I previously worked as an account manager at the RvA but I’ve been a lead assessor now for several years. As a lead assessor I assess laboratory organisations and work closely with a team of technical experts.
For many people the laboratories where they hand in their samples is one big black box. It’s our task to ensure that the results can be genuinely trusted. We review with the management whether activities meet the standard and any deviations have to be resolved within a set time.
The thing I like about this work is that you get to see so many different organisations from the inside. Our field of work is very broad. It covers many different sectors and therefore many different aspects of daily life, which means the RvA is at the heart of society.
I work as a Project Manager in the Healthcare Unit, where I plan assessments and monitor contact between our auditors and the laboratories. I’m helped in that by project assistants.
It is extremely important that people work in accordance with procedures and that actions are traceable. You have to be able to find out what’s gone wrong and how it can be improved. Of course, it’s all got to remain manageable. A laboratory that sets up its quality system as a tool for continuous quality improvement and where one encounters growth and enthusiasm: that’s a real kick for me.
I really enjoy my work but it’s even better when a client can renew or gain accreditation successfully. And when the independent Accreditation Committee declares genuine confidence in the quality system you know you’ve served your client well.
I work on a freelance basis for the RvA, as a Lead Assessor and as overall Lead Assessor . With regard to the latter position I manage several Lead Assessors for major clients, who in turn manage their own teams of technical experts.
I have clients in the Netherlands but I also visit organisations in countries such as Japan, China and India. As a Lead Assessor you get to go to all kinds of places. It’s important that you have a helicopter view and a feel for personal communication because whilst we assess according to the standards the way in which you convey the results also plays an important role.
Generally, once I understand something I can quickly become bored but that’s not a risk in this job – it’s far too varied. You are constantly dealing with changes, like new standards, so you have to constantly keep pace. It’s this that makes my work so fascinating and challenging.
I work partly as a Project Assistant and partly as a Senior Project Assistant. As a Project Assistant I support the account management team. I facilitate and monitor the client assessment process. As a Senior Project Assistant I work independently on assessments and have direct contact with the client.
It’s real teamwork, and because the atmosphere at work and the working relationships are very good I really enjoy going to work. I’ve worked in several departments within the RvA and have encountered the same atmosphere of comradeship everywhere. I think that’s quite special. It’s nice to see how that has a positive effect on the quality of the work.
I like working for an organisation that is socially relevant and which monitors quality for consumers. The work is mainly process driven but ultimately it is about the people.
I’m a technical expert in microbiology. When organisations apply for accreditation I check whether they have met the specified standards in practice. I check whether they have performed the analyses correctly and whether they are using the correct method when doing so.
The RvA engages me on an individual assessment basis. I’m an expert, I’m impartial and I’m independent. And that’s the way it has to be because I take a very close look behind the scenes at an organisation. I work closely with a RvA Lead Assessor, who assesses whether the quality system has been set up properly. My job is to evaluate the technical activities. I’m closely involved with the other RvA microbiology experts, which gives me excellent back-up that I gladly call upon during my work.
An assessment results in quality improvements when the relevant organisation approaches the process properly. If you set up and maintain good quality systems then fewer and fewer errors are made, and that’s what it’s all about.