Branches need to run effectively according to IOSH's by-laws and consider how they can support the Institutions aims and objectives. In particular, the branch needs to be at the heart of supporting members. This is likely to become more important as the new routes to membership bed in and members need help with IPD and preparing for the peer review interview.
The branch plan has been put together to ensure that we're fully prepared to meet those expectations and needs. The plan has three headings 'Members', 'Raising profile and influence' and 'Branch officer development and succession'. Some of the topics included fit into both the 'Members' part of the plan and 'Raising profile and influence.
We will provide mentoring and coaching sessions to help members with their IPD or CPD and prepare them for peer review interviews and Fellowship applications. We will contact each member once a year by mailing out the branch programme. We'll explore other opportunities for staying in contact with those members who don't attend meetings.
This can be difficult, but we need to keep on board any member who can and do influence health and safety at any level. Members need to feel there's value in being a member of IOSH, and this is where the branch can play its part. We plan to develop our webpages to maximise the information available to members and others. The website is an important communication tool for members who are unable to attend branch meetings.
Raising profile and influence
IOSH has worked hard to raise its profile in the media which has led to numerous opportunities for committee members to contribute to TV, radio, newspaper and magazine coverage. We need to look for more opportunities to comment on or correct articles in the local media. We'd like to ask members to draw to the attention of branch, district or section committee members any article which they feel we should respond to.
Of course raising profile and influence is more than just dealing with the media. We need to do this with our own members, businesses and anyone affected by poor health and safety management in the workplace.
With the support of Districts and the Public Services Section, a successful conference could be run by the branch. We could also co-host a conference in partnership with neighbouring branches.
The branch webpages should be designed to provide useful information and lead interested parties to other sources of help and assistance.
Many trade union officials and safety representatives are members of IOSH. They play a valuable and often vital role in health and safety in the workplace and we should work towards stronger connections with them.
Although communication and consultation with the HSE takes place centrally through IOSH Groups and other committees, we should make more effort involve local HSE inspectors in the branch.
Branch officer development
To make sure that the branch continues to run effectively, we need committee members who are able to support the aims and objectives of the branch and the Institution and help to implement the branch plan. This means we need to encourage members of the branch to join the branch, district or Public Services Section committees. Existing committee members need to help new members to understand what they need to do. Sometimes we may need to organise training for some or all committee members.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions expressed on this webpage are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).