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Here Sean talks about his role, the impact of upcoming regulatory changes and his commitment to ensuring that service quality remains at the forefront of our business operations.
The Quality Assurance (QA) function of the business has steadily grown in recent years and now covers compliance, auditing, customer relations and contracts & wordings. The work streams are varied so there isn’t really a typical day. That said, preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implementation deadline back in May resulted in related tasks taking up large parts of every day. Responsibility for the oversight and implementation of our GDPR project has sat within the QA Team.
Away from GDPR some of the more typical daily tasks include signing off audit reports, responding to due diligence requests, facilitating audit and compliance visits from our regulators and business partners and keeping abreast of regulatory developments. I also oversee our Customer Relations Team, which includes reviewing all final response letters on complaints.
There are several different elements to our QA function. The Customer Relations team deals with the management and resolution of complaints received. The Contracts & Wordings team prepares and maintains policy wordings and other contractual documents produced by the business. Both teams have their own sets of specialised staff.
The auditing function sits with the QA officers. Our auditing programme consists of monthly internal audits and an external auditing schedule of our panel solicitors and suppliers. These audits are varied in scope and whilst they measure performance against internal SLAs and regulatory requirements, they are also centred around our Treating Customers Fairly policy. We view our internal auditing programme with particular importance as the key learning areas we pick up form part of training exercises for our claims department as a means of improving customer service.
The role of the function is to ensure that our compliance, auditing and complaint handling tasks are not just ‘tick box’ exercises. Operating effective risk controls and enhancing the customer experience are not mutually exclusive, both can be achieved. Our aim is to make sure the lessons we learn are applied back into the business to drive the improvements that will enhance the customer experience.
Until retiring at the start of this season I was a football referee. I officiated in various capacities up to National League standard and was fortunate to have worked on matches at professional grounds such as Watford, Crystal Palace, Ipswich and Norwich. I also got to referee a few matches in the qualifying rounds of The FA Cup.
When I joined Arc Legal the QA department was relatively small and consisted of 3 part-time staff concentrating solely on auditing. The department now consists of 9 team members across all functions. It’s been both challenging and rewarding to have been involved in the expansion of the QA function to what it is today.