UK & Ireland Featured Project: NGN - Design Management

QEM Solutions are assisting NGN with Design Co-ordination activities, to ensure successful project initiation and design management of all current NGN projects.

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Overseas Featured Project: Capita Symonds - Valve Inspections

QEM Solutions were contracted to carry 3rd party inspection and witnessing activities on a series of valves fabricated in Germany for a series of SGN contracts throughout Scotland.

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News Spotlight Chat in Microsoft Teams: The unexpected joy of courtesy

Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, once wrote ‘courtesy is a small act, but it packs a mighty wallop’. His words are oddly applicable to the online, locked-down world in which we currently live. Right now, without all the added communication that comes from face-to-face contact, simple courtesy is crucial to getting through the working day happily, with your colleagues on-side. Here, we’ll take Carroll’s maxim and apply it to how we use ‘chat’ in Microsoft Teams.

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16 Dec 2020

QEM looks back on a remarkable year: 2020 in review

For many, 2020 is a year we’d rather put behind us. But before we archive what has been a 12-month rollercoaster for the entire world, let’s take a quick look at what QEM has achieved, even in the midst of the pandemic.

Taking care of our team

During 2020, it became evident to us that the most important resource we have is our people. Without a safe, happy, and healthy team, there is no QEM. For this reason, we’ve offered every one of our staff a free lifestyle assessment with Firstbeat. We distributed heart monitors to everyone who signed up, and provided a one-to-one and confidential lifestyle assessment from a Firstbeat expert to help them redefine their work/life balance, manage stress, and put together some fitness goals. In addition, we have provided all our people with access to daily fitness sessions on Zoom with Rachel Moyes.

Responding to the climate crisis

Leaders the world over have been criticised for allowing COVID to take their eye off the other global emergency – climate change. So QEM have made a concerted effort to keep this front of mind, even when faced by the pandemic. Not only have we offset our carbon footprint for the third year in a row, but have adopted Ecosia as our chosen search engine – asking all our employees and associates to do the same. Ecosia is carbon neutral – it works much like Google, but invests profit into planting trees where they’re needed most. The free browser extension already has some 15 million active users and has planted over 111 million trees to date. In other news, we have also been working in the future hydrogen innovation sector – working towards a UK net zero future, and helping to assure our nation’s place as a world leader in large-scale decarbonisation strategies. More on that later!

Outstanding audit results

QEM is unashamedly proud of achieving 100% in all parts of our Achilles UVDB audit. Achilles UVDB Verify is an independent audit of an organisation’s Safety, Health, Environment, Quality management systems and Corporate Social Responsibility. Securing such a great result in this audit speaks volumes about the ethos at QEM and the standards we live and work by – pandemic or no pandemic.

QEM systems come into their own

Over the years, we’ve created and embraced a suite of softwares that enable us to work flexibly, remotely and securely, using cloud-based systems accessible from anywhere. When COVID hit, these systems came into their own, and we were able to deliver that uninterrupted experience for our clients, too. As a result, we have delivered all our audits remotely through COVID without any major non-conformities. In addition, we have successfully got all our QEM clients through their 45001 transitions, too. Ironically, COVID-19 amply demonstrated the need for ways of working that we’ve been banging on about for years.

Remote training delivery

Working for one of our most valued clients, QEM successfully delivered TD1, TD2 and TD3 training for IGEM – The Institute of Gas Engineers & Managers. The remote training provided comprehensive guidance in best practice for gas engineering, pipelining, and town gas distribution. And we received some encouraging feedback on the courses, too.

Creating significant partnerships

QEM has forged important working relationships with several major gas distributors in 2020, and are working hard to deliver the benefits of improved processes to these gas industry leaders. We are working with SGN to digitise their Safe Control of Operations (SCO)  process into our Safe Work System, Mineral Blue. This includes the management of all data transfer and future control of the SCO competency management process. For Cadent, QEM is currently digitising the Cadent technical audit process – again into Mineral Blue. We are also working with NGN to digitise their entire SCO process, including SCO1, 2, 4, 5, 7 & 10 – a project whose scope also includes the introduction of geospatial conflict risk mapping.

Growing our team

We’re delighted to welcome two new faces to our team. Andy Mills joins us as QA/QC Advisor – Project Assistance. Lewis Mason also joins us in a new role as a Cyber Security & Infrastructure Analyst, after completing a degree in Cyber Security and a Master’s in Advanced Computer Science. Wonder if these two know what they’ve let themselves in for?

Our thanks to you!

We know that 2020 has been a tumultuous year. We couldn’t have achieved any of the above milestones without the talent and commitment of our team, and the understanding of their families. Also, to our clients, suppliers, and associates, thank you for sticking with us throughout this challenging time. We wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas, and the very best for 2021!