Mark Kelly is 56 years old and joined apT Group just over two years ago. He has spent over 40 years in the construction industry. In his spare time Mark is the original action man, owns his own pet hawk and can be found on his motorbike or saving people – rescuing old ladies from bad builders!
You haven't always been in building control. Can you give us a bit more detail on your previous roles?
Why did you leave your previous role to join building control?
I needed a new challenge, there was nowhere to go within the company and my workload was mostly a juggling game.
What made you decide to join building control?
I felt that I had a lot of experience and knowledge that I could bring to the role, like meeting people and learning.
What skills do you think you've been able to transfer from your previous positions that have helped you in building control?
Being involved in the practical side of most situations and dealing with architects and engineers along with building control I have a vast range of experience that has helped me with the change of roles. My management role has helped me with communication skills and ensuring that I'm able to be understood.
Did you know much about building control before you applied and was there a massive learning curve when you got there?
Within a couple of weeks the team I joined were happy to let me loose on large new builds for all inspections, having proven my competence when shadowing qualified surveyors. I have learnt a lot since joining the team but still feel there is more to learn. I've delivered a 33-bed care home to date which has helped as a learning opportunity. I can honestly say I will never stop learning in this role and can only improve.
What do you like best about your job?
Meeting and helping people, feeling that I've made a difference and that I'm generally making buildings more compliant.
Did you need any additional qualifications to join building control?
I took an HNC night course for two nights a week over two years (funded by myself) and attended the LABC Domestic Plan Checker course at LABC's headquarters.
What is the most exciting project you have worked on, and what was your role within this?
It was the care home I think. As the main inspector I only missed one site visit due to holiday.
What do you think are the benefits of working within building control?
I think the main benefits are gaining knowledge and being able to share this. Also being seen as a professional.
What do you think is the main purpose of building control?
To protect people in and around buildings, to ensure the building is fit for purpose and also to help ensure that people get what they think they are paying for and will be problem-free.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
I happen to know that you have some interesting pastimes outside of building control. Can you elaborate on those a little?
Motorbikes were my first love and this never goes away, I started hang-gliding at the age of 22, only leaving the sport due to a whiplash injury at the age of 45. I then tried microlighting and gained a three axis licence and have had two planes, however it didn't replace the feeling of freedom that thermal flying gives you so gave it up. But I enjoyed it and was glad of the experience. I love the outdoors, walking, doing Offa's Dyke, Hadrian's Wall along with the Inca trail in Peru.
Skiing and diving are on the list too. I now have two road motorbikes - one for touring, Europe, Scotland and Ireland having visited a number of times. I also have a bike for track days and a trial bike for fun, oh and I also have Eric my Harris Hawk who is 27 years old this May. Sorry this column is my largest!
P.S. I did the Liverpool half marathon last May with only five training runs from scratch due to a sprained ankle. Nothing in the last four weeks - it took me 2 hrs 34 mins but I made it! This may be my one and only...