In-focus Trainer Profile - Andrew Schofield
22 Feb 2021
Andrew Schofield is the NZQC trainer for Lead Auditing courses in ISO9001 and ISO4001. We speak with him to get a bit more inside knowledge on what it is like to be Andrew the trainer, the auditor and the family man!
What has your journey been like to becoming a trainer with NZQC?
My working life started off in railway operations in the UK, trying to keep trains running but one day my manager sent me on a Quality Management training course which I had no idea about. I really enjoyed it and when the guy sitting next to me said there was a job going I grabbed the chance and three weeks later I was off and running delivering staff training, setting up Quality systems and beginning my auditing career. I moved to Sydney in 1995 and worked with a couple of training consultancies before setting up Andsam Training in 2002.
How long have you been training with us at NZQC?
It must around 23 years now and I have picked up a few Air Miles travelling across the Tasman five or six times a year!
Other than the alarm clock, what gets you out of bed every morning?
Usually the need for tea! To be honest I rarely set an alarm as I am an early riser and like to get out for some exercise first thing which sets me up for work.
You have devoted a considerable part of your career to training in standards and so you obviously believe in the value of standards. Why do you think standards are so important for our society and industry today and how do you think they will evolve in the future?
Standards are great from the consistency point of view. The issue with Management System standards though is that they require a lot of interpretation. This is where I find the training is so important as so many people find it difficult relating generic standards to their own organisation. Nowadays there are plenty of standards so integration is the key.
How has your training role changed with Covid?
The last face to face training I delivered was in Auckland in March 2020 and I just got out of the airport home before lockdown started. Since then I have been getting to grips with virtual training which has provided a challenge in terms of both the technology and not having the ability to fully interact with people. There is nothing to beat face to face training.
Assuming you get some spare time out of your busy schedule, what do you like to do with it?
I’m a keen runner, ‘masters’ football (soccer) player, gardener and like to have a go in the kitchen too.
How does the Schofield clan feel about your time and travel demands as an auditing consultant and trainer?
It was tougher when they were all younger but a lot of my work nowadays is home-based in the office at the end of the garden.
Has it been a source of inspiration for any of the younger Schofields in the household yet?
Frankly, no. (That’s what happens when you ask an auditor a ‘closed’ question!)
What advice do you have for the younger auditors among our readers or aspiring to be auditors out there?
Don’t take things at face value, first impressions can be very misleading so it's really important to ask questions and not assume you know what is going on. Auditing provides you with great opportunities to learn how different organisations operate. Over the years I have been into everything from chocolate factories to abattoirs and it's fascinating seeing how they all work.
Is there anything you have learnt over the years that has made a lasting impact on you? If so, why?
Always expect the unexpected. Things don’t always turn out as planned, particularly when you are on an audit for some reason. It is much more beneficial to work out why rather than look for who to blame.
Knowing how you had a soft spot for Team Ineo, what are your thoughts on the latest Prada Cup result?
As a Brit I have got used to being the perpetual underdog for good reason! At least we managed to get one on the board!