Meet the Team

Meet the Team: Danny Connor

   5 June 2024         Blogs

In this month’s edition of our ‘Meet the Team’ series we’re showcasing our Senior Wastewater Networks Trainer, Danny Connor. Danny is Develop’s resident expert in all things wastewater, water jetting and sewage systems.

Danny has nearly thirty years of experience working with water and sewers, with eight of those years being a trainer for Develop Training.

Building the foundation

The foundations for his career were set back in 1990’s where he was a ‘Back Lad’ on a CCTV Rig. During his time in this role Danny says he “gained a lot of expertise from carrying out the wide range of activities taking place on the rig”. It was this experience that eventually led him to become the Rig Leader.

Danny’s next career move was a highlight for him, as he went on to become the proud owner of his own drainage company for a ten-year stint. Danny’s business covered all aspects of the drainage industry including CCTV, high pressure water jetting, patch lining, full length lining, as well as excavations and repairs.

Over his extensive career, he has had many highlights however one that particularly stands out for him is when he was a part of a team that completed the full inspection of the Esholt Tunnel. This was not an easy task as this tunnel is around four and a half kilometres of continued tunnel and required extensive CCTV, laser and sonde data collection.

A side-step into training delivery

Eight years ago Danny decided to move to the training arena with the hope that he would be able to pass on his years of experience and knowledge to others. He was also keen to ensure that those in industry were receiving the high-quality training needed to carry out their dangerous roles.

Most recently, Danny was promoted to Senior Wastewater Trainer due to his impressive knowledge, continual positive delegate feedback, and his dedication to high quality training.

Danny also recently hosted an informative webinar on drainage and water jetting alongside the Water Jetting Association and WinCan. During the webinar the panel covered all aspects of the new high pressure water jetting  ‘Purple Code’ code of practice, the latest sewer inspection technology, updates to sewer classifications, changes to the expiration of MSCC4, training requirements and available training. The webinar is available here on-demand. [insert link]

Outside work

Away from his day job Danny finds enjoyment in football, supporting Crystal Palace. He also likes to spend time course fishing. The company of his four French Bulldogs is also very important and he is fond of taking them for walks, as well as to Frenchie dog meet ups.

If Danny looks or sounds familiar to you, you may know him by his other name ‘DJ DC’, a local DJ who is frequently featured on Groove London Radio.

Meet the Team

Meet Nicola Smith: Quality Assurance Auditor

   15 May 2024         Blogs

When it comes to juggling the complexities of life and work, Nicola Smith is a shining star in our Develop family. As one of six Quality Assurance Auditors, she not only ensures the impeccable quality of our ACS Gas and Electrotechnical departments but also manages to balance her career with the ever-demanding needs of her family. Today, we’ll take you on a journey into Nicola’s world, where adaptability meets expertise.

A Day in Nicola’s Life

Picture this: a day in Nicola’s life is like a whirlwind of audits, observations, and liaisons. She meticulously checks completed assessment paperwork, observes training sessions, and holds the fort as the Lead IQA for our ACS Gas courses. Nicola’s days are also peppered with interactions with NICEIC, one of our certification bodies, ensuring our assessments exceed their stringent expectations.

But that’s not all. Nicola wears many hats, also serving as the Lead IQA for our Electrotechnical Experienced Worker and Electric Vehicle Car Charging City and Guilds schemes.

Andrew Mason, Assessment Centre Manager at Certsure, told us what it’s like to work with Nicola,

I first had discussions with Nicola as part of the Initial Certification Approval visits. I found Nicola to be very focused on the processes and procedures that [Certsure] would be requiring as a part of our subsequent External Quality Assurance visits to the York and Derby centres.

On our next visit to York for an initial Assessment Approval visit, Nicola had prepared all the relevant information and was very keen to understand how we would like this to be presented.

This process has continued throughout all our subsequent visits to York and Derby and the dedication to detail and professionalism shown by Nicola has been excellent. I am sure that the professional approach and high standards that Nicola sets in Quality Assurance, has an excellent effect on all the Quality Assurance Team at Develop.”

The Journey So Far

Nicola’s career journey is a testament to her determination. Before joining Develop Training in 2017, she was a Dual Fuel Smart Meter Engineer at British Gas. Prior to joining British Gas as a gas engineering apprentice she worked in the finance sector as a Mortgage Adviser, Financial Adviser, and Stockbroker!

During her time at Develop, Nicola has continued to adapt, taking on roles as a Trainer and Assessor and eventually rising to the position of Quality Assurance Auditor. Her journey is proof that with determination, you can conquer any challenge.

For Nicola, her proudest career moment was when she moved into Develop’s electrical department.

She explains,” Moving into the electrical department was a big step for me, having only worked with gas and electric metering prior to that. However, I studied hard and sat all of Develop’s most difficult Low Voltage Electrical qualifications and was able to pass them first time. I was so proud of myself!”

A Qualification Powerhouse

Nicola’s qualifications read like a book of achievements. With City & Guilds technical certifications in Electrical Installations, Inspection and Testing, and a slew of awards for Safe Systems of Work, ACS Gas, and IOSH, she’s a true expert in her field.

The full list of 23 technical qualifications not to mention her training, assessing and numerous auditing qualifications is nothing short of impressive!

Nicola’s Unique Contribution

What sets Nicola apart is her adaptability. She can seamlessly switch between various business areas, thanks to her extensive skill set. From Low Voltage Electrical qualifications to ACS Gas Qualifications, Nicola brings versatility and expertise, ensuring our training, delivery and assessment is always at its very best.

To conclude, here’s a quirky tidbit about Nicola – she once had a pet snake named George. Rest in peace, George!


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

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