Elisabeth's experience as an HQAI auditor
"One of the most rewarding experiences is listening to people and supporting them".Video testimony
Tell us one positive experience during an audit.
During an audit interview, I remember discussing about data protection with a program officer. Based on her personal and professional experience, she explained to me how the country’s repressive history had made her particularly aware of the need to protect sensitive personal information.
I find it really rewarding to get this kind of testimonies from people working in highly complex socio-political contexts. It shows us the value of both the CHS standard and the audit process, and, overall, conducting interviews is always an amazing experience! As an independent auditor, different people share confidences with me, and they all have the same goal of improving the quality of care and accountability to communities. In this way, the added value of an audit goes far beyond just issuing a certificate.
What has this pandemic changed in regard to your work as an auditor?
Well, the pandemic hasn’t really changed my routine much since, even during the lockdown, I continued visiting very remote areas, such as my living room or the kitchen haha, looking for the best internet connexion or the perfect background for my webcam... Jokes aside, to be honest, at the beginning I was a little sceptical about managing a whole audit remotely. However, it quickly appeared that we could still be effective even when working at a distance. It was not exactly a time-saving process, since we added more projects to our sample to reduce the risks of working remotely, but most of the time it went pretty smoothly. What I missed during this period has been observing workplaces, local offices, community meetings and all of the post-meeting informal conversations, which are also very important for our audits.
Tell us about one challenge you faced and how you overcame it.
Before starting an interview, I am always curious about meeting new people, but also somehow nervous because I never know what could happen. When conducting interviews, I can face very different personalities. Some look stressed, others excited and enthusiastic, some even suspicious. As an auditor, it is my responsibility to create the conditions for a professional interaction and a relationship of trust. When a person in front of me seems uncomfortable, I always take a few minutes to restate the objectives and principles of the audit. I also try to keep a positive attitude and, even behind a computer screen, a smile is a smile!
What keeps you motivated?
To put it in a few words, the people I meet during each audit keep me highly motivated. I have always considered it an honour that all these people trust me and accept to share their experience with me. Building a transparent and honest relationship with our partner organisations gives meaning to our mutual engagement in the audit process.
It is also an exciting job because I always work with different people and organisations, and in different places. As an auditor, I need to get the big picture, having a good understanding of the organisational culture and the management structure that contribute to the implementation of the CHS. The goal is being attentive to details to make sense of the whole organisation. Simply put, I am truly convinced of the value and the importance of my work as an independent auditor.