After nine months of consultation with members and other stakeholders, the review is now in its final stage.
Since we began the membership grades review in October last year, we’ve done a lot of listening to understand how members and other important stakeholders feel about IOSH’s membership grades, and how they could be improved. Through focus groups, surveys and comments via email, the forums and social media, we’ve gathered a huge amount of feedback and learnt a great deal.
The consultation is now closed and, by the time this issue reaches you, you’ll have received the results of the online membership grades survey we conducted in May, which asked for views on specific recommended changes to IOSH’s membership grades. Although members understandably had questions, we’re delighted that the majority of respondents support the changes we’re proposing.
The review has been an iterative process; at each stage of consultation, we’ve posed questions and the feedback has moved us forward. This approach, combined with a highly engaged member community (a quarter of our members completed the online survey in May), has given us confidence that the final proposed membership structure reflects the views of our members.
You talked and we listened.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed. Ultimately, we’re working together to enhance and shape the future of the OSH profession. The more credible our grades are, the more respect IOSH members will command in the workplace. There’s no denying that the way we work has changed a lot since IOSH’s membership grades were last reviewed in 2006 and, as the Chartered body for OSH, it’s our responsibility to ensure they remain current and relevant.
This review feels even more timely as economies recover from the global pandemic. Employers and employees will be relying on OSH professionals more than ever to navigate the ‘new normal’ in the workplace, so we must ensure that IOSH’s grades reflect the broad range of skills, knowledge and behaviours required to tackle the challenges ahead.
The changes we’re proposing to membership grades would bring clarity to the grade requirements and encourage career progression. There would be more emphasis on competence and greater recognition for the role experience plays, alongside qualifications and knowledge.
Feedback to date suggests that members are ready to embrace change but, of course, the final stage of the review involves a vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) so the decision rests with our voting members. If they vote in favour, the proposal will be submitted to Privy Council and, if approved, the new structure would be implemented in spring 2021.
As I write, the final recommendations are being scrutinised to ensure good governance prior to the AGM vote. Soon, we’ll share the final proposed membership grades structure and explain the methodology behind the mapping of competencies to grades. Until then, if you didn’t have time to read the survey results and latest FAQ last month, I’d urge you to check your inbox for a link in our Connect newsletter.
Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher - IOSH director of professional services