Paul Nolan is a senior consultant with Mark 1 and celebrated five years with us in May. He provides Consultancy for all of the key areas: ISO9001, ISO14001, ISO45001 and ISO27001, and currently provides the expertise for the majority of our ISO14001 consultancy.
Paul is our internal SharePoint ‘expert’ and has built a reputation within the team for his fantastic trouble-shooting within all our IT processes. He is also currently helping one of our customers Project RECCE, to achieve ISO9001 certification for the first time, providing his consultancy hours in his spare time and at a concessionary fee, that Mark1 have been pleased to be able to offer for this worthwhile cause. Project RECCE is a not-for-profit organisation that helps UK veterans gain employment within the construction industry; a cause that is close to Paul’s heart, being an ex-military man himself.
Out of work, Paul enjoys walking his dog and exploring the countryside and making the most of his National Trust membership which he hopes to be able to take full advantage of once again, now Covid19 restrictions have been lifted. He loves going out to restaurants, socialising and also sings with a choir.
We sat down for a chat with Paul to find out more.
What did you do prior to joining Mark 1?
I have a military background and was a Band Sergeant / Health & Safety officer for various bands in the Marines. This involved auditing, although not ISO auditing and I was lucky enough to travel to many places including Japan, Korea, Iceland, America (Santiago/Washington), Russia and extensively throughout Europe.
I then took a job in Medical Communications, which involved promoting drugs and therapies on behalf of larger pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer. This was mainly administrative, with a lot of organisation required, but also involved travel, including trips to Milan and Rome.
Following this, I worked in a safety critical role at Manchester Airport supervising the fuelling of aircraft, which also involved auditing!
Why were you interested in the joining Mark 1 as an ISO consultant in the first instance?
Mark’s company was growing and at the same time, after four years, I was getting a bit fed up with 5am starts in all weathers at the airport, so it made sense when he approached me!
Did you have any concerns about working with your brother/family?
Not at all. In the medical communications job, I’d actually worked with my sister; so it wasn’t a new concept!
Mark added here: “We work very effectively together. When Paul first joined me, this was something we discussed and we set some ‘ground rules’. Working together has actually turned out even better than I initially hoped or expected.”
What are the best bits of your job?
I genuinely like being able to help a company out and enjoy seeing a company engage and take on board what you are saying, and achieving improvements because of it. There isn’t much satisfaction in what you’re doing if a company just views ISO as a box ticking exercise and nothing else.
What are the worst bits of your job?
Paperwork! Writing up an audit after a day spent auditing can be tedious sometimes, but at Mark 1 we are very thorough and always make sure that we write up full audits on everything. We never do the bare minimum, so there is a certain satisfaction to completing them too.
What have you learned? What courses/training have you undertaken whilst at Mark 1?
I have undertaken lead auditor and lead implementor training, I am a Fire Marshall and have also gained various IOSH accreditations. I am also currently undertaking a Level 2 Certificate in Lean Organisation Management Techniques with the Business Growth Hub. When I joined the company, I worked alongside Mark for more than six months before providing consultancy on my own, learning from him all the while. Moving forwards, I am always looking to increase my knowledge in all the key areas we cover, but particularly in Environmental Management (I find the legislative aspect really interesting).
How have you found the last year (Pandemic)?
I contracted Covid at the start of 2020 and was quite poorly. But the Pandemic has really opened our eyes to remote working, and I like the position we now find ourselves in where we have the flexibility to offer in person or remote consultancy. Like everyone else in the country, I found home-schooling challenging at times!
We have stability in the Mark 1 team, and I think this helped us through, and it certainly makes for a good environment to work in.