In my last post I mentioned that I had just completed the peer review interview for Chartered Membership of IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. I was notified yesterday that I was awarded my professional grade and am now CMIOSH. It felt pretty good - I have been working towards this for many years and it was good to be recognised as a safety professional by my peers in the industry internationally. A real confidence-booster, that!
So, what does it mean for my practice? Not a great deal, on one hand, but on the other, potentially quite a lot. It doesn't change the way I work, creating fit for purpose health and safety management systems. It doesn't change my deep desire to contextualise safety practices to particular workplaces and cultural expressions (I am currently exploring with a client what safety management looks like in a Maori cultural setting and it's wonderfully challenging and exciting - I am learning a lot!). It doesn't change my passion for good root cause analysis of accident factors and strong corrective actions that are aimed at organisational factors, good contractor management practices and so on. It doesn't change my need to keep growing and expanding my safety knowledge - a lifelong practice.
What it may change is the possibilities. New doors may open because I am CMIOSH that were closed to me before. New opportunities may arise. I can work professionally anywhere in the world now, and CMIOSH has a professional standing that is understood almost everywhere.
The interesting thing is that I have often found when I've completed a major process, such as getting my degrees or GradDipOSH, that either just after finishing or at graduation there was a tremendous sense of let-down and loss. It was over. All that hard work, done. Nothing to take its place. I don't feel that about CMIOSH. Instead, I sense possibility. Newness. Opportunity. I trust that I am honest and courageous enough to open myself to those possibilities, and grow in my understanding and practice of health and safety so that I can help my clients to send their people home safe to their loved ones, every day.
We will see.