From education to employment

Neil first to achieve Level 7 City & Guilds Professional Recognition at SERC

Waringstown man, Neil McCauley (43) went to university and for one reason and another he didn’t finish the degree course but instead went to work. A busy family man with a wife and four children, aged from 5 to 15, as well as the cat and dog, he turned his career experience into Professional Recognition achieving the equivalent to a vocational masters with a Level 7 City & Guilds Professional Recognition Engineering Management through South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Business Services team.  

Neil worked in various roles early in his career including in a bank, in construction and ended up securing a post with Almac which propelled him into the high- tech industry of chemical processing.   His role there led to supervising and management of staff. He worked there for 7 years before progressing to McQuillan Environmental in Antrim which is part of the McQuillan Companies, a Northern Ireland based family run business which incorporates a diverse range of activities including civil engineering, demolition, quarrying, hazardous and non-hazardous waste management, outdoor cleaning services and analytical chemistry.

Neil, with his knowledge and experience, helped develop McQuillan Environmental through growth and development of their Analytical Laboratory and Chemical Treatment Facility. McQuillan Environmental is one of Ireland’s largest hazardous waste companies serving all industrial and public sectors to meet their sustainability and legislative commitments.

He said, “I have learnt many things about the industry and picked up skills and experience over the years which has allowed me to progress in my career to Technical Manager.   Essentially, I took a different route by learning and progressing on the job.   In working with SERC in a professional capacity over the years, I became aware of turning my skills and experience into a professional recognised qualification and achieved a City & Guilds Level 6 Professional Recognition Award. Progressing to Level 7 seemed the natural course for me. The City & Guilds Level 7 Professional Recognition qualification recognises the knowledge and experience I have accumulated working in the industry.   It demanded a higher level of evidence of the more strategic approach of my role.

He added, “Now the award has been achieved, I look forward to continually professionally developing myself and the company.   I couldn’t have achieved the Award without the support of McQuillan Environmental.   It is great that I will be able to pass on my knowledge and experience to new staff.”

He added, “I would encourage anyone working in industry, who maybe didn’t take the traditional degree route, but who have been working their way up their company to gather the evidence they need to achieve professional recognition.”

Paul Henry, Lead Business Manager in the Business Services Team at SERC said, “The Professional Recognition Award (PRA 4-7) scheme recognises individuals for their current and/or recent supervisory or management experiences and follows the 6 standards for provision of evidence in a portfolio.  This PRA is particularly beneficial for candidates who may have come to a senior level within a company following a practical route, rather than an academic route, and are very capable, competent individuals. 

“At SERC we have had candidates gaining the qualification at level 6 who are working in Shanghai and Oman, and currently a student who is providing evidence from his current works in Pakistan. The awards enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills within any sector or role.”

South Eastern Regional College are hosting their Part-Time Open Day, 4.00pm to 8.00pm Wednesday 5 June in Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards Campuses.   Come along to find out how you can Transform Your Future with a part-time course at SERC.

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