New EV with a wealth of experience joins LCL Awards team

03 Mar 2022

Helen Knowles joined LCL Awards as an External Verifier and Technical Specialist last December. Based in North Devon, she supports our centres across the country and is really enjoying her new role.

Helen’s background has been in the building services and training industries and has given her the perfect range of experience to understand the challenges faced by training centres.

After leaving school, Helen began working in the Insurance Industry, moving into managerial roles, but after a while she fancied a change and a more exciting career where she could use her practical skills and initiative. A move to France held real appeal and she undertook training in plumbing and heating, so that she and her husband could renovate properties in Brittany.

On moving back to the UK, Helen settled in Devon and set up her own business, installing bathrooms and boilers. She undertook work for Corgi and was reputedly the first female gas engineer in the South West. Her good reputation grew from strength to strength.

Helen was then offered a management role where she became responsible for scheduling the work of ten male colleagues.  Sadly, this didn’t work out well for her and she was disappointed by the old-fashioned sexist attitudes of some of her team.

A move into training potentially offered her more opportunities to flourish and she quickly became head of department at a training centre in Exeter, where she enjoyed working with young apprentices, setting them out on the right road!

A further move, to another training centre, which used LCL Awards as their Awarding Body, introduced her to Tracy Harker and Andrew Jones, who saw her potential and encouraged her to train as an External Verifier. She trained through the periods of the COVID lockdowns and was able to join LCL Awards at the end last year once she’d qualified.

Helen said: “I’ve been in role for a couple of months now and it’s working really well. It’s lovely to be able to work directly with LCL Awards centres, helping them to deliver the qualifications effectively. Because I have experience from both sides I can easily relate to the problems they have and offer them the support they need.”

 “Also, I’m really enjoying working for a company that has a more enlightened view of the role of women in the industry, Tracy is a great role model!”

Tracy said: “Helen has fitted really well into the team and contributed to the continuous improvement of our quality assurance processes.  A pro-active approach to supporting centres is key to building relationships and Helen will happily pick up the phone rather than bat emails backwards and forwards – which I know centres appreciate. 

Helen has taken on responsibility for some QMS audits, but is also responsible for technical audits in her many areas of expertise, which include: ACS, OFTEC, Plumbing, Renewables and FGas.  Centres can look forward to meeting her very soon.”

Interested in becoming an LCL Awards centre? Click here.