I’m Will Surman and I work for the Animal and Plant Health Agency and I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for a Civil Service Award. It really is though all down to my team, and not just because they nominated me, but because it’s easy to look reasonably good at your job when you’re surrounded by professional, dedicated, highly-skilled people.
My team work at the border to protect the country last year alone we intercepted over 1000 harmful organisms any one of which could’ve caused real damage to the natural environment or commercial crop production so we really do play a critical role in safeguarding UK biosecurity.
The Inspirational Line Manager of the Year Award
Recognising an outstanding and inspirational individual, of any grade, who has consistently gone above and beyond in demonstrating outstanding management. The winner will:
- embody the values set out in the Leadership Statement
- inspire their colleagues to go above and beyond in delivering their objectives and achieving their potential
- put the development of their team/colleagues at the centre of what they do
Why was Will nominated?
Will has made a measurable benefit to the team at Heathrow, taking the inspectorate from having possible breaches issued by the EU, to being the leading inspectorate in the EU at notifying presence of pests and diseases.
Not only has this boosted morale in the team, but has also meant the inspectorate is now internationally recognised. EU member states and others now often seek advice from the inspectorate in relation to imports. Although this means there has been a 35% increase in workload, the inspectorate were still able to manage above expected inspection rates.
Will was key to motivating the staff in being able to achieve this, and developing procedures that still allowed staff to be flexible. He inspires his colleagues around him by being at the forefront of national imports in relation to Plant Health and provides other inspectors with new and interesting avenues of work to maintain people's interest in their job. He actively seeks out new initiatives and collaborations with international inspectorates and passes on his own personal experience to ensure we are well informed.