SHEQ Manager - Utility Infrastructure Installer


Our client, a solutions provider in the infrastructure sector, was looking to identify an experienced Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ) Manager to manage all on-going Quality, Health & Safety, Environmental and Compliance requirements across their UK operations.

The existing SHEQ Manager had a 50 plus mile commute to the office and, after five years in the business, had decided to reluctantly take a role closer to his base. He left his area of responsibility in good shape, with policies, records and processes all up to date. 

Leading a team in the North West, the individual will have responsibility to deliver H&S procedures and processes to ensure compliance across regional offices and numerous projects locations across the country.

It was viewed that the team of three H&S advisors needed to be task-managed closer, with clearer direction of expectations and role responsibilities. The exiting manager had been more of a colleague than a line manager who drove change and delegated effectively.  


Reporting to the Managing Director (with dotted line to the Operations Director) this person would hold responsibility to:

  • Implement, maintain and improve internal Health & Safety, Environmental, Quality and Document Management Systems
  • Promoting quality achievement and performance improvement throughout the Company
  • Work effectively with all departments to continually improve all systems and methods of work
  • Ensuring compliance with the applicable standards and legislation
  • Organise and manage the HSE & Q function in close co-operation with the Senior Management Team
  • Identifying relevant training needs and delivering HSE & Quality related training
  • Manage and maintain the Company’s HSE & Quality inspection and audit regimes
  • Assist with or prepare Project Construction Phase H&S, Environmental and Quality Plans for office and site activities
  • Ensure that all work is carried out in accordance with the standards, policies and procedures
  • Manage Health & Safety, Environmental and Quality performance on all sites across the company
  • Produce systems and procedures so as to ensure all sub-contractors are approved in line with business policies
  • To produce auditing systems, or ensuring auditing systems are in place and implemented effectively, so that the site team (Project Manager/Site Supervisor etc.) can ensure projects are undertaken in accordance with all current legislation

Collingwood’s challenge was to identify and approach people with experience in:

  • NEBOSH General Certificate, NEBOSH Diploma or equivalent
  • H&S, Environmental and Quality Assurance experience within the construction industry
  • Knowledge of CDM regulations
  • Technical experience in electrical, mechanical or civil construction works
  • Quality, H&S and Environmental Auditing qualification
  • Strong influencing and consulting/communication skills
  • Experience of collaboration with suppliers or contractors
  • Proven experience of working with a portfolio of projects


Having partnered this growing utility installer on other projects Mark Goldsmith already had a strong handle on the softer skills required to integrate with internal personnel. This said, time was invested meeting with the Operations Director in order to take an in-depth briefing. A detailed understanding of the role and responsibilities was developed helping us outline the needs of the role across the short, medium and longer term. 

Candidates were targeted who along with all the relevant qualifications and experience, were able to deliver management and strategic solutions embraced by both project teams and at a senior management level. This mix of internal liaison experience was essential to the success of this role and a key factor in developing a shortlist of suitable individuals.


Mark researched 48 companies within a 50 mile radius of the clients North West base. These ranged from large generalist tier one contractors to similar specialist tier two contractors. This was then followed up by initial approach work (via phone and follow up emails) to the Health and Safety professionals with these organisations.

Mark enticed 15 candidates into forwarding a CV, fleshed out six as high potentials and shared with the client. Upon agreement, Mark then met with all six to competency interview them. Of these, four were formally submitted for client interviews. Three were invited back for second interviews with the client, with Mark managing the offer stage with the preferred candidate. After two weeks of working his notice, the offeree informed Collingwood that he had been counter offered with an improved role he could not refuse. Fortunately one of the other interviewees at second stage was equally as strong and thus was offered the role with Mark managing expectations through to start date.

This assignment went from initial commencement to the selected candidate starting employment with our client in a period of 12 weeks.