The HSE UK Congress provided us and the delegates with some fantastic discussions on what we are doing well in health and safety and how we can push and improve the profession.
This can only be done with open discussion. Part of that discussion involves the questions put forward to the challenger panel. If you missed the first question it is also available on the Network.
We heard this morning, primarily from Stephanie, about avoiding looking at…well, not avoiding, but not putting qualifications on memberships so high when recruiting. But you only have to spend about 30 seconds scrolling through jobs on LinkedIn to see you can’t get past an Advisor post really without grad, with aspirations to become chartered.
These memberships who I say provide value, 100% agree with that. They are used in a very hierarchical manner, and there is a lot of people with maybe a lot of experience or a lot of talent that don’t have that level six qualification, maybe, to get to that level. They’re just pushed aside. Granted, you’ve got your competency review framework on that, but what else needs to be done to encourage and help recruiters to kind of break that that trend, in a way?
– [Man 2] Primarily, it’s getting somebody around the table and speaking with them to see what they’re about as opposed to the technical bits. But going back to the mentoring bit, that’s an opportunity then for us to then work with them to sort of guide them and steer them and get them on the right qualification base to be that asset to the business. So I don’t think it should be the first and foremost thing that you look at. Yes, you want them to get there, but I think we’ve got to be a bit broader in terms of what we do.
And particularly around bringing more young people into our industry. They’ve probably not had that, but working within a company they could then be put on the qualification route. But you’ve got somebody with some really great personality and skills and got the right attitude to do it for me.
– [Duncan Spencer] Okay, so, and it’s a very reasonable challenge. And one of the things that the…as I’ve talked about already is, if we are going to be regarded as a profession, we have to jealously safeguard our position as being specialists. Otherwise, we will start to lose ground to our sister disciplines and before we know it, we’ll be in a very difficult position.
So in order to be able to do that one of the cornerstones is to make sure that there is some academic rigor behind that. That’s research, we talked about, but it’s also about having the right qualification processes. And a member grade of IOSH is not a qualification. It’s a member grade. So it’s the qualification that sits behind it that is quite important. So that’s a misunderstanding we need to be able to address. And that certainly means that, as a result of this competency framework I’ve been talking about, we’ve also, therefore, announced just after Christmas, that there will be a membership grades review.
Because one of the things that has been fed back through our recent member survey and something we were acutely aware of ourselves is that we haven’t reviewed the member grades for over 10 years, and we need to do that so that we can marry the two together and take good consultation in terms of how we’re going to move forward with that. And yes, that Absolutely includes working in close collaboration with recruitment agencies to make sure that we’re all on the same playing field because we’re all fighting for the same space to achieve the same ends.
So let’s make sure that we’re coordinated in doing that.
– [Anna Keen] Because I think there is definitely a piece…you know, through my experience, it’s a passion project of mine, but there is definitely this understanding from clients, and actually clients, where they might just have one health and safety person and that person leaves, that if they recruit someone with [inaudilbe] they’re getting someone that’s technically qualified and non-technically capable. But that’s falling short.
I mean, that’s why, as a recruitment business, we’re still in business. How do we change that and can we change it quick enough? Because there is…and there’s going to be more of a skill shortage in 10 years’ time as people start to retire out at the end. How do we really get people engaging around this from a client perspective, but also from a professional aspect?
How do we educate those people that don’t know that, you know, they’ve got their diploma, “I’m done now.”? How do we educate them quickly that they need to do more?
– It is a great question and that’s why we need to work with people like you, and your recruitment agency, to be able…because that’s part of the wider picture. It’s not just about trying to educate our different members in whatever we do about, you know, the qualifications, the entry routes into our different membership levels, but having some rigor behind that, having things like codes of conduct and ethics.
And all those kinds of things are really important competency frameworks. All really important is that whole piece and how it comes together has, somehow, over the past 10 years or so, become quite disjointed. And I think, you know, this year is certainly on our agenda that we need to be approaching that. So I think that we’ll be in a very different place in 12 months’ time.