Severn Questions With Robbie King From Aqualytix

Robbie King is a Compliance Technician at Aqualytix, who’s swapped his lab coat for his laptop to ensure Aqualytix and our customers reach and maintain water hygiene compliance. Recently, he’s been busy with an LCA audit. We ask him what it is and why it matters.

1. Tell us a little about yourself, Robbie

I’ve worked for Aqualytix for over five years. Before that, I spent my days in microbiology and chemistry laboratories. Going back further, I studied forensic science.

My job is to ensure our organisation and our customers are compliant. I do audits, I train people, I deliver consultancy services, I travel up and down the country a lot, and I do detective work. Some of my colleagues refer to me as the ‘Compliance Police’!

Outside of work, I live in the West Midlands, and next month I become a dad!

2. What's the best thing about your job?

I like playing detective. So, if there’s a water hygiene problem, I enjoy getting to the root cause of why it’s happened and solving it for a customer.

For example, I visited an organisation that had an issue with a cold water drinking tap. If you ran your finger under the tap, the water was warm, and the temperature of the water within the pipes created the perfect conditions for harmful legionella bacteria to grow.

I traced the problem back to the vertical pipes that fed water up the building. It turned out the hot and cold riser pipes were touching one another, so the cold water was never cold. Of course, we sorted it out ASAP to safeguard the building users.

3. You've been busy with an LCA audit. Tell us more!

LCA stands for Legionella Control Association. It’s an organisation that’s defined a code of conduct for the water hygiene industry so that high standards are adhered to. To register with the LCA, you must prove you meet these specific standards.

Being a registered member of the LCA is reassuring for existing and potential customers. It shows them you have the right systems and processes in place to do a safe and quality job – and that an independent body is auditing you regularly to ensure standards are being maintained.

4. Is Aqualytix registered with the LCA?

Yes, I’m pleased to say our annual registration was successfully renewed in October.

We had to do an internal audit, which I did with my colleagues Sarah Smith and Rebecca O’Sullivan, where we checked our procedures were LCA – compliant and consistently used in practice.

Sarah, Rebecca, and I are ideally placed to do the internal audit because we’re one step removed from doing the day-to-day operational work we deliver for our customers, so we offer a more independent view.

We were then externally audited by the LCA, which is like an interview where we must demonstrate our commitment to the standards and provide proof to show how we bring them to life through our daily work. They use a set of questions to guide the audit so every company is fairly and consistently assessed.

5. Can you give me an example of a question they might explore with you?

Yes, take, for example, the water treatment services we offer our customers. The LCA will ask us to demonstrate how we alert our customers to non-conformances and how we work with them to instigate remedial action.

We’re at an advantage because we’re a paperless business. So, there are no ring binders lurking in maintenance rooms or paper compliance logs scattered over several sites. Everything we do for our customers is recorded on the cloud – accessible to our customers and our teams in real-time. This single, live picture makes it much simpler to demonstrate our processes to the LCA.

6. What would happen if we failed our LCA audit?

We wouldn’t be listed on the national directory of LCA registered members for 12 months.

This would make our customers question why. If I were a customer, it would cause me to doubt whether we could meet the high standards the LCA set for the industry. That’s why we make sure we never fail.

7. Finally, please share a memorable moment from your journey with Aqualytix so far

I’ve worked in the college where Harry Potter was filmed. That was memorable for me!

Oh, and the most bizarre question I’ve ever been asked while training industry professionals is how to treat water within a waterbed (i.e. a bed you sleep in!).

Aqualytix is a specialist in water treatment and Legionella control and one of the UK’s leading Legionella training course providers.