Update on membership grades review and competency framework

As 2019 draws to a close, we would like to wish all our members an enjoyable holiday season and take this opportunity to provide you with an update on our membership grades review consultation and our new competency framework.  

Membership grades review

You may remember, the first stage of the consultation began with our member survey, which was circulated in October and included a number of questions to inform the membership grades review. We were delighted that nearly 9,000 members completed the survey, which is approximately 20% of our membership and above the average for survey responses for professional bodies.

We will share the results over the coming months, but in the meantime, we are pleased to say that the survey has provided us with lots of useful data. Respondents provided feedback on current membership grades as well as a wide range of other points, including the size of OSH teams, accountability to the Board and CPD undertaken. These insights and many more will be used to scope any potential changes to IOSH membership grades.

In the last couple of months, we have conducted 20 focus groups which provided us with invaluable insights from members, employers, recruiters and education partners. Discussions have provided views on a wide range of issues including attitudes to CPD and IPD, perceptions of certain grades and the need for experience to be factored in.

Our grades@iosh.com inbox has also been busy, with over 350 emails, and many lively discussions on our forums and on social media have provided additional feedback which has all been collated for analysis.

We’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to the consultation, your feedback is invaluable, and this review really matters if we are to ensure that the occupational safety and health profession keeps pace with change. IOSH grades have not been reviewed since 2006 and the workplace has evolved significantly.

The next step is for our independent consultants to analyse all the feedback. There is a huge amount of material to get through and they need to follow a robust analytical process, to ensure that any potential recommendations are clearly evidenced. Please bear with us while we complete this. We will be sharing key findings and you will have another opportunity to contribute to the consultation when we issue our next survey in March 2020, which will be exclusively focused on the membership grades.

A timeline outlining the review process and next steps is available to download.

In case you missed it, we have updated our FAQ document which we hope will answer any questions you may have around the membership grades review. If you have any additional questions, please contact us on grades@iosh.com.

Competency framework

Last month we shared with you the 69 competencies in our updated competency framework.

Based on feedback to date, via our volunteers and a variety of digital platforms including LinkedIn, we are pleased to see many individuals around the world, both members and non-members, are already engaging with the competency framework and commenting on how it reflects the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of the modern OSH professional.

As with anything new, there have been questions too, around levels of competency and how the framework should be applied. We have not yet given guidance on this because we want to carry out a structured consultation process around the grades before mapping competencies. We do have indicative competency framework levels which will be released within Blueprint 2.0 next year, but it is important to note that we are not pre-supposing any links between levels and grades. We will go through a mapping process to link competencies to grades when we know the outcome of the membership grades review. 

In the meantime, we have done our best to answer many of the questions put to us about the competency framework within the updated FAQ.

Applying the competency framework

Our updated competency framework is the precursor to a new professional development toolkit, which will be launched in 2020 with an enhanced suite of practical tools to help guide your skills and career development. This will include Blueprint 2.0, a new CPD scheme and a free Career Hub for members, with access to thousands of learning resources and career planning tools. We are also excited to launch our new IOSH Mentoring platform in January 2020, which will allow members at any stage in their careers to share expertise and learn from one another. 

In the meantime, we have mapped IOSH resources and CPD courses to the framework, making it easier for you to identify which content and training can enhance your understanding of the different areas.

We look forward to sharing our exciting plans with you next year aimed at supporting your professional journey.

And we wish you a safe, healthy and happy year at work in 2020.

Alex Phillimore
Communications Officer 0116 257 3254
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