Saad Mansour – From the bench to the Executive Team

Saad Mansour Large

Before becoming Group Quality and Safety Manager, Saad Mansour’s career at Awanui has gone in more than one direction. While Saad describes his roles and responsibilities as sometimes being ‘bolted-on’ his story is a great example of how people can progress, and even change their career paths within our organisation.

Saad’s career started as a part-time Haematology technician while at Otago University. Following his studies and internship, he moved north for a placement at Auckland Hospital, working in Cytology and Haematology along with becoming a specialist in non-gynaecology.

The move across to Quality Assurance came in 2009, after joining Labtests as a technical specialist. Saad was initially involved auditing collection centres and laboratory in the Auckland region and he “loved the work.”

After studying for a Certificate in Quality Assurance, Saad was appointed Quality Manager in 2010. He began taking responsibility for ensuring the right Quality Assurance systems where in place, measuring performance and ensuring auditing was correctly carried out, and building a system fit for purpose.

As Saad says, “processes must be mapped out, such as document control and auditing. It is all Quality Assurance, which can plug into anything, and the same principles and international standards underpinning everything we do.”

These principles and standards are based on the ‘Mac Approach’ used at McDonalds restaurants across the world. The Mac Approach means no matter where you are, you get the same products, service, and standards because the operating systems and processes are all the same.

Saad’s take on the Mac Approach is what he calls PDCA – planning, doing, checking, and adjusting.

When Health and Safety was ‘bolted on’ to his role as Quality Manager in 2018, it “made sense” to bring the Quality Assurance and the H&S standards and systems together and use the PDCA approach to assess each system, close any gaps, and standardise processes, documentation and auditing across the business.

In March 2022, Saad joined the Executive Team as Group Quality and Safety Manager, and while this is the next step in a wide-ranging career, Saad says the fundamentals of Quality Assurance never change.

“My job is to ensure Awanui fulfils its Quality Assurance and H&S responsibilities which are always based on inputs, processes, outputs. If inputs are the same, and processes are the same, then the outputs and results will be the same. If outputs are not fit for purpose, then the process needs to be reengineered and reassessed using the PDCA cycle.

“It is also important customer feedback is ‘bolted on’. We need to listen to our customers such as Te Whatu Ora, MoH, referrers and most importantly our patients and meet industry standards, legislation, and compliance guidelines.”

One of his tasks going forward is to keep bringing Quality Assurance and H&S together to learn from each other and delivering great outcomes for all of Awanui.

“We have achieved a lot in this area including bringing down the lost time injury rates, a new H&S manual, and introducing tools for improving wellness and conformance to ISO45001:2018.”

“By continuing to assess our systems and processes, make improvements and get things right, we not only support our business to operate more efficiently and effectively for our clients, but we also ensure healthier, better engaged teams, reduced stress and improved wellbeing for our people.”

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