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Can you share with us a specific project or accomplishment that you are particularly proud of and why?

Through the years I have been privileged enough to participate in several interesting projects.

One being part of the national committee and the ISO 45001 project, which gave me a much better understanding of the processes leading to the final text in the standards. For the development of a new International Standard there are a lot of National Committees whose information and needs feed into the work of the International Standards Committee. I was part of the International Committee trying to agree on a global text; ensuring it can suit everyone was really challenging, I am still surprised we got there! The project took about 4 years and involved a range of international labour organisations, and had 120 delegates. Other large global organisations within the Health and Safety field were also able to sign up as non-voting participants to give their views and feedback. It was enjoyable but sometimes frustrating.

The outcome was the first Health & Safety standard issued by ISO, previously there was only the British Standard BS-OHSAS 18001.

I am quite proud of having participated in a project that has the potential to affect the workplace health and safety standards of a lot of workers globally.

How do you spend time outside of work?

I really enjoy being outdoors - going for a hike with my dog or offroad biking. I live in a mountainous area where the trails are quite steep, limiting my access to certain areas. A few years ago, I bought an electric offroad bike which I love. It makes it easier to get going, increases my range and the steep hills don’t kill me.

What do you think is the biggest factor affecting the TIC industry at the moment?

I’m currently mostly working in the “C”, the certification industry, these days, and there are some affecting factors. One example is the nationalisation of standards, those challenging the global recognitions of certifications and accreditations. This may create restraints to your market access, as well as adding the need for several accreditations, which increases the cost to client, without actually adding value.

Another challenge is the sheer volume of international standards that are developed and published. For instance, in the 14001 series there are now more than 60 published standards. The volume in itself creates a marked confusion, makes the use of standards less available for SMEs and may over time undermine certification’s value.

In three words only, what is the secret to your success?

EXPLORE, CARE, LEARN

Can you tell us about your background and how you got started in the TIC sector?

From the fast-paced automotive consulting floors to the strategic deliberations in certification bodies, my career has been nothing short of an adventurous journey into the heart of TIC sector.

My professional odyssey began in the realm of automotive consulting, a sector known for its rigorous demands and precision. Here, I was involved with field technicians and training services, not to mention navigating the complexities of ISO audit services. The dynamism of meeting diverse professionals and solving multifaceted problems was captivating.

It’s not always easy to recruit new officers but once they get the hang of Certification they tend to get stuck like me in the industry. It’s this interesting and enjoyable interaction that makes people stay in Certification.

Listening to people, respecting them and supporting them when you can, makes a difference. It doesn’t take as much as you may think.

Harald Schjølberg

Technical Manager
of Scandinavian Certification

Harald Schjølberg has carved a niche for himself in the TICC sector with over 15 years of diverse experience. Starting his career in a consulting firm focused on the automotive industry, Harald's passion for quality and excellence led him to a significant role in a Certification Body. Here’s a glimpse into his journey and thoughts on the industry.

How do you prioritize and manage your workload to ensure success?

I find that most effective method for workload management is to have clear agreements. Being “disturbed” reduces my efficiency, so I try to be a bit critical with requests by asking questions such as: When do you expect this? is it really that important? I can help you next week is that ok? Often, I find that it can wait, and I can schedule the work better.
Further it is good to collaborate with your colleagues. If I have some space in my calendar I will help my team, knowing that they will appreciate it and help me back.

I strongly believe that a leader’s mission is to facilitate work in such a way that all the organizations resources are operating at their highest level. This includes both people and systems.

Can you speak of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career and how you overcame them?

Life seems to throw the most surprising things at you. Sometimes it is something that sets a deep mark in you.
I guess we are focusing on the TIC industry, but I’d like to share something that I believe is relevant for all industries.
Early in my career as an Army officer I met a soldier who was struggling and threatened to take his own life. It’s a long story but we both made it through, and the process changed me too.
Listening to people (could be your family, employees, friends or customers), respecting them and supporting them when you can, makes a difference. It doesn’t take as much as you may think.
In the TIC industry we meet a lot of people, maybe for just a few hours or for several days - but I believe that listening and showing respect for each other is the essence.

What is your approach to leadership and team management?

I strongly believe that a leader’s mission is to facilitate work in such a way that all the organizations resources are operating at their highest level. This includes both people and systems.

We all have different requirements that need to be supported in order for us to operate at a high level (and the achievable level varies between us). So, I strive to understand each individual and support as best as I can. With some understanding it is easier to manage a team. This involves setting clear goals, defining roles based on individual strengths, and fostering a collaborative spirit to drive collective success.

I strive to understand each individual and support them as best as I can.

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