A Year in Review
We’ve now hit our 10th year!
Whilst there have been many changes over the last 10 years, 2021 was particularly transformative, especially after the challenges everyone faced with Covid. So we thought we would look back over 2021 and write a review of our year. Warning – this blog post may include cute dog and baby pictures! 🙂
We said a sad “goodbye and good luck” to our Accounts Administrator, Harrison, in September 2021, and a “welcome on board” to 3 new members of the FRA office team.
Lindsey started as a temp in the sales team in December 2020. Learning a new job is never easy, but learning it in a virtually empty office while everyone else is working from home, is a situation unheard of before the event of Covid. We obviously found the right person for the job because Lindsey was able to pick up the role quickly and soon became a valued member of the team. We were really pleased to offer her a permanent contract in April 2021. Good customer service is definitely a strength of Lindsey’s, and she often gets a mention in our customer TrustPilot reviews.
Julia became our Operations Manager in April 2021. By this time, the office was starting to open up, and staff were coming back to work in the office. She quickly got stuck into the review of processes within the company so that we’re fully prepared for BAFE SP205 (more on that in a bit!)
Our Admin Apprentice Liv joined us in August 2021. As an organisation, we are strong believers in the apprenticeship scheme and were pleased to have found someone who is part of our local community and be able to offer her a position with us. Liv is studying for a level 3 qualification in Business Administration.
We said, “welcome to the world” to our Sales and Customer Service Advisor Emma’s daughter, Daisy.
Last but certainly not least, we gained 2 office dogs! As many of you will understand, being at home full-time throughout the Covid lockdown meant dogs particularly benefitted from having constant attention and companionship. Luckily we have an office of dog lovers, so it wasn’t an issue when we started to migrate back into the office to allow the dogs to come with us. We all feel the benefit of having our furry friends with us. They keep us entertained and are always there for comfort and help relieve the stress if we need it. They are our unofficial mental health first aiders, and as you can see, they do not need much room!
For those of you who are returning customers, you may have noticed some of our changes over the last year. The majority of these have been implemented to align with guidance for BAFE SP205, which we hope to gain in the early part of this year. We have made big changes to our quality management processes, including recruiting 2 validators to oversee all of our reports. This ensures that in addition to reports being proofread by a team member after an assessor has submitted it, there is also a qualified validator reading through the report to ensure it meets all of the required guidance and legislation. The benefits of this are two-fold; obviously to our customers, it means they can be confident that the report is accurate and that it follows current legislation. The other benefit is for our assessors, as they can always talk an assessment through with a validator.
Another process we have introduced in preparation for BAFE is annual observations with all of our assessors to ensure they comply with our standard of service and competency. This means that when we take on new assessors, we aren’t just looking at their certificates and CVs but also their communication skills and manner. We need clients to feel comfortable enough to engage with our assessors and feel they can ask questions and feel confident in their abilities.
New Pricing Structure
We had resisted increasing our prices for many years; however, we had to review our pricing structure this year. This will ensure that we can attract assessors with the right qualifications and experience to meet the new level of competency required from fire risk assessors. The quality checking of reports is also an important aspect of the new service, and we’ve also had to factor in the additional time this takes into our fees. We feel that the increase is proportionate to the overall improvement in the service and that we still offer good value for money to our customers. Not only do they receive one of our excellent Fire Risk Assessment reports, but they also receive templates for a logbook, review log, emergency plan and fire safety policy (where applicable). And if that wasn’t enough, all customers who have a fire risk assessment get free access to online basic fire safety training for a year! Oh, and they can contact us directly at our Nottingham based office to discuss their report, ask a question etc… No confusing phone options, just a direct dial number 🙂
Fire Fighters Charity
As an organisation, we have supported the Fire Fighters Charity for over 6 years. For every assessment we carry out, we donate £1 to the charity. We’re delighted to say that our overall donation has now exceeded £15000! The Fire Fighters Charity are an organisation that we felt matched our values, and as a number of our assessors are serving or retired Fire Fighters, it seemed natural to help those very people who put their lives at risk to save others from Fire.
And there we have it…. our year in review! We’re excited to see what 2022 will bring.