internal quality assurance to drive the quality of the delivery.
  • Line three is about being an independent audit function able to provide an unbiased approach to quality assurance and drive continuous improvement.

The team now work with six Awarding Organisations providing Develop with the risk-based assurance of nineteen accredited schemes that cover 80 qualifications delivered to over 8000 learners every academic year.

One of the most recent success stories the QAA team has been involved in is the consultation work it is undertaking for its sister company CompEx. This involves an independent external quality assurance service ensuring CompEx’s approved training centres are meeting the quality requirements of the International Explosive Atmospheres Accreditation scheme. This requires the team traveling to not only UK centres, but also involves travel to European centres, and further afield to America, Asia, and the Far East.

This remarkable commitment to their duties and continued success culminated in the Quality Assurance team achieving the well-deserved title of ‘Team of the Year’, a coveted award given out to groups of staff with an exceptional performance over a 12-month period.

To make your own enquiry with the quality assurance team about conducting risk-based audits at your own company, please contact Develop Training on 0800 876 6708.

Professional accreditations