It’s been a long year in the life of the occupational safety and health professional – and a long and demanding year in my life as IOSH president. I’ve taken part in virtual meetings pretty much every day which have brought me into contact with the entire membership, enabling me to share your achievements, celebrate your successes and understand at first-hand your professional concerns and issues. Now, as I hand over to the new President, Jimmy Quinn, I believe the profession is stronger and more relevant than ever.
This may seem paradoxical after a year in which everything has been dominated by a pandemic that has taken away lives and livelihoods. But our members have shone in this moment of need and have demonstrated that our profession is very much alive and kicking, doing all we can to guide businesses and public bodies to work in ways that are healthier and safer, while focusing on the specific challenges thrown up by the coronavirus.
Our forthcoming (virtual) Annual General Meeting is being held on 27 October. In addition to voting on ordinary resolutions, Corporate members are being asked to vote on a Special Resolution to enable a number of small but significant changes to the Byelaws, which have emerged from the Membership Grades Review and ongoing work to enhance the way IOSH supports career development.
Together we can shape an exciting new phase in the development of our profession
I must say that I’ve been impressed by the rigour IOSH has applied to the grades review – I feel that members’ views have really been listened to. The final membership structure reflects a wealth of feedback from the 12-month consultation with members and other key stakeholders and the governance process has been immensely thorough. After careful scrutiny, the Board of Trustees approved the recommended structure and Council have been involved throughout the process. Now it’s time for members to focus their minds on the vote.
The pace of change in the world of work has been quickening and I believe that our profession should not simply react to this, but prepare itself to anticipate the needs of the future. The forthcoming improvements to professional development tools and resources, such as Blueprint 2.0 and the new CPD scheme, will bring an exciting and progressive step change for IOSH members. The changes to the Byelaws are another piece of the jigsaw that will ensure IOSH grades are fit for the future.
Together we can shape an exciting new phase in the development of our profession. I therefore urge all eligible members (Chartered Members, Chartered Fellows, Retired Members and Retired Fellows) to consider this as an opportunity to set the occupational safety and health profession on an upward trajectory for years to come – and to use their vote accordingly.
In some ways, it has never been a better time to be an occupational safety and health professional. We continue to show our ability to work in taxing conditions, and I know that what we’ve done has been valued. While it has been an extremely challenging year for us – both professionally and personally – I’m confident that we can emerge from this terrible time and take courage in looking to a future in which our profession receives the recognition it deserves for the distinctive contribution it makes to the world of work. The vote on the Special Resolution could be instrumental in this.
If you’re eligible to vote in this year’s AGM, please do. And don’t forget, voting closes the day before the AGM.
Andrew Sharman, IOSH president