Meet the Team- Risk Assessment Supervisor Ashley Shields
In the latest edition of ‘Meet the Team’ we speak to risk assessment supervisor Ashley Shields who joined the business in 2017.
What are the main responsibilities in your role?
I oversee the processes and procedures for the risk assessment department. I’m responsible for the whole team and ensure they all get the correct information to carry out their daily tasks and responsibilities.
On a day-to-day basis, I may be in the office answering phone calls, emails and communicating with senior management and my team. I will spend some of my week on site, working with clients; such as care homes, doctors, dentists, and schools to carry out Legionella risk assessments, examining pipe work, hot and cold-water systems and looking for potential growth of legionella bacteria.
After conducting a risk assessment, I will sit down with the client to discuss my findings and offer recommendations and the time frames to resolve any issues. We work in partnership and collaborate with all our clients to ensure they get correct advice and support. Most importantly I raise awareness of the significance of legionella and legionella testing.
What can be the most challenging parts of the job? How do you address these challenges?
Whilst out on the road, I find communication can be the hardest part of the job, ensuring that my team are okay and supporting them as much as possible.
I’ve set up a departmental digital communications group to help resolve this. Not only do we chat to each other regarding onsite issues or questions, it’s handy to check in with the team, also it’s great for problem solving. If someone has gone to site and unsure of a problem, then we all use the chat to try and resolve it. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience in the team so there is always someone who can help.
What qualifications or training do you draw upon in the role?
For a risk assessor role, you must complete a three-day risk assessors’ course which was intense! This supports a robust on-the-job training regime, which ensures all team members are fully versed and competent to carry out the risk assessments effectively.
In addition, I have undertaken legionella awareness training and a water regulation course.
Other than that, I’ve utilised my customer service skills from my previous roles in retail.
What jobs did you have before you joined Nant?
Previous to joining Nant I worked in the retail sector for my entire career. Starting at JJB Sports as a shop floor assistant and then moving to JD Sports as deputy manager, Pound Stretcher as store manager and finally Pound World, also as store manager.
Through these roles I have developed excellent customer service skills as well as trouble shooting- manager, I’m a great problem solver which helps in my role as risk assessment supervisor.
What do you enjoy about working for Nant?
Having previously spent my entire career in the retail sector, I felt I had no work life balance and wanted to work somewhere that I could progress without sacrificing time with my family.
Joining Nant was a huge game changer, there is a family feel and open-door policy. We are work colleagues, but there are friendships too.
What is the work-related accomplishment in your career to date that you are most proud of?
Reducing the turnaround time of risk assessments from 28 days to 14 days with no impact on quality or productivity. My aim now is to reduce that figure to seven days, we are currently operating at around 10 days depending on the size and scale of the contract.
What is the best bit of advice you would give somebody starting at Nant?
Joining Nant isn’t your typical business. It’s taking pride as a water safety specialist.
What other job do you know that you will be in a different part of the UK? I’ve seen some amazing parts of the country during my time here.
The main thing is you are not a number, you are a name. Your ideas, issues and concerns are always considered and addressed, no matter what position you are.
What company do you know where you can have an honest and open discussion with the managing director over a cuppa?
What are your interests outside of work?
My main hobby is playing golf, we have had a few Nant competitions.
I also have a major interest in DIY and gardening. Two years ago, we had a little girl and moved into a bigger house that required a lot of work. I carried out the majority of the work myself from electrics, plumbing, new kitchen, and bathrooms. It’s been very rewarding!
I enjoy spending time with my family. I have a 22-month-old daughter called Cora
Tell us something nobody would know about you?
I’m a qualified black belt in martial arts and belonged to the Willenhall Karate club. From the age of 5-25 years, I competed in kata’s (a detailed choreographed pattern of martial arts movements) and won a few trophies during this time.