Mentor Spotlight: Simon Parkinson

A Q & A with our New Mentor Simon Parkinson

We are excited to introduce a new mentor on support.jomo247.com, Simon Parkinson. Simon is a Managing Partner at well-established consultancy business HPA, who have helped over 4,000 companies achieve their certification goals. Read on to find out more about Simon and his work in quality management, or visit his profile and contact him here.

How did you get involved in Quality Management? 

Quality Management runs in the family. My father and his partner formed HPA, the quality consultancy business that I am now Managing Partner of, in 1985, when quality standards had only just been developed. HPA was formed to support small to medium enterprises specialising in engineering in the North West to meet and attain accreditation for standards such as BS5750, the predecessor of the ISO 9001 quality standard. During the time my family have run HPA, the changes in standards and technology have been notable. We have now expanded to support the achievement of a wide range of certifications, but we have the same ethical focus – we want to invoke the opportunity for change and improvement for every business.

What do you consider as your strengths in Quality Management?

As Managing Partner of the business, I lead our team – essentially providing quality management for quality management consultants! I oversee matching our clients to the consultant that will meet their needs most effectively and ensure customer satisfaction. At HPA we specialise in coaching companies of all sizes to achieve certification, where they might not have the time, knowledge, or resources to achieve certification by themselves.

What does a typical day of work look like for you? 

For our consultants, they typically have anywhere between 10 – 15 clients on the go at any one time, and will spend a few days each month with each client. The process they go through is to map the business’ processes, undergo a gap analysis (compare where the business is to where it needs to be to achieve certification), and feedback this analysis to the client. Working with the client they then develop all of the documentation required to meet the needs of each standard. They also provide training to clients to show them how to carry out Internal Audits and a Management Review. We then liaise with certification bodies on behalf of the client during the certification process to ensure the outcome is successful.

What is your favourite thing about Quality Management? 

Our business tagline is ‘Enabling excellence’. Certification is not just a means to an end. During this process, systems and efficiency on the ground are improved, so the real result isn’t just compliance, but a better business. Often a client only sets out to achieve certification, but when we have finished, they are actually most grateful and thankful for the palpable and positive changes that they can see on a day-to-day basis in their business, which makes my week.

What interests you about becoming a mentor on Jomo247’s support site?

I am excited to reach new people and to help them understand that the value of the coaching towards the standards we provide is beyond just ticking boxes – it enables them to create more efficient and effective business processes.

What do you think the next big thing will be in Quality Management? 

The impact of Covid-19 has seen a wider use of software to support remote working and auditing, and I believe that this will continue to develop and grow once external circumstances like the response to the pandemic have eased. Furthermore, the standards themselves have changed dramatically over the years. With each update, they have become more effective and in-depth. They are not just box ticking exercises – their primary goal is driving businesses to be better. I believe we will continue to see improvements in the standards towards these aims in the future.

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