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Senior Quality Manager (aviation)
Boeing Defence UK

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00:00:06 My name’s Ellen Harrison and I’m the Senior Quality Manager for Boeing Defence UK. I’ve worked for Boeing for er just over 6 years now
00:00:16 Our main job in Quality is to go and check that the people on the different sites, it could be aircraft maintainers, it could be people dealing with um buying parts or components for aircraft um and it’s our job to go with a check sheet, to make sure that those people that are carrying out those roles are doing them in accordance with their own rules and written down procedures.
00:00:47 In my job I have a team of 35 people, across different sites across the UK. Um we deal with aircraft, we deal with information support systems um but mainly the role of a Quality Engineer is to go and check that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do.
00:01:07 Me and my Quality team have to do a lot of reading on a day to day basis. It could be emails, it could be requests for help um navigating through some rules or regulations um and we also have to read a lot of documents and approve those for the organisation,
00:01:30 What I absolutely love about my job is that no day is the same. I can be dealing with lots of different things, on many different days, um always there for support for the whole team um and I get to work with a bunch of fantastic people from um engineers to aircraft maintenance technicians to programme managers to supply chain um and included in there is working with other senior managers and executives er through BDUK.
00:02:00 I actually left the school with no qualifications. I did typewriting at school and who knew that that would be so useful. But as for as academic qualifications go, I actually left with nothing. Um I was still able to join the Navy without any qualifications, um but then I did start on a lifelong journey of education. During my time in the Navy I did um, I gained a number of GCSEs, A Levels, um and I then I got into teaching myself um and I did actually start to teach GCSE Business Studies. So I, I attained an A Level in Business Studies um and then I really got a bug for teaching, so I went off and did a Certificate in Education with Bishop Grosseteste University and this was my er graduation photo here, which I’m very proud of.
00:02:43 I did spend almost 25 years in the Navy and I had various jobs, um moved into more management roles um and then I, I got the opportunity to actually share some of my experience and training as well um and I did have a stint where I was the ejection seat and er weapons instructor.
00:03:05 So I left the Navy in 2015 to join my current role in Boeing Defence.
00:03:11 Although I used the vocational route and I actually left school with no qualifications, I did require qualifications to get to certain positions and certain places throughout my career, so both within the Navy, when I commissioned, I was required to have qualifications or had to go back and do some of those, but if you want to get into some of those activities earlier, so maybe engineering, then I would suggest you, you do study those er stem subjects. So maths, science, anything that you can um, anything that’s going to give you that, that background knowledge to be able to do some of engineering. However that doesn’t mean that you have to do that because people change in different stages of their life. Um another fantastic area is getting into an aircraft apprenticeship um because that allows you to study while earning and working at the same time.
00:04:05 END


Ellen left school without any qualifications. She joined the Navy where she started a life-long journey of education, working in a range of roles including training and management. She left the Navy nearly 25 years later to join Boeing Defence UK and now heads up a team of quality engineers, ensuring that aircraft standards are met.

More information about Quality control and planning engineers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

67%  male 
33%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Quality control and planning engineers plan production schedules, work sequences, and manufacturing and processing procedures to ensure accuracy, quality and reliability.
Quality control and planning engineers usually possess an accredited university degree. After qualifying, periods of appropriate training and experience are required before membership of a chartered engineering institution is achieved. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4. All routes are followed by periods of appropriate training and relevant experience.
  • Devises inspection, testing and evaluation methods for bought-in materials, components, semi-finished and finished products;
  • Ensures accuracy of machines, jigs, fixtures, gauges and other manufacturing and testing equipment;
  • Prepares work flow charts for individual departments and compiles detailed instructions on processes, work methods and quality and safety standards for workers;
  • Analyses plans, drawings, specifications and safety, quality, accuracy, reliability and contractual requirements;
  • Prepares plan of sequence of operations and completion dates for each phase of production or processing;
  • Oversees effective implementation of adopted processes, schedules and procedures.
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