Pierre De Villiers: the lessons that made me

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In part two of our new series on young quality professionals, Pierre de Villiers global HSQE manager at ALE and networking officer for the CQI Next Generation Network describes the career lessons that helped him to get to where he is today.

Why did you become a quality professional?

I left the military and started work in non-destructive testing techniques, which are heavily focused on welding and quality construction applications. If I didn’t pay attention to detail there could be catastrophic implications and that is what inspired me.

What was the turning point in your career?

I stopped a batch of insufficiently welded land-drilling rig legs from being used and I think that saved lives. I don’t like delivering anything that is substandard so I try to apply that to my work. I’m passionate about delivering the thing we have promised and I can’t compromise on an agreement.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

Measure twice cut once!

The greatest lessons you have learned?

 Always apply proportionate controls. It’s also important to always assess the quality risk and treat that risk relatively to your business goals.

What’s the biggest challenge you have faced?

The greatest challenge I have faced is fully integrating health, safety, quality, environment and security across a business of 2000 people internationally and then getting that third party certified.

Why should others become involved in quality? 

It’s a great career with no limits. Quality is in anything and everything we do so as a quality professional you have the exposure to all walks of life. As a career, it builds you personally and professionally and it takes you all over the world and back. 

What advice do you have for those looking to start their careers as a quality professional?

Say what you do and do what you say to be consistent and professional. Don’t delay, don’t wait for a chance and don’t see barriers. Take the opportunity to make something, anything better, sharper, safer and faster. Life has some tangible and intangible challenges so take them both on and use them as enablers.

Find out more about the CQI Next Generation Network and how to get involved