Natalia Albert is the Manager, Minerals Operations in the Building, Resources and Markets team at MBIE. She hales from across the globe but has been in New Zealand for the last eight years and for the last six months she has been leading the minerals team at MBIE.

The mineral operations team is responsible for overseeing the assessment, allocation and monitoring of developments of the Crown Mineral Estate, an important regulatory function for New Zealand.

Natalia recently saw the opportunity to solidify some of her vast regulatory knowledge by undertaking the Government Regulatory Practice Initiative (G-REG) Level 3 Core Knowledge New Zealand Certificate in regulatory compliance qualification.

Natalia joined the first MBIE Wellington cohort when it was established earlier this year and is currently halfway through completing the qualification.

“The option of studying in a cohort has transformed my experience with G-REG – I knew the self-study option was not something that was going to work for me because of the way I like to learn.

“The flexibility with having cohorts and the boot camps that are offered has been so helpful. If I miss a cohort session I know I can just head to the next boot camp.

“One of the things that really helped was the open and honest conversations that happen in your cohort, the first session everyone could relate to the anxieties of the test format.”

Natalia also found by undertaking the qualification, she could better understand how to support her team while they work their way through the qualification.

“Now that I am doing the qualification myself it has been easier for me to understand the challenges my team face throughout studying for the qualification; juggling time, working through the modules, and taking on the tests at the end.”

As well as helping her team, Natalia has found G-REG has helped build relationships with colleagues in other teams around MBIE.

“One of the best parts has been meeting new people in the cohorts. I’ve buddied up with someone in my cohort, we get together with snacks to do each module and support each other through.

“The best part overall though has to be passing the modules, its feels so satisfying!”

If you’d like to implement learning cohorts in your organisation and would like some tips on how to do so please contact the G-REG Programme Manager – Andrea Loughran – and she will point you in the right direction.

Natalia Albert is the Manager, Minerals Operations in the Building, Resources and Markets, MBIE