Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

Author Bio ▼

Ian joined Informa (formerly UBM) in 2018 as the Editor of Safety & Health Practitioner. Ian studied journalism at university before spending seven years in online fantasy gaming. Prior to moving to Informa, Ian worked in business to business trade print media, in the automotive sector. He was Online Editor and then moved on to be the Editor of two publications aimed at independent automotive technicians and parts distributors.
December 6, 2019

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‘People are now looking for professionals that not only have technical skills, but also core skills, and behavioural skills’

In the latest of its Safety Bytes videos, Irwin & Colton meets with IOSH’s Head of Practice Duncan Spencer, to discuss its new Competency Framework.

Duncan said that IOSH has introduced its new competency framework to enable health & safety professionals to be able to benchmark themselves against their peers. “The competency framework is required, because we need a map for professionals to be able to say, where is my skill set compared to other people in my profession? And what do I need to change about my skill set in order to be able to progress my career?”

The framework with enable health and safety professionals to do two things. “Firstly, to be able to benchmark where their skills currently are, and whether that operates for them well. It will also enable you to look at what’s next? If I want to go for the next job in the career structure, or maybe two jobs at once and go for a big leap, then I’ve got to make sure that I develop the skills for the job that I want in the future.”

Duncan goes on to discuss whether technical skills are becoming less important. “I don’t think you can say that the pendulum is swinging away from technical skills. Because technical skills are always going to be needed. It’s the foundation of any OSH professional’s role. And indeed, there are new skills within our competency framework that haven’t been there before. There are new skills around sustainability, for example, and human capital.

“I do think it’s true to say that what employers are now demanding of OSH professionals is changing. We’re working in this hugely rapidly changing business environment, that everybody is having to flex. Everybody is having to change.

“Effectively, people are now looking for professionals that not only have the technical skills, but they also have the core skills, and the behavioural skills as well. They need to have people who can also make changes happen in the workplace.”

The framework, Duncan says, can also help when recruiting. “I think that will help everybody. It’ll help the employer, because they can use the competency framework to be able to define exactly what they want in a job description. It’ll help the recruiter to be able to help the employer to identify the skill sets that they actually need from those individuals. And it will help our members and others, because they will also know what those competencies are about. They will already have benchmarked themselves against those things and have tried to get achievements in and around those areas in order to be able to progress their career set.

“So, it means that everybody then starts to speak the same language. And hopefully, we’re going to be able to raise the calibre of the profession and the ability of people to be able to contribute to their organisation’s success.”

Click here for more information on IOSH’s competency framework.

Irwin & Colton is a specialist Health and Safety recruitment company, based in the South East of England and recruit across the UK. They recruit all roles in the health and safety industry from Health and Safety Advisor, through to Health and Safety Director positions.

Click here for more Safety Bytes.

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Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
Nigel Evelyn-Dupree
7 months ago

Now there is an interesting shift in the balance between safety and health and, couldn’t help but notice, the sign on the wall that coincidentally, looks forward to 2022 when the WHO anticipates the release it’s 11th review of their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) including Mental Health Standard.