CASE STUDY 2
In this case an MEP member describes how he was effectively ‘struck off’ by mistake by his accreditation body.
Whilst I have some positive feelings towards (accreditation body) I also can echo the frustration with the lack of joined up communication that seems to characterise their dealings with we poor assessors……
Twice in recent months I have found myself unable to access systems – once because they jumped the gun on an audit deadline by a full 24 hours and failed to advise me that they intended to ‘switch me off’ to give me the opportunity to either respond or object (I’m now in the habit of responding to an audit request with an email requiring confirmation of the exact date and time at which the audit grace period expires to remove any opportunity for misunderstanding on their part).
The second and more recent problem arose when I went several weeks without lodging any domestic EPCs to discover that I was barred from that part of their online systems. On trying to establish why this was the case they could come up with no reason and my access was immediately reinstated with a meek but unenthusiastic apology. A clerical error was the only reason given.
I have copied their MD in on several of my emails of complaint but he has never taken it upon himself to apologise or advise what actions he has instigated to address the issues raised.
For me this biggest problem is that they fail to advise of their intended actions before they take the plunge and give you no opportunity to point them towards emails or actions you have taken but which they have missed or ignored. I think what we have to demand is that no action that removes an assessor’s ability to trade is taken without an audit trail of two way communication. Simply citing that an assessor has not responded to an email ignores the possibility that their own email has not reached its intended audience. Further phone calls must also be attempted. The current unilateral actions are unacceptable whilst it can be proved on many occasions that their staff have not always covered every base.
These issues ignore the occasions when I have been unable to secure clear guidance on how (accreditation body) prefer a specific issue to be addressed and on one occasion it took three days to persuade the tech’ support team that the advice they were giving was wrong – that’s what happens when you give them three choices as how the issue could be handled, knowing two to be wrong or at least questionable and confident that the third option is right but just wanting them to confirm that they are on the same page!?!
We have to find a way to improve consistency and quality throughout the industry.