“The challenge, reflection and sitting the other side of that table” to become a Chartered Health and safety Professional
To reach this goal I identified through Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) that I required to undertake some further education to enhance my skills, looking at the board issues with risk management in the wider, broader, deeper context that influences systemic failings in serious accidents.
I undertook an IOSH approved distance-learning course with the University of Portsmouth and was awarded my Post Graduate Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health and granted Graduate IOSH member. In the summer of 2014, I applied to IOSH to undertake my Individual Personal Development (IPD) review and undertake the journey to become Chartered Health and Safety Professional. I also made a conscious decision that I wanted more exposure to be able to influence, advise and direct health and safety matters to a business; I wanted to leave my mark.
I left Huawei in Oct 2014 and joined DAEL Telecom to become the group SHEQ manager, a pivotal moment for me in my self-development and career progression. I had fulfilled my initial desire back in July 2011 to become a Health and Safety Professional.
Over the course of 2014 after completing my studies, I continued collecting and submitting my Health and Safety evidence from my previous work at Huawei and my current employer DAEL, into IOSH to complete my IPD. This is the process of applying your studies to your work and identifying, creating, improving systems, for example, to reduce the risk of workplace incidents occurring. This was submitted, reviewed and accepted, and I was invited for my CMIOSH interview in Dec 2015.
Attending the interview, I remember I was nervous and had sweaty hands. Being invited in to meet the panel members was nerve wracking. I was made to feel comfortable by the panel and the process was explained to me by the Chairman. Once informed and happy to continue, the interview started with my presentation of myself to the panel of my career and achievements. Then it was questions on Health and Safety practice, reviewing and I went through my experiences and achievements to date including setting the management systems up and reflecting on my post graduate study. I was able to drawn on this experience as examples to the questions posed.
This was a great experience to achieve this extra milestone in my professional development, becoming a chartered Health and Safety Professional and I would like to thank IOSH for the process and support. During this period, developing meaningful relationships at DAEL has contributed to the success of the business. This was an important turning point for me, that I was being trusted to contribute to making business critical decisions from reasoned and informed knowledge from my professional development. DAEL has supported these achievements while I have been with them and while growing with the company I have implemented more and more systems to measure, monitor and control our risks. When I reflect on this, it is hard to believe what has been achieved in such a short space of time.
As part of my volunteering, wanting to give back to the profession, I was approached, applied and became a panel member for chartered interviews, for IOSH. This is very much a process run by members for members of the institute, aligning with the peer review culture to become a chartered member.
Being a panel member does not get any easier being the other side of the table. The candidate has worked hard to get where they are now and it’s not the panel’s duty to review that journey at this interview. It is to give the opportunity for the candidate to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, experience and personality to the panel against a set of predetermined questions that are selected by IOSH, on that day.
The panel review process is divided into specific question sets. Panel members will in turn ask the candidate questions on an aspect of Health and Safety. The other panel members will be writing notes on the questions asked. It’s a furious forty-five minutes of capturing the important points the candidate makes! The panel reviews the performance of the candidate going through the questions and marks are awarded. The final stage of the panel interview, marks are awarded, collated and agreed by all. A report and recommendation is then made to IOSH.
I still find it a nervous experience, representing my peers and reviewing a candidate before me. I am drawing on my skills, knowledge and experience to the questions posed to ensure the candidate gets an equal chance to show their H&S shop window to us all.Derek Stevenson MSc CMIOSH IMaPS OSHCR PIEMA MIIRSM (September 2018)