By NZISM Secretary
Kia ora koutou members and supporters of NZISM. This week officially marks five years since I joined this wonderful organisation and I couldn’t be prouder of the progress we have made. When I stepped into the role, I had no experience working in health and safety. There was such a huge learning curve to conquer. I was very aware of my limited ability to speak on behalf of the profession. Thankfully I had Greg Dearsly as President by my side, who fulfilled the role of member representative and H&S expert for NZISM.
Five years on, we continue to have our President represent our members and be the voice of the profession. While I have come a long way in terms of my knowledge of the profession, I continue to defer to our President and expert, Robyn Bennett, to speak on matters where a H&S professional and their knowledge is required.
Experience in the industry won't necessarily provide the depth of technical knowledge or ability gained from formal qualifications. Over the last five years, I have witnessed this understanding transition from something we in the industry acknowledge, to being much more broadly accepted. While there is still some way to go, many job adverts for H&S roles, now require applicants to possess (or be studying towards) a relevant qualification in the Health and Safety discipline.
This is an important step in our journey to being accepted as a formal profession, which is how I want H&S Practitioners and Professionals to be recognised. Whether you wear work boots every day on-site, or a suit to an office, the body of knowledge required to do your job, along with the ethical code of practice we operate within, and the continuing professional development we undertake, are all moving us towards recognition as a formal, respected profession.
We are well on our way, and you have yourselves to thank for that. The hard mahi undertaken by so many of you to achieve recognition of your skills through formal qualifications is something to be proud of. Over the last five years, the number of accredited members has risen by 85%. Just look at the number of members we celebrate every month in our newsletter for achieving accreditation - approx. 14 members every single month. That, in itself, is something we should all celebrate. Well done NZISM whanau.
Thank you for joining the Women in Safety Excellence (WISE) network.
We hold various online and face-to-face events throughout the year and if one occurs near you, we would love to meet you in person.
LinkedIn - Please make sure you join our LinkedIn group to stay connected and on top of our planned webinars and events. We encourage you to post anything in the WISE group page that you think other network members would find useful or inspiring. Please don't be shy. The more we reach out, the more we connect with each other, and the more we can help each other on our journeys.
We might send you the occasional email but our web page on the NZISM website is always the best place to go for an overview of what's coming up in the WISE calendar.
Margaret van Schaik