Lynn Watts-Plumpkin Returns as SSAIB Manned Services Scheme Manager

Lynn Watts-Plumpkin Returns as SSAIB Manned Services Scheme Manager

SSAIB are delighted to welcome back Lynn Watts-Plumpkin as manned services scheme manager – after predecessor Dougie Callander moved onto pastures new.

Lynn first arrived at SSAIB as an auditor back in 2003 and worked her way up to manned services scheme manager, before making the decision to leave the leading UKAS-accredited certification body for the fire and security industries in 2013.

However, when she heard of the opportunity to make a return to the organisation, Lynn had no hesitations about coming back.

Lynn – who also chairs the GW/3 Lead committee for the manned services standards, which includes British Standard BS:102000 Investigative Services standard – revealed: “I loved my role at SSAIB, but felt that I needed to broaden my horizons and gain experience with other certification bodies. I still kept in touch with my ex-SSAIB colleagues and, when I heard my old role was available, I jumped at the chance.

“I feel now that I have come back home and I’m really enjoying the challenge.”

That challenge has, of course, included helping the most widely recognised technical inspectorate navigate through the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Although, Lynn is adamant that it was “crucial” that SSAIB worked hard to continue providing certification throughout lockdown.

Lynn commented: “The firms wanted the assessments to continue and we delivered.

“The assessment process - through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, DropBox, OneDrive and SharePoint etc –  has been excellent.  I conducted one assessment and managed to speak to 12 frontline staff through a laptop, ensuring social distancing and Government guidelines were all met.

The frontline staff seemed more relaxed than when we first meet them face-to-face on site - as they are mostly used to technology and it worked really well.  Although, I actually prefer to conduct the face-to-face site visits, so we can converse with the frontline staff and they can show us what their job entails.”

With regards to how the manned services team has adapted to remote auditing during lockdown, Lynn added: “I have to say that it has been a useful experiment conducting remote assessments and something that could be continued.

“We have used technology and have ensured that the level of the audits have not been compromised”.  “I have had good feedback from the firms who say they have enjoyed the process”.

“I see that this will be built into the assessment process going forward and we will continue to conduct blended assessments e.g. both remotely and on-site and I hope this is the ‘new norm’.”

Following a few personnel changes during 2020 for the manned services team – including the appointment of manned services administrator Colm McCoy back in April – Lynn’s appointment will see her spearhead a new manned services team going forward. However, SSAIB’s latest acquisition is confidently backing her fellow new starters to hit the ground running.

Lynn explained: “Yes, some of the old team have left to pursue other interests.  The new team are all settling in well, which includes our administrator, who is doing a sterling job.

“A new deputy scheme manager has also been employed, who has vast security experience - as well as a solid background in assessing the SIA Approved Contractors Scheme, ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems and product standards, so is a huge asset to the team.

“Our new assessor, again, has a good solid background in the security industry and will bring a fresh pair of eyes to the assessment process.”

As part of Lynn’s reintroduction to SSAIB, the new scheme manager will also be the focus of the next SSAIB Spotlight feature in the September issue of Professional Security magazine.

SSAIB would like to thank outgoing scheme manager Dougie Callander and assessor Lisa Nazareth for their contributions towards SSAIB and we would like to wish them both well with their future endeavours.