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Beyond compliance – bringing supply chain partners together to help raise standards

“To make a sustainable difference through our supply chain, we’re taking the conversation beyond compliance. Our supply chain partners share our appetite to improve, and we want to engage them in our journey to new levels of ESG maturity. Through our new Service Provider Forum, we’re bringing everyone together in open, honest and ambitious discussion – focusing on how we can help and equipping them to drive positive change, sharing all that we have.”

Fiona Liddell, Head of Risk Management, Serco Middle East


In 2021, our colleagues in Serco Middle East hosted their first Service Provider Forum – a new and important fixture in the regional calendar, launched to bring supply chain partners together to share knowledge and best practice and collaborate in raising standards.

This inaugural event was held during Serco Zero Harm Week, on a day dedicated to safety and ethics culture. Serco Contract Managers, Directors and key members of the Serco Middle East health and safety and compliance communities, plus a selection of specialist guest speakers, joined service provider representatives in a full day of workshops covering such topics as ‘just culture’ and our Supplier Code of Conduct, and toolkits such as the new Serco Contractors Handbook, launched at the event. Also on the agenda was an awards ceremony recognising service providers who have made an exceptional contribution in supporting Serco’s Zero Harm Vision.

“We are all learning more every day and must make this journey together,” said Fiona Liddell. “Smaller companies don’t always have the budgets and resources to implement fancy reporting systems, but they want to do the right thing, want to learn, and want to be better. They don’t know who to turn to sometimes, and we can help them. This isn’t about catching people out, casting them aside and leaving them behind, it’s about seeing beyond compliance to where a little understanding and support can make a lot of difference – working with our supply chain to raise awareness and help put in place procedures to support change and maturity across safety, ethics and compliance.”

After the challenges of Covid-19, which Serco came through with service provider support, for Fiona it felt like exactly the right time to come together as a strong group, face-to-face, to discuss these important topics.

“They absolutely loved it,” says Fiona. “Our whole agenda came alive. The atmosphere was buzzing – positive, personal, and passionate. The sense of purposeful momentum and community was tremendous.”

The Serco team learned just as much as their guests:

“It was an unprecedented opportunity for Serco and our service providers – including key personnel we rarely have opportunity to engage with – to get to know each other better. As a community, we opened up about the problems we all face, sharing our respective everyday realities. Everyone was gladly forthcoming and transparent. We touched on some really important issues as sensitive subjects rose to the surface.”

The Service Provider Forum events for 2022 are building on this success, targeting different areas of focus and associated groups of supply chain partners and internal stakeholders. All participants are eager for more. For Fiona, it’s an opportunity to shape a powerful legacy for Serco in the region:

“It’s a real game changer. We’re stronger together and there’s nothing that’s unreachable.”