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As Head of Quality and Compliance, Nicky John will ensure that Maybo’s services are safe, consistent and delivering effective change across a wide range of sectors. Here she talks organisation, structure and spreadsheets.
Nicky John started her career as a support worker, helping people with the physical and emotional care they need to live better lives. While working in various settings, including domiciliary care and a brain injury ward, she began to develop her experience in quality compliance and risk management by volunteering to help build and improve the current systems.
Compliance became a key focus for her. After a number of years as a governance administrator, she moved roles to become a training manager for a neurological rehabilitation provider and it was during this time that she first encountered Maybo. “I was a participant in one of Maybo’s Train the Trainer programmes,” she explains. “The training was really in-depth but easy to remember. So when I was teaching my team later, I could recall it well.”
Nicky found that the additional emphasis on primary strategies (where you control a scenario directly) alongside secondary strategies (where you work to ease tension before it escalates), gave a whole new approach to managing challenging situations. By embedding this learning into her organisation, she was able to help change the culture and give staff more confidence in their day-to-day roles.
Nicky worked her way up to Director of Operations, but started to feel too disconnected from the service user. And when the pandemic hit, it proved to be the catalyst for her to leave. With so many people needing extra support through some very difficult times, she found the organisation focussed more on business than on people. “I felt I needed some time out to decompress, so I decided to go self-employed for a while.”
Maybo was one of the places Nicky freelanced. She started as a Senior Trainer, travelling to a range of different service providers to deliver their required level of training. Due to her previous experience in compliance, she also began to support Maybo in other areas of the business. This included building programmes and supporting organisations to become compliant with the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) standards.
As Nicky got to know the organisation, she realised that this was a place she wanted to work long-term.
“Maybo focusses on staff and service users first,” she says. “It’s a company that trusts its people, and puts positive outcomes at the front and centre of its objectives. This was such a refreshing approach that I wanted to stay and I applied for a full-time contract.”
For her new role, Nicky keeps up to date with legislation, regulations and relevant processes, such as the requirements of the Bild Association of Certified Training. “A typical day for me would include liaising with clients to understand their needs,” she says. “Then I’ll be looking at it from the other side, working with the team to gather information and discuss system improvements. Then it's my job to make sure that we put those new systems in place. I have a wide scope here, and plenty of opportunities to make change.”
So what does it take to make a good Head of Compliance?
“I’m passionate about organisation, structure and spreadsheets,” she says. “They’re what make me good at my role. I like to identify areas for improvement, work with the team to achieve this and monitor the outcome. Like Maybo, I don't merely want to meet a standard and move on. We want to continue to improve and make a better and more effective experience for both ourselves and the clients we support.”
Nicky particularly enjoys looking at the positive outcomes that Maybo has helped to achieve. “I recently reviewed the outcomes of our RRN Affiliate Organisations at their first annual review and found that there had been a 26% reduction in the level of restrictive physical intervention skills being delivered. It was really rewarding to know that our work had made such a tangible difference to people’s lives.”
Nicky is excited for her future. She’s doing a job that she loves, at an organisation that aligns with her values. “It just feels like the perfect fit,” she concludes.
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