An Interview with Nathan Lord - Lead Auditor


Onward Auditing

Nathan Lord has been working with us here at Onward since 2013. He started as a SEMS Representative and then moved into the role of SEMS Lead in 2017. Nate has now been our Operations Manager since 2020. He will be one of our Lead Audits for our external Audits here at Onward Auditing and we wanted to ask him questions that highlight both Onward, and what our new certification means.
  1. What do you think makes Onward unique?

Onward’s practices are rooted in relationships. To provide personnel to fill a vacancy is only part of the solution. We want to provide personnel who are not only competent and qualified but can integrate within rig family building trust and respect.

  1. How would you personally describe Onward’s working culture?

Aggressively honest. Honest practices and an aggressive appetite to grow current and new projects.

  1. If you could go back 5 years, what advice would you give yourself about the company?

During the then down-turn and hearing past accounts of previous downturns. Many personnel from various other contractors and operators leaving and vowing to never return. I distinctly remember choosing to stick with it, stay the course, and seeing it through. Challenges grow us as individuals and those individuals grow the company. And we continue to grow.

  1. What have you learnt through the last 18 months of business?

Now more than ever, stay flexible. Change is constant. What works today may not work tomorrow. Remember the past challenges and solutions, but don’t commit these as the standard.

  1. Where do you see or hope for Onward to be in 10 years’ time?

Sustained growth offshore to meet needs of new regulations related to O&G extraction and new emerging technologies.

  1. What advice would you give to someone starting out at Onward for the first time?

A recurring theme but embrace change. Demands of the industry change. The energy industry is volatile and will always be so. We must be able to be dynamic enough to adapt to needs and schedules, but static in the quality of deliverables we provide.

Our external Audit ASP certification from the Center of Offshore Safety will allow the company to examine operators and give the insight into the gaps in their systems and practices. We asked Nate what he believed this certification means for Onward and what the process was to get it…

  1. What does this certification mean to you personally?

Personally, I feel the history and experience of Onward’s SEMS representatives has prepared them in an ideal manner to see in real time how a SEMS program protects individuals, the environment, assets, and the collective offshore energy industry.

  1. What does this certification mean for the future of the company?

The Audit Service Provider certification is rooted in a standardization of quality practices through a management system. I feel at the heart of this management system is the identification, implementation, and evaluation of improvements. That is the definition of progress and growth. That is our definition of progress and growth.

  1. What was the process like getting this certification?

If I said it were simple, I’d be lying. It’s thorough…very thorough. Crossing your “t’s” and dotting your “i’s” is only the preface to the process. But it is worth it. As a company, but also as a contribution to the energy industry to insert the right personnel into a system to maintain and promote responsible practices.

  1. How do you plan to make the most use out of it?

Within the behavior-based safety philosophy, the core tenant is that safety is a relationship, not an act. Acting is a performance, something that is turned on and off. The relationship spills over into all aspects of life. These audits are engagement opportunities to champion safe work relationships and influence current work cultures.

Safe working cultures, the promotion of responsible practices, and continual growth are themes we have found across all our lead auditors. This is the mark of a team which is ready to continually assess and find ways to improve the standards of current work cultures and safe work relationships. If you are interested in speaking to Nate or any of our Lead auditors in regards to these services, please click on the link below or contact us directly through our office number.