Meet Leanie Du Toit – Accreditation Specialist for Health & Safety

A Lifelong Commitment to Health & Safety

Leanie’s commitment to Health & Safety began whilst still in school, in year 10 she joined the local fire department as a volunteer firefighter and would spend weekends and holidays working as a member of the team.  Having left school, Leanie became a Fire Officer for 15 years, which in South Africa is a dual role incorporating paramedic and firefighting activities.

During this time Leanie left quite a few emergencies wondering what could be put in place to avoid this happening again.  This encouraged her to embark on additional Health & Safety training, leading to her becoming a Health & Safety Training Officer and later QSE Manager.

Developing Career and Qualifications

Leanie spent her final five years in South Africa as a Health & Safety Manager in a private organisation, before coming to the UK in 2007 to join a construction company and completed her NEBOSH Diploma, alongside this work.

Leanie later became the College Health & Safety Officer and Auditor at the Royal Holloway University of London in Egham, a position she held for five years.  During this time she completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Safety and Risk Management alongside a Master’s of Science, Occupational Health and Safety.

Throughout her career, Leanie’s interest in accreditation grew and when she was asked if she knew of anyone that might want to join UKAS as an HSMS Assessment Manager, she applied herself and joined us in 2014 as an Assessment Manager in the Certification division.

Fulfilling Potential

Leanie has continued to progress her career at UKAS, having been promoted to Senior Assessment Manager in 2017, before taking her current role as Accreditation Specialist in 2019.

In her role Leanie has taken on the roles of UKAS Health and Safety Advisor, Technical Focus Person for Health & Safety, SSIP (Safety Scheme in Procurement) and SCCM (Stichting Coordinatie Certificatie Milieu – en arbomanagementsystemem), providing support to Assessment Managers and UKAS Health and Safety Technical Assessors.  In her role as UKAS Health and Safety Advisor she attends external meetings with relevant stakeholders, conducts risk assessments, assist in drafting of Health and Safety Policies, Procedures, Guidance documents and participates as a member of the UKAS Health & Safety Committee.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Leanie has joined the Crisis Management Team, lending her expertise and helping shape UKAS’ policies that have helped keep our staff and customers safe during this challenging episode.

When asked what she enjoys most about working at UKAS, Leanie is clear that the incredible variety she experiences in her role is a strong contributing factor.

“No single day is ever the same.  UKAS serves such a breadth of sectors and services, I enjoy the work I do which contributes to providing confidence in the products and services we all rely upon.”

Future-Proofing Accreditation

When Leanie is asked to consider the future of accreditation she emphasises the need for continual evolution of approaches and processes.

“Accreditation and the way we conduct our assessments needs to evolve to keep up with the ever-changing environment we operate within.  UKAS’ strategy reflects this need and will ensure we remain agile to ongoing change and continue to deliver value.

We continually demonstrated throughout the last year that we can adapt quickly whilst retaining a robust approach to assessment that doesn’t compromise on quality or safety.  By remaining vigilant to our own operations and quality, UKAS will be able to respond appropriately to future challenges and opportunities.”

Recognition and Success

Leanie’s considerable contributions to UKAS were formally acknowledged in our Staff Awards last January, where she was presented with the CEO’s Award for Technical Excellence.  This recognised Leanie’s expertise in her area of specialism, her input on numerous projects and her role in the Crisis Management Team.

Despite her incredible work ethic, Leanie does find time for relaxation.  In her spare-time she likes to bake and keep active with her family, indulging in hiking and hill walking.