26 May 2013

Getting What You Want From an ISO Consultant Can Be a Challenge

After work I cycle from Moorgate to meet FXXP’s Consultant, Peter.  A man is his sixties is waiting outside, he sees me get off by bike and take it into reception for storing in the luggage room.  I wait 5 minutes in the lobby but already know that they guy outside was Peter.

I buy Peter a beer (this doesn’t happen often and should be appreciated!) and I explain what I want.  He does the basic job in explaining the service he provides.  He tells me that most of the work he has done is in personnel security eg security companies who have to vet their staff.   This means he knows most about BS7858 and has only done one or two BS8470 Secure Destruction of Confidential Material implementations.  Moreover, he explains that the vertical industry standards (like 7858 and 8470) often sit on top of ISO 9001.  He says ISO 9001 is a good starting point and recommends we discuss this to start with BS7858 on top.

Despite this good underlying advice, I get the message that he can’t  or won’t give me what I want – namely advice about setting up ISO processes for a company which adoesn’t as yet (October 07) have any customers.  I arrived on a bike, I am not wearing a suit and also he thinks he’s giving me free advice and he’s not going to get paid.  He’s also apparently booked out for most of the next month.

During this meeting, I realize that faced with an internet which has been unforthcoming with the kind of information I want – and  now a reluctant consultant – I am hitting my head against a brick wall and have to be bold to get what I want and part with some cash get it.

To end the uncertainty and overcome his reluctance I say to Peter, “Ok, well I’ll take one day’s consultancy and the payment will be cheque on visit.”  As if by magic Peter’s pendulum swings from scepticism to a desire to please.  I am taken more seriously

“Do you work Saturday?” I ask.  “No, but I can do he says.”  So we are fixed for Saturday coming.

Based on on account recorded in diary 

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