Every Athens Group Services surveyor brings the technical skills and actual experience required to operate and maintain the systems they are assigned to verify. The Athens Group Services Competency Assurance program is based on the principle that technical skills alone are not sufficient to deliver the level of verification services our clients expect. The program recognizes there is a critical difference between having the technical competence required to operate or maintain the systems, and having the unique additional skills and experience required to provide an independent third-party verification of the condition, operation, or maintenance of those same systems.
The competency assurance program has three distinct steps, starting with the identification and selection of candidates, and progressing though a program of continuous requalification, professional development, and education.
Surveyor screening and onboarding
The program begins with the identification and screening of potential candidates. This process is designed to establish the candidate already possesses the necessary experience and technical skills. We require a long-term proven track record of operating and maintaining the systems we expect the candidate to be verifying. The screening includes personal recommendations from our clients and existing surveyors, verification of CVs, background checks, and one-on-one technical interviews by an Athens Group Services subject matter expert.
The initial technical screening is followed by a behavioral interview. During the behavioral interview, the candidate must demonstrate an understanding of the differences between doing the work and verifying the work, as well as the unique additional skills and experience required to become an effective verifier. The results of this behavior interview are reviewed and approved by the CEO.
Following a successful technical and behavioral screening, the candidate goes through an onboarding process which covers the Athens Group Services management system, as well as a set of internal training modules which describe the Athens Group Services methodology for verification services. This methodology introduces what Athens Group Services calls the “Surveyor/Stakeholder Mindset”. This mindset is a result of the evaluation of continuous feedback from our clients concerning how they expect an expert surveyor to perform on a verification project.
The combination of the quality systems training, and the Surveyor/Stakeholder mindset training ensures each of our surveyors deliver our services in a consistent, repeatable, quality manner.
Continuous periodic recertification
Technical and surveyor skills are continuously evaluated and qualified through the following processes:
- Daily review of project activities and reporting by subject matter experts and service delivery directors
Issues with technical analysis or surveyor skills are identified and corrected immediately
- Solicitation and evaluation of client feedback at the completion of each project
In cases where client feedback indicates an interpersonal rather than technical skills issue, a historical record of the interpersonal issue is maintained in order to determine if there is a pattern developing that warrants remedial action up to and including surveyor removal from active consideration.
- Active re-affirmation of surveyor capability by subject matter experts and delivery directors prior to project assignment
The Athens Group quality management systems requires the service delivery manager to certify the surveyor is qualified before assignment to a project team. This certification is based on a record of recent successful project activity and is composed of over 40 checkpoints.
- Client review of CV
When requested, the client is provided the surveyor CV for review and acceptance prior to the staffing of the project.
- Yearly review and testing for contract surveyors who have not been active in the prior twelve months
For contract surveyors who do not have a current record of successful project delivery, there is a yearly re-evaluation and recertification process which includes interview and testing.
Continuing Professional Development and Education
Athens Group Services maintains a comprehensive cloud-based knowledge capture and management system. Through these systems every Athens Group surveyor can solicit real time help on a live bulletin board, and gain access to a database of captured knowledge, previous issues and punch lists, lessons learned, OEM technical data, and industry standards and guidance.
In cases where Athens Group Services identifies a specific need or opportunity, a surveyor will be offered an opportunity to receive professional coaching or external continuing education for the development of more advanced technical or consulting skills.