Inclusivity and Diversity

A large number of fuel and oil samples are unpacked and handled on a daily basis prior to testing in our Rotterdam Laboratory. This work requires speed, accuracy and good communication with the rest of the team. Several of the staff in the team who have been recruited have severe hearing impairments and they perform this work to a high level of competency. They lip-read colleagues well and operate efficiently and reliably. One of these employees, Monique said: “I feel like I am making a real contribution and that I have a valuable role. And I really enjoy the work atmosphere, communication with the people around me and helping everything run smoothly.”

Prior to these appointments, the lab technicians themselves unpacked the samples, meaning that valuable testing time and resources were being lost. Their arrival has improved efficiency, providing a dedicated resource to unpack the samples arriving daily and provide support to the lab technicians.

These staff were recruited through Particibaan, a Netherlands-based group that helps companies recruit, hire and retain people with disabilities or who have just had a run of bad luck. Particibaan believes in a society in which everyone has a role and everyone can contribute.

Integrity and Impartiality

Integrity & Impartiality are core values within VPS. As a B2B services business, the information and advice that we provide to our customers is all done on the basis of trust. In addition, the ISO17025 accreditation requires an Impartiality Risk Assessment, covering everything from company ownership right through to reporting of results. VPS conducted an Impartiality Risk Assessment which identified the need for a specific training programme for Integrity & Impartiality. The training was designed to maintain our high standards and ensure our activities are conducted in accordance with recognised standards and practices. The training package was built internally, with a Train the Trainer training delivered internally via MS Teams. Face to face training was then delivered by line manager within working teams. VPS Case Studies were created and discussed as part of the training to make it real, including: BQS, Lab/TA, Customer Support, Sales Relationships.

On the VPS Integrity Day held 12th August 2020, over 70% of all VPS staff undertook this training with everyone else being trained by the end of month. The VPS Integrity Day is now an annual event.

IT Security – Cyber Security Awareness

Cybercrime is a serious problem with hackers getting smarter about tricking people into clicking on fraudulent links or opening up malicious attachments in emails. We identified two key cyber security risks that are highly relevant to VPS that we would to prevent with a training program:

  • Phishing for login details and passwords to gain access to our systems and thereby potentially installing ransomware to lock all systems and computers.
  • Malware by clicking on malicious links.

To mitigate these risks and create better IT security awareness, VPS introduced a cyber security training program for all staff, using “Knowbe4” - a world leader in cyber security.

As part of this program VPS ran two simulated phishing security tests to determine our baseline. Our percentage of users who fell for these attacks was 7-12%, which is below an industry benchmark, but still too high. As a first step, an introduction training has started as part of a year-long structured training plan.