Professionalism and CPD

By NZISM Master account


Kia ora koutou to all members and supporters of NZISM.

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking at the National Health and Safety Leaders Summit and it was wonderful to see the faces of so many of our members in the audience.

I was asked to speak of developments in health and safety; an aspect of this is the ongoing development and professionalisation of our field. We know that health and safety isn't just a checklist or a box-ticking exercise; it's a crucial responsibility that safeguards the wellbeing of our workforces.

To truly elevate this profession and drive our impact, I believe it's important we continue to prioritise continuing professional development.

Why is this important?

The landscape of work is constantly evolving. New technologies, emerging industries, and changing work practices all present fresh challenges. To stay ahead of the curve and ensure the effectiveness of our interventions, we need to be equipped with the latest knowledge and skills. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) allows us to do just that. Whether it's attending conferences, workshops, or pursuing formal qualifications, CPD keeps us abreast of the latest responses to legislation and regulations, best practices, and risk management techniques.

I ask you, when was the last time you truly broadened your knowledge base?

Perhaps there was a recent incident that highlighted a knowledge gap? CPD allows us to identify such gaps and actively address them. This not only benefits our own practice/workforce - it also strengthens our credibility within workplaces and fosters greater respect for our profession.

It's not just about knowledge. The demand for qualified OHS professionals is undeniably growing and we are still facing a shortage of qualified and experienced professionals. Businesses are starting to understand that they need to employ capable, competent people if they want a health and safety team that can actively support the areas within their organisations.

Qualifications are also being seen as increasingly important as a starting base for developing capability and they provide a recognised benchmark of competency and expertise, giving employers confidence in the skills and abilities of health and safety professionals.

At NZISM, we help members build professional networks which can foster collaboration and promote knowledge exchange. Our wide network of members - now over 2,800 - strengthens our collective voice. And when we speak with one voice, advocating for improved safety standards and practices, our message carries greater weight and it allows us to push for legislative changes, influence industry practices, and ultimately, create a safer working environment for everyone.

I encourage you to take an active role in your own development. Identify areas you wish to strengthen, utilise available resources, and set goals for your ongoing learning. A great way to identify gaps in your professional knowledge is via the online self-assessment tool available on NZISM's myCPD platform. To support you there's also a useful Guide to CPD and two recordings in our webinar library: CPD Basics and CPD and Reflective Practice.

Make sure you have signed up as a reader to the free New Zealand Journal of Health and Safety Practice (NZJHSP) which will help you stay up to date with new developments and trends, and also take time to share your insights with colleagues through our NZISM networks. CPD isn't a chore: it's an investment in yourself, your career, and in the wider profession. We can ensure its continued relevance, build stronger credibility, and make an impact on creating a safer and healthier future for Aotearoa New Zealand's workforce.

Ngā mihi

Robyn Bennett