Quality Executive

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Jean G

00:00:02 My name’s Jean G, my job title is company quality executive for Spicers Limited and what I do is we’ve just, well our company’s 9,000 and14,000 accredited. And I say 9,000 and 14,000 are quality standards that are internationally recognised throughout Europe and the world and I basically co-ordinate that through all the 11 sites that we have.

00:00:27 I joined Spicers 18 years ago. I was made redundant from a previous job which is why I joined Spicers. We’d just at that point moved house so I had to find another job pretty quickly and it just so happened that the girl I was made redundant with knew somebody that worked for Spicers at the time and they were looking for warehouse operatives, so we both applied. And I just progressed through the company. I joined as a warehouse operative and I worked in the warehouse for about, I’m trying to think now, two, three years, and the training and development officer at the time, this job I’m currently in came up and said that I should put in for it. But I must admit, I wasn’t that keen on doing it and basically she said to me, “If you don’t apply for it, Jean, I’ll apply for it on your behalf.” So, of course, I went for the interview, got a second interview and got offered the job and here I am.

00:01:16 She helped me, if it wasn’t for her, I say she helped me get this job. And she did…she was very encouraging as a trainer and as a mentor and as a friend, as well.

00:01:28 When I was at school I was doing a pre-nursing course. When I finished my GSCEs I went on to do a pre-nursing course. I left because I started my family. That was a major turning point in my life because I was only 16, 17 at the time. So, I started my family, I had my two children and then I went back to school, I went back to work rather when they were about five but part time. Going to work from being…from school to parent to work was quite a nerve wracking experience, I’ve got to admit.

00:01:59 After leaving school quite suddenly and having a family and then going back part time working for a company which, again, was just on a production line, I thought, “well I don’t want to do this. I want to do something more.” So, I went back to evening classes and improved my English and maths grades. Came into Spicers and Spicers has actually progressed me through from working as a warehouse operative to where I am now.

00:02:23 When I was at school I was always the person that wouldn’t put my hand up or offer any, and if the teacher would ask questions I would just sit there and hope she didn’t ask me. But now I have to stand up in front of people and say, “Look, this is what you need to do or have to do,” forms of training sessions for auditors and no, I think people who knew me at school would be really surprised.

00:02:43 I’d never been travelling around the country before and all of a sudden you’re…people are saying to you, “Right, you need to go and visit Glasgow, you need to go to Belfast, you need…,” and I’d never travelled on my own before. So, that was a bit scary, I’ve got to admit. But, I mean, now it’s just like, “Well, ok, book the flights and off we go.”

00:03:00 I like to keep fit. I like to read. I like DIY, gardening, quite a number of things, actually. I get moaned at by my husband because I’m always on the go. I’m on a keep fit regime at the moment so I’m quite busy.

00:03:15 Because I had my family so young, people have expectations that, you know, because you have a young family then it’s going to reflect on your children but both my girls, I mean, my youngest daughter just about two years ago finished a degree and she got a class one. My oldest daughter’s a top stylist in a hairdressing salon in Haverhill. Now they have children of their own so, you know, I’m really, really proud of them.

00:03:43 If I could I would like to do a little bit of travelling and see a bit more of the world but other than that I’m very content with my life and my family and the company that I work for.


Jean G is responsible for quality at all eleven branches of Spicers, an office supplies wholesaler. She started studying for a career in nursing, but abandoned that to raise a family. She started at Spicers as a warehouse operative and worked her way up. The training officer spotted her talent and encouraged her to apply for her present post. “I wasn’t that keen on doing it and basically she said to me, ‘If you don’t apply for it, Jean, I’ll apply for it on your behalf.’ So, of course, I went for the interview, got a second interview and got offered the job and here I am.” She’s come a long way from being a reluctant pupil at school.

More information about Quality assurance technicians

average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

70%  male 
30%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future Employment

Future employment?

? Quality assurance technicians perform a variety of technical inspections and testing and monitoring tasks to detect processing, manufacturing and other defects.
Entrants normally possess GCSEs/S grades, a BTEC/ SQA award or A levels/H grades. Training is typically received on-the-job, supplemented by training courses where instruction in specific techniques is required. Various industry-specific NVQs/SVQs encompass aspects of quality control.
  • Sets up scientific, electronic, or other technical equipment to perform functional and inspection tests;
  • Analyses and interprets the results of tests undertaken and writes up reports upon completion;
  • Supervises the work of routine inspection staff and notes any defects reported;
  • Assists quality control engineers in undertaking production audits;
  • Liaises with production engineers and staff to maintain the quality of output and to develop quality management systems.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Head offices, etc 5350
Retail trade 1917
Architectural & related 1538
Rental & leasing 1434
Waste management 1352
Telecommunications 1313
Water 1192
Metal products 1007
Employment status
Skill importance

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