Abdur Rahman Farooq is a quality and organizational excellence professional equipped with more than 18 years of experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of performance-based quality management systems and training programs.
He is an API Q1 lead auditor, an ASQ-certified quality auditor, an ASQ-certified manager of quality and organizational excellence, and a principal auditor for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001.
In this conversation, we discussed his start as an auditor, the importance of training, and his advice to young conformity assessment professionals.
EXEMPLAR GLOBAL: How did you get started in your career?
ABDUR RAHMAN FAROOQ: I started my career in 2003 when I started working on telecommunications and oil and gas projects in Pakistan as quality engineer. Afterward, I gained practical experience in various industries, working on quality control and process improvement projects. This hands-on experience helped me develop a keen eye for identifying areas for improvement and led me to explore a career in auditing.
EG: How did you find your way to management system auditing?
ARF: While working in my previous roles, I noticed the importance of effective management systems in ensuring consistent quality and operational efficiency. I became interested in understanding and evaluating these systems more comprehensively. To enhance my auditing skills, I pursued formal training in management system auditing methodologies, standards, and principles, which paved the way for me to become a management system auditor.
EG: What has Exemplar Global meant for your career?
ARF: Exemplar Global certification has significantly boosted my career in auditing. It has provided industry recognition of my competence and expertise as an auditor. Having this certification has given me a competitive edge in the job market and has opened new opportunities to work with reputable organizations seeking skilled auditors.
EG: What kind of training opportunities have you pursued?
ARF: Throughout my career, I have actively pursued various training opportunities to enhance my auditing skills and keep up with evolving industry standards. Some of the training courses I have taken covered management system standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO/IEC 27001, ISO 41001, ISO 45001, ISO 37301, and ISO 31001. I have also been trained in auditing techniques, risk-assessment methodologies, and effective communication skills. I am an ASQ CQA, a certified strategy and business planning professional from the KPI institute (CSBP), and hold a qualification in lean Six Sigma from the Singapore Quality Institute.
EG: What are the opportunities for career growth within this field in your geographic market?
ARF: In Saudi Arabia, the opportunities for career growth in auditing are quite promising. As organizations increasingly focus on quality, sustainability, and compliance, the demand for competent auditors continues to grow. Moreover, specialization in specific industries or sectors, such as construction, facility management, healthcare, aerospace, or automotive, can present further avenues for career advancement and expertise development.
EG: What advice would you give to people just starting out in auditing?
ARF: For those starting out in auditing, I would offer the following advice:
- Invest in education and training. Gain a strong foundation in auditing principles and relevant standards. Pursue certifications from reputable organizations like Exemplar Global to enhance your credibility.
- Seek diverse experiences. Work in various industries or sectors to gain a broad understanding of different management systems and processes.
- Develop strong communication skills. Auditing requires effective communication with clients and team members. Hone your ability to articulate findings clearly and constructively.
- Be adaptable and open to learning. Auditing is a dynamic field, and standards may change over time. Stay updated with the latest developments and be open to continuously improving your skills.
- Build a professional network. Connect with other auditors and professionals in the industry. Networking can provide valuable insights, mentorship, and potential job opportunities.