As with many creatives, my career began in the engineering workshops of an organisation dedicated to quality control and scientific excellence...


Wait... you mean not all creatives start like that? People become writers and photographers without having spent the first twenty years of their career working in labs and regulatory offices? How is that possible? I need to meet these people and ask them how they did it!


Seriously though, that is how I started. I left school and entered an engineering apprenticeship that focussed almost entirely on quality control and engineering excellence, which led directly to my first job as a quality auditor. Since then, I have spent the majority of my working life in some sort of QC (quality control) or QA (quality assurance) role for a wide range of companies and industry sectors.


Quality systems are in my blood. Having begun with BS5750 and transitioning to ISO9000, I have since worked under a number of regulatory frameworks, notably in recent years the MHRA and FDA requirements in the pharmaceutical sector. This has been from the very small scale where I worked on a specific part of a new factory build, up to the very large where I managed a great number of sites across half the world.


The principles of quality are the same however, whatever size project you are managing.


  • Say what you do - Clearly document your procedures, and ensure everyone applicable has access to the latest controlled copy of the documentation.

  • Do what you say - Follow the procedure to the letter, with no undocumented deviations. Just because 'you' know that "x only works properly if you do y first", it does not follow that everyone else knows this as well. If you find something missing from a procedure, update the procedure. Don't just work around it.

  • Document it - Write down what happened when you followed the procedure. This is the place to update the documentation with anything that was missed, so next time it is executed it will all be there.


That's a simplified view of quality in action, but the principles really are the same at all scales. Quality is not difficult, and quality does not have to be expensive - although if you try to add it on at the end then it probably will be.



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