Laura Gilby – Team Leader
appa me ltd
appa me | appa life | appa training | appa fitness | appa kids
By achieving ISO9001 we have now joined over a million different companies across 170 countries in complying with the requirements of a quality management system. The quality management principles include a strong customer focus and continual improvement that I believe we were already previously striving for here at appa me.
Within appa me the development of ISO 9001 started with Lea-Ann, she headed this from its inception. Prior to getting involved in ISO9001, I was allocated a separate task of organising the mandatory training for staff. As ISO9001 progressed and further developed I transferred my knowledge of setting up training and collating results into the Competence Matrix.
The Competence Matrix is a detailed Excel spreadsheet that highlights our mandatory training which complies with our regulated services and core principles of standards along with other role specific- training.
Originally, I expected this to be a straightforward task. This was not the case, I faced an issue with time management in regards to balancing job roles with accommodating the time necessary to collate the large amount of information that the Competence Matrix required. It took some time to realise that the template for the Competence Matrix that was already in place was not suitable with the varied mandatory training that takes place within appa me. In reviewing the template, with help from Kyla, we resulted in starting the Competence Matrix over, completely wiping it clean and starting again, we introduced themes that match our diverse teams, training needs and colour coded it creating a matrix that matched our way of working, which was deemed instantly effective.
The Competence Matrix now has a clear and coherent flow that is easy to follow and maintain, which will allow for a bulk of mandatory training to be updated efficiently; this corrected the issue of time management that I originally faced. Maintaining the Competence Matrix has meant reviewing our in-house induction and appraisal system, creating a flow-chart that matched our processes and now involves, ensuring staff have completed their mandatory training, following this up if they have not and re-issuing training when certificates are about to expire. It also involves collecting certificates of courses that have been passed and using them as evidence to support the information that has been collated on the Matrix.
Another area of the matrix, which can be forgotten amongst chasing and booking staff in to renew their training, is to review the efficiencies of the training being carried out. Taking into consideration if they match the client’s needs, do they meet current regulation standards – the competency matrix is a fantastic tool to ensure training and staff capabilities are just what our clients require.
Looking back on the journey of building the Matrix and the ISO 9001, it has allowed me to gain new skills and knowledge of appa as a whole. A key thing I have learnt is that just because something is in place it does not necessarily mean that it is fixed. This was prominent for me with the template I was given originally, I struggled along trying to ensure that the mandatory training fit in the matrix and was not aware that it was possible for me to edit and change it to fit the company’s needs.
With support from my operations director, I have been given confidence in applying appas principle of shifting perspectives, approaching a task from a totally different angle to achieve a better outcome.
Now that both the internal and external audit has taken place and we have received our formal feedback regarding our very high standards, I am now looking forward to the responsibility of the maintenance of the ISO9001 and continuing this high standard for the benefit to our true focus, that of our appa clients.