How Did I Get Here? Roger Wilmott of Moody International Certification and Training

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Roger Willmott is Managing Director of Moody International Certification and Training, Kazakhstan. All the previous career profiles can also be seen on the How Did I Get Here? page.

How did you come to work in training?
Mainly through the Royal Navy – part of our function was to train other personnel in our particular discipline. The senior guys trained the junior guys and so on. So once I made Leading Marine Engineering Mechanic I started training the juniors. Some good and bad points to this – trainers aren’t born they are general taught the basics, it is rare that one falls from the sky blessed with facilitator skills. So some of the training we got as juniors was good, others not so good and of course we in turn picked up the good the bad and the ugly in our training skills.
Formal skills I learned while working in Africa for Chevron as a maintenance supervisor. The company was introducing Total Quality Management Concepts in the Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (a Chevron joint venture) in Angola. I was picked as a facilitator for this programme and went to Boston in the US for a facilitator training stint of a couple of weeks, went back to Angola and started facilitating courses supplied by Organizational Dynamics Inc. such as The Quality Advantage, Quality Action Teams and Quality Management Systems. That I guess was the very beginning, which led to a 2 year stint as Training Manager for Tengizchevroil (another Chevron joint venture) in Kazakhstan my last position for Chevron before early retirement and the start of my current career direction.

Describe your role.
Today my role has changed considerably since my stumbling attempts at passing on knowledge while in the services. I now manage and direct the certification and training efforts of Moody International Kazakhstan. Mainly focusing on the International Standards ISO 9001/2000, ISO 14001/2004 and the Specification OHSAS 18001/1999. So quality, environment and health and safety training and certification are my main focus points at this time. This includes training local auditors and facilitators, getting involved in practical auditing myself as an International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) Lead Auditor for ISO 9000/2000 and also hands on facilitating as a Lead Tutor for IRCA registered Lead Auditor courses on quality and occupational health and safety systems.

What activities do you spend most of your time on?
Since starting up the branch office in February 2003, most of my time has been spent on business development, training and auditing. Translation is a huge headache for us as we have to have all materials in Russian and when I am training or auditing, despite all my attempts at the Russian language it is still not good enough to carry out these functions without an interpreter and with the best will in the world, some of them are very good and some of them are not. A tremendous amount of time is spent on getting the translations right for our courses, even the standards and the specification that our courses relate to have translation issues within them that create interesting debate during course time.

What are the best and worst aspects of your role?
First the worst (I always like finishing on a good note):
1. Having enough Russian to understand when the interpreter has got lost, not having enough Russian to understand when the interpreter has got lost, thinking the interpreter has got lost when he/she hasn’t.
2. Passing my wife at the airport when she is going on a business trip and I am on my way home.
3. Auditing the organisations where my wife’s company has implemented the system.
4. Searching for adequate course venues to meet the IRCA course venue requirements in remote areas of Kazakhstan.
Now for the best
1. Working with my team in the office especially Elena who’s English is developing at a slightly faster rate than my Russian.
2. Presenting good news at the end of an audit.
3. Presenting certificates to successful organisations/delegates.
4. Making delegates laugh while presenting the theoretical side of the standards/specification on Lead Auditor courses.
5. Watching directors and senior managers making paper aeroplanes, discussing the merits of design, colour and flight capabilities before watching the planes dive to the floor after a one metre flight.

What is your most over-used phrase?
Why didn’t I think of that?

What is the best lesson you can pass on?
Accept that you can do anything providing that you don’t think you can do it without first having your competence checked by someone who knows what you are trying to achieve.

What has been your worst training moment?
Facilitating a brainstorming session with a group of delegates from a large organisation who’s HR manager was part of the group and where not one of the delegates would come up with any ideas where improvements could be made (early days in my reasons to get better part one diary).

What influences do you think have had the greatest impact on the training sector in recent years?
1. Better training for trainers.
2. More training success stories.
3. Better communications.
4. More role models that actually know what they are talking about.

Do you think that training professionals should have a greater say in planning national training policy?
I can’t really answer that question as in Kazakhstan everything is controlled by the state with very little influence by outside academics/trainers. 80% of all official educational/course material is state developed leaving a 20% window for individual input by relevant educational establishments. With regards to my sphere of training, generally the state bodies request us for advice on training requirements relating to implementation and auditing of systems not policy.

How do you see your work changing or developing in the next few years?
1. Moving into Food Safety (HACCP) Lead auditor training.
2. Less Quality training and more Environmental and Health and Safety.
3. More work with state certification bodies so that dual certification can be offered national accreditation and international accreditation.
4. More computerisation of management system documentation and control – leading to a different style of auditing.

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