Author Amit Kalantri tells us that “nothing consoles and comforts like certainty does.” This applies to business as much as it does in our personal lives. Knowing gives you the confidence to push forward. Not knowing means you can spend forever second-guessing your actions, relying on hope and instinct more than facts and data.
What does this have to do with us? The answer: Assurance.
Assurance can take many forms, but the reasoning is the same; to provide an independent check on a businesses’ controls and processes to make sure they are operating efficiently and are compliant with legal and contractual obligations.
Mark Benton, senior consultant at i3Works, is one of our accredited assurers. He is currently providing assurance services to Innovate UK and has worked previously with the London Borough of Redbridge and Rail Safety Standard Board. Mark believes that assurance is often misunderstood and, as a result, not always well received
“It’s not about point scoring or finding faults,” he said. “We’re not in the business of setting people up to fail – assurance is about working with an organisation, not against them. As an assurer, you must be prepared to challenge, but for the right reasons. The key is to encourage sharing of problems so that you can suggest ways to improve and avoid them in the future. By providing independent checks and verification, an assurance expert makes sure you have everything prepared for when people with the real powers get involved, such as during risk assessments and finance audits.”
i3Works’ Director Terry O’Dowd is an Infrastructure and Projects Authority high-risk reviewer, recently providing a team leader assurance review for a £350million Highways England improvement scheme in the North East.
“Assurance is essentially about providing an independent peer review. It is far better to capture and address problems early than to have to deal with expensive change or risk the possibility that benefits will simply not be realised.”
“We have unrivalled experience across i3Works. We know what we’re looking for, and if we find areas that don’t meet requirements or align with the business case, we can work with our clients to help them. When we’ve finished, you can be assured that the next review, inspection or audit will be successful.”