We are excited to introduce a new quality mentor on Jomo247’s compliance platform: Integrated Management Systems Specialist Anthony Elliott
Anthony has over 32 years of experience in implementing and managing bespoke compliance management systems within organizations across multiple industries and countries. Read on to find out more about Anthony and his work in compliance or visit his profile and contact him here.
How did you get involved in compliance management?
In 2003 I was working at a petrochemical plant in Trinidad and Tobago. This company was the first of its kind on the island, and I was appointed as part of the team which was to be the first to implement ISO 9001 in the country. I was fortunate to be included on a team, which was put together from various departments, and tasked with rewriting our procedures in line with the standard.
Following our successful implementation, we became the internal audit team for the business. This was when I first got into compliance management systems, and I have never left it since. I caught the curiosity bug!
Since then, I have progressed from internal auditing to constructing compliance management systems, and finally now lead auditing.
What are your specialisms?
I am a Lead Auditor for ISO 45001 and am currently completing a course to obtain Lead Auditor status for ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 in the framework of integrated compliance management systems. This will enable me to audit these standards individually, or collectively as part of an integrated management system.
My approach has always been to focus on getting things done. In the context of compliance management systems, I strongly believe in the KISS method – keep it simple! – and this is the ethos which guides my work. This allows me and my clients to get on the same page and achieve our objectives faster.
I use this approach to focus on the delivery of client’s products and services to the satisfaction of their clients, whilst maintaining health and safety and reducing their environmental impact.
In practise I have found my clients lean to the same manner of thinking themselves. In my experience overcomplicated approaches frustrate everyone!
What is your favourite thing about compliance management?
I enjoy being able to engage with clients and colleagues around the world. It is great working towards a goal as a team. When there is structure, consistency, and clear performance standards have been set, achieving that goal gives me great satisfaction because hey, the plan worked! We achieved what we set out to, and everyone is motivated to move on to the next objective.
When you work with compliance management systems there is always the benefit of continuous learning – each challenge not only brings risk but opportunities which you can take to your next task and your next contract. This builds my capacity having experienced resolving this type of issue before; it makes me more consistent and makes me tick!
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
My work is split in to two lanes most days.
The first is my role within the Health and Safety department of a large oil and gas company based in Saudi Arabia. I am responsible for the oversight of our management systems and ensuring our contractors compliance to our organisation’s standards. My core function is to define for our contractors the standards of this large company – we set the standards and our contractors develop procedures to match them. These standards are compiled from combining the various rules and regulations that our company must adhere too, so I have a clear understanding of integrated management systems from this role. I am the gatekeeper!
The other lane is my role as a consultant. When I am wearing my consultant hat, my role is much broader than compliance. I help my clients develop procedures and processes, implement compliance management systems, conduct process mapping, provide oversite on internal audit controls, and provide other consultancy work depending on their needs. This can all lead to late nights.
I pride myself on being a hands-on consultant. When my clients have a problem, I don’t just tell them what they need to do to resolve it, I like to get my hands dirty!
What interests you about becoming a mentor on Jomo247?
I am a chartered member of IOSH, a fellow of IIRSM, and in both organisations I am a mentor. It is in my DNA to mentor and coach those who are entering or have recently started in this field. I see this as a natural extension of who I am and what I want to do at this stage of my career. I have educational qualifications, knowledge and competency which I want to share and I saw jomo247 as an exceptional opportunity to do this.
What do you think the next big thing will be in compliance management?
In November 2021 I was in Saudi Arabia and one of my client in Trinidad was being audited by one of their customers and we were asked if the audit would be face-to-face or remote. I think the next big thing in compliance management will be remote audits. It has its advantage and disadvantages.
I think the reality of what we face with Covid 19 means this won’t be changing any time soon, and businesses have to continue functioning, so certifying bodies will have to continue remote auditing in the future. This will be challenging as for now this isn’t recognised by some of the certifying bodies, but I think there will be a sea change in regard to this.
The benefits outweigh the barriers. We need to adapt to these changes and ensure our management systems provide appropriate checks and balances, and that documentation is stored securely on a centralised platform, so I see lots of companies digitising to meet this need.