South East Essex Academy Trust

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How South East Essex Academy Trust is Transforming its Compliance Management with iAM Compliant

Nigel Brunning is the Chief Operating Officer for South East Essex Academy Trust. They're a multi-academy trust with eight schools – two secondary and six primary.  They don't have a trust estates manager in the MAT,  so part of Nigel's role is to oversee estates compliance across the trust and try to ensure the premises managers are doing the right thing.

We asked Nigel a handful of questions about why he's used the iAM Compliant software for so many years, and how it's positively impacted the Trust's management of compliance. 

What factors influenced your decision to opt for iAM Compliant over other available systems?

It looked very easy to use and provided a simple dashboard for me to monitor the eight schools easily.  The essentials package is also very affordable.  I also liked the little how-to guides and the ability to create your own.

Your trust has 8 academies within it which suggests a lot of spinning plates. How has iAM Compliant helped these challenges of multiple estates in one trust?

It gets everyone working off the same system as some of the site staff move between schools.  In terms of keeping plates spinning, it lets me have discussions over the phone rather than having to go out to each school to see what checks have been done.

Nigel, what was your initial reason for looking into a Compliance Management software provider for your trust which contains 8 academies?

It was partly to provide some structure to premises managers in dealing with their estates compliance but also to help me and the board of trustees to have a higher level overview with the opportunity to drill down as necessary. Having the headteachers on the system also gives them an easy way to see compliance in their own school.

In what ways has iAM Compliant assisted your academies (trust) in maintaining compliance?

The main benefit is that everything is in one place and easily accessible.  I also really like the document vault that lets you keep all the reports and other things like O&M manuals, electrical drawings et cetera in one place. Trying to find things in premises managers' filing cabinets is a nightmare!

Nigel, what are the biggest pain points that you believe iAM Compliant solves for academies, trusts and schools? 

Easily knowing that all the statutory checks have been completed and evidencing this without relying on bits of paper.

How have your team and key people across the trusts used the Compliance software?

The premises managers use it regularly for all their checks and get a bit competitive about their percentage scores.  It's also easy for them to provide support to other premises managers if they're struggling with a certain aspect of the system.  I tend to snip the RAG-rated dashboard summary for the schools into the board report, which gives them a good overview.

What has the feedback internally been from colleagues using iAM Compliant?

The feedback from seven of the eight premises managers has been very positive. We find that it is particularly helpful if the site teams can have some sort of tablet to tick things off when they are out and about. We use the Galaxy Tab A8.

How would you describe iAM Compliant in 5 words?

Good, easy to use, cost-effective.

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