In Your Shoes - Clark Boles

Clark is the owner and Principal Safety Consultant of CBO Associates, a Dundee based company helping businesses of all sizes meet essential standards and industry expected certifications in Health & Safety, Quality, Sustainability, ESG and Business Improvement Solutions.

As a result of our experience and success at CBO many of our clients have come through personal recommendations and satisfied existing clients from a diverse range of sectors across the UK and beyond. We are proud to promote that we still retain our very first customer after 11 years in business.

Clark has over 25 years experience, bringing the best industry knowledge and practices to businesses, ensuring the necessary processes and systems are in place to make a real difference to day-to-day operations.

We work in partnership with our clients, taking the time to understand each business’s requirements and provide bespoke tailored solutions with a focus on helping them become more efficient, productive, and profitable.

If you need advice regarding ISO standards, industry accreditation, net zero carbon initiatives, CDM, risk management, compliance, tenders, PPQ’s, auditing and general business consultancy services, then CBO Associates is ready to serve.

M: 07543 497 938


Storm Isha did not dampen our spirits that morning as we looked out of the room window at Gleneagles Hotel. After a hearty breakfast we battled the elements to our falconry lesson which had to be held indoors. The instructors brought out different birds of prey to the group which provided a firsthand experience – the Eagle Owl was impressive!

Well, it was then back to reality as we headed back home early that afternoon.

I worked from home for the rest of the day catching up with the to do list and emails. A new enquiry came in via email from a new client asking about support with Constructionline Accreditation. After several emails, the new client had signed up to the portal, and then emailed over the login details. This will be actioned next week in line with the customers timeframe.

For the rest of the evening, I was engrossed in a jigsaw.


Not far to travel today as I’m at Cellexus International in Dundee, who are a Biotechnology business. I manage their ISO 9001 Management System and provide full HSE support.

The main task this morning was to management review was scheduled for 09:00 and it was nice to see senior management already on site. The management review finished about two hours later. It was then my responsibility to type up the draft minutes and forward to everyone later that day for their approval.

I then took the opportunity to park the car and get some exercise by walking into Dundee city centre for some lunch. At the least the weather was on my side today.

With lunch out of the way, I headed back to the car and then drove back home to type up the draft management review minutes. It was just after 16:00 that I emailed the minutes to senior management which were then approved within the hour by all stakeholders.

Stopped for dinner, then spent some time preparing for our client teams meeting tomorrow. All the relevant documentation was made ready into zip folders and emailed to the third-party assessor ahead of the meeting.

I did manage to complete the jigsaw from yesterday – not much left to do after the wife had been at it though!


An early start, and after an hour in the home gym I’m ready to face the rest of the day.

A new client that had recently been onboarded had a ‘Major NC’ raised against them from a third-party ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and ISO 45001 surveillance audit in December 2023. The object of the special visit today was to close out that Major finding through the submission of objective evidence. In the short timeframe that I had, all the relevant procedures, internal audits, updates to the legal register and other supplementary work had been completed remotely to address this Major NC.

Both the client and I were ready for the teams meeting at 09:00am. Today the assessor went over the submitted documentation in detail with me. The client provided a technical breakdown of a job pack which seemed to tick all the rights boxes with the assessor. By about 11:00 the assessor had everything they needed to complete the report. The outcome would be known later that afternoon.

I then attended a Peer Lunch and Learn event at the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc on the subject matter of ‘Unleashing Innovation,’ where I met some new contacts and caught up with some old friends.

Headed back home. I had a productive call with John Alexander from Advance Training Solution based in Dundee around training provision and possible interest from some of my clients. Keep it local where you can.

An email drops into my inbox around 16:00 to inform me that the client has been  recommended for continuing Certification as a result of today’s special visit. The assessor did comment that there had obviously been a great deal of effort gone into making the client compliant again. The client now retains my consultancy services for two days per month.

The wife and I go out for a meal to spend some quality time together.


I’m back at Cellexus International in Dundee.

Their annual ISO 9001 Surveillance Audit is scheduled for today. All the internal audits, management review minutes and other supplementary information for today were all approved and signed off by senior management.

Kevin Gunn the Lead Assessor with NQA arrives at 09:00, signed in, and once set up an introductory meeting with all stakeholders took place. It is a full-on day but with years of experience it teaches you to be well prepared for these things. The team stepped up to the task at hand when needed which brought about a successful Surveillance Audit. No quality findings were raised.

Before leaving, I had a quick catch-up meeting with senior management.

When I got home, I had some energy to burn off so I went into the home gym to do my 10,000 steps with ‘Get fit with Rick’. You sit around a lot during third party audits, so doing some form of physical activity helps me to reset.

After dinner I was back working in the home office finishing off a Pre-Construction Phase Plan, Risk Assessment, Method Statement, and other supporting documentation for a project in the central belt. The client has used my services for the last four years.


I kick off the day with an earlier session in the home gym.

My first meeting was at 09:00 with a regular client in Dundee City Centre to go over some changes to their risk assessments, business continuity plan and fire safety documentation. The meeting went well and senior management were happy to take onboard my recommendations.

I was still on time for the next meeting at 11:00 with Pete Richardson from First Aid Perthshire. We arranged to meet at the Tesco car park on the riverside and then walked into the city centre for a proper catch-up at our local coffee shop. The discussion around the delivery of several mental health and first aid courses for my clients in the coming months were finalised. We have known each other for nearly seven years now so it is good to have that trusted friend in business where you can bounce ideas off.

Before the last meeting I had time for a quick lunch, a ‘Peh’ from Clark’s bakery, and a fudge donut from Fisher & Donaldson – my treat to me!

To finish off the week, I had a meeting with Graeme Ross at Greystone Energy [Scotland] Ltd who specialise in the full design and installation of Biomass, Heat Pumps, Solar Thermal and Solar PV energy solutions. I provide external QHSE consultancy, support with tenders, PQQ’s, health and safety documentation and site visits.

I arrived onsite around 13:30, as Graeme was outside on the phone. Being me, I made myself at home and switched on the kettle, while having a look around the new premises. We started talking about our love of cycling before getting down to the business side of things. Over the course of two hours, we focused on what had been achieved to date, existing challenges, and proposed solutions for the next phase of the business. I will now be providing additional support to improve business processes and manage that change across all facets of their organisation – exciting times ahead.

Drive back home to spend some quality time with the wife – It’s been a productive great week!