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Clark34486  
#1 Posted : 25 April 2017 12:04:10(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

EHS practitioners are obsessed with 'qualifications', that's the perception many seem to have of us.

I currently work for a statutory EHS director who has no formal H&S quals at all and he sees 'us' as neanderthals. I took umbridge to this initially and I still think quals are fundemantal to the whole 'make up' of a competent practitioner augmented by; experience, knowledge etc.

He remarked the other day 'I had a H&S consultant come in to see me, he handed me his buisiness card and had so many letters after his name that I asked if I needed to turn it over to check the back'

I'm passionate about my job, I'ms so fortunate to be in a profession that I wouldn't change for all the tea......

Do we put too much emphasis on formal quals?

Edited by user 25 April 2017 12:24:41(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 1 user thanked Clark34486 for this useful post.
Martin Fieldingt on 26/04/2017(UTC)
hilary  
#2 Posted : 25 April 2017 12:16:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
hilary

I think you need enough qualifications to be taken seriously, but enough is sufficient.

After that it comes down to experience, common sense and being able to see both sides of an issue.

stonecold  
#3 Posted : 25 April 2017 12:30:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Good luck to anyone trying to get a decent job in EHS within a decent, recoginsed qualification. Maybe your boos takes umbridge becuase he hasnt any qualifications himself. 

Clark34486  
#4 Posted : 25 April 2017 12:37:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

Originally Posted by: stonecold Go to Quoted Post

Good luck to anyone trying to get a decent job in EHS within a decent, recoginsed qualification. Maybe your boos takes umbridge becuase he hasnt any qualifications himself. 

We are recruiting H&S 'advisor' roles and the manager doesn't look at quals at al and does not see them as a requirement (albeit there will be investment in the individuals)

peter gotch  
#5 Posted : 25 April 2017 13:19:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

My email signature has neither quals or membership.

My calling cards have quals but don't list memberships.

My CV has both, and fairly essential to winning work. We work for major clients who want some gravitas.

thanks 1 user thanked peter gotch for this useful post.
garyclarke84 on 26/04/2017(UTC)
WatsonD  
#6 Posted : 25 April 2017 13:40:28(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
WatsonD

Stonecold is right; your employer may not value quals because he doesn't have any himself. If he prized these above all else then, he would effectively be discrediting himself.

Personally I feel that my quals add credence to my experience - and vice-versa. However, I am sure we could all accept that we are all more than just our qualifications, and it is possible to be good at what you do without them; albeit a darn site harder to prove to prospective employers.

After all would you want a trained surgeon to operate on you- or an untrained one?

Clark34486  
#7 Posted : 25 April 2017 13:48:48(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

Really interesting discussion guys

thank you for the responses so far

David Bannister  
#8 Posted : 26 April 2017 10:23:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
David Bannister

Surely it depends on the role.

A manager of a team of specialists need not have qualifications in each specialism but certainly needs management skills. A H&S administrator may not need a higher level H&S qualification.

However I would require an ergonomist/occ hygienist/crane engineer/ventilation engineer/medic etc to posess relevant specialist qualifications along with the other expected qualities.

cres  
#9 Posted : 26 April 2017 13:04:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
cres

I think qualifications are just a proof of knowlege gained to a set standard some quals are theory and some may be practical. Yes we can prove competancy in other ways by work experience ect but that can be hard to produce evidence easily and fit on a CV. So yes sometimes someone will work up with in a company to a certain position without formal quals as they have demonstrated their knowlege and skills to their employers over time and technically still got the same level of knowlege / skills. Its just not always easy to prove that to the big wide world I guess NVQ is the closest but its still a qualifcation. 

So I dont think we put too much emphesis on qualifications it has just become the easy / standard way of proving what you know. Industry too has grown confidence in the qualification standards so that if someone has a ceertain level of qualifation then they should work to that standard. Although I  will be the first to admit I have come across some shocking / sub standard work from some CMIOSH individuals so its not always perfect. :) 

Shopland23872  
#10 Posted : 29 April 2017 12:34:41(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Shopland23872

Qualifications are very useful to get you to the interview, but after that, an employer or client wants to know that we can actually do the job. People who are well qualified but have very little experience in the role will not really impress a potential employer or client because they will always want someone who can hit the ground running. You need to ask yourself if a highly qualified person with no experience (through no fault of their own) could actually solve problems on site when they arise. This is where experience completely blows qualifications out of the water
Clark34486  
#11 Posted : 02 May 2017 11:39:59(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

On to new pastures so the problem is now fixed, albeit not for my colleagues left behind sadly

Mr.Flibble2.0  
#12 Posted : 02 May 2017 14:57:22(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Mr.Flibble2.0

I have been doing Health & Safety for around 20 years and I have worked in various roles and industries. I only have the General and Construction certs which I did back in 2001. Despite all the experience and knowledge I have the moment mention that I don't have diploma and I’m not CMIOSH in a room with other H&S Managers I get a look that says I am unworthy to be a room with them or I don't know what I’m talking about, that i am there junior in some way even though I have much board experience and more practical knowledge.

There is still a snobbery around what qualifications you have in H&S. I currently work for a large global transport company and the Group H&S Director has no H&S qualifications. H&S is not just about knowing everything there is to know about H&S.

thanks 2 users thanked Mr.Flibble2.0 for this useful post.
aud on 03/05/2017(UTC), Martin Fieldingt on 21/06/2017(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#13 Posted : 02 May 2017 16:12:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Qualifications do two things the provide a summary of what you might know and demonstrate willingness to learn,  as to get and keep something like CMIOSH means you have to keep upto date with your knowledge  through CPD.

I can believe that someone can be fully capable of  being a Health and Safety professional without any formal qualification in the subject but in that case, it is upto them to prove that they know what they are talking about. On the other hand I can assume that someone with formal qualifications will have some understanding of the subject of H&S. That assumption might be proven wrong but I would give them the benefit of the doubt until they cocked it up. 

RayRapp  
#14 Posted : 03 May 2017 15:19:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
RayRapp

Qualifications alone do not maketh the man...but I'm always suspicious of those who poo hoo them. They are an indicator to a person's knowledge, although a lot of weight should be given to experience as well. I have a fair smattering of post-nominals which I have earnt. I don't wear them like medals on my chest and similar to Peter's post, I only use them on my business card and CV, not on my email signature. 

chris.packham  
#15 Posted : 03 May 2017 15:29:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

My concern with qualifications is whether they indicate competency in any one particular aspect of  the very broad field that is occupational health and safety. I have no formal qualifications in health and safety, nor do I feel any of them would be relevant, or indicative of my 37 years experience, study and knowledge in my specialist field. I encounter many with qualifications such as CMIOSH, CMFOH, etc., whose knowledge of my particular field leaves much to be desired.

I am not disparaging formal qualifications such as CMIOSH themselves. I regard these in the same way as I regard the qualifications that my GP has. They confirm that he has a basic knowledge of medicine. However, I would be somewhat worried if he started to suggest he carried out brain surgery on me. I would want a specialist for this! (Fortunately, mine is only too happy to send me to a specialist if he feels this is advisable. Great doctor in whom I have full trust.)

Chris

stonecold  
#16 Posted : 04 May 2017 06:28:46(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stonecold

Hmmm, interesting to see that some of the people who make somewhat negative comments in regard to a need for a proffesional qualification are the people who dont actually have any. (Not all comments before I get lynched, Im just referring to a couple on this thread.)

And qualification snobbery?...give me a break....The only people who ever mention qualification snobbery on here are the ones who dont actually have any qualifications. Go figure.

If you are in safety as a profession I beleive you should go out and get a relevant proffesional qualification. (proffesional qualification = Dip, Degree, high level nvq etc.)

I have the dip and most of the lower level NEBOSH quals, while my boss has a safety related masters degree. I beleive if you do safety as a profession, proffesion quals are important. Dont be lazy go out and get some!

This approach works for us. Please note, this is just MY OPINION :)...the days of me arguing on here are long gone x

Edited by user 04 May 2017 06:37:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Clark34486  
#17 Posted : 05 May 2017 10:39:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Clark34486

From my perspective I have seen the outcome of senior level 'line managers' driving H&S which is doomed to fail or in some cases utterly wrong, it worries me and ultimately rather than continuing to 'cry' about it i've done something about it

I vow never to put myself into this situation again

shell56006  
#18 Posted : 05 June 2017 13:54:46(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
shell56006

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

EHS practitioners are obsessed with 'qualifications', that's the perception many seem to have of us.

I currently work for a statutory EHS director who has no formal H&S quals at all and he sees 'us' as neanderthals. I took umbridge to this initially and I still think quals are fundemantal to the whole 'make up' of a competent practitioner augmented by; experience, knowledge etc.

He remarked the other day 'I had a H&S consultant come in to see me, he handed me his buisiness card and had so many letters after his name that I asked if I needed to turn it over to check the back'

I'm passionate about my job, I'ms so fortunate to be in a profession that I wouldn't change for all the tea......

Do we put too much emphasis on formal quals?

Its the opposite for me sadly - I want to gain more qualifications in the H&S field but my employer is not interested - even asked could i do an NVQ level 5  and fund it myself if he would allow the tutors to come onsite and look at my work - answer was a swift no - you have your Nebosh thats good enough for me - but for me to develope in h&S i need more than a Nebosh general Cert surely?

Edited by user 05 June 2017 14:24:08(UTC)  | Reason: grammer

JohnW  
#19 Posted : 05 June 2017 14:30:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
JohnW

Originally Posted by: Clark34486 Go to Quoted Post

I currently work for a statutory EHS director who has no formal H&S quals at all and he sees 'us' as neanderthals.

So, ask him, in the event of a workplace fatality, what he would say to a court judge who stated that there was insufficient evidence of competence in H&S management.

O'Donnell54548  
#20 Posted : 21 June 2017 11:41:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
O'Donnell54548

The Health & Safety profession is not alone in seeking those with academic qualifications. Many positions are advertised as requiring someone educated to Degree Level, all though this does not have to be in a related subject to the job role??????? 

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