Alison Lawson - health and safety

Alison Lawson – health and safety

21 Jun 2023

When Alison Lawson received a promotion at work, having the Occupational Health and Safety Practice Level 5 diploma was a requirement of the role – so, having previously completed a NEBOSH qualification with the college in 2015, she signed up for the 18-month programme , which is delivered at the college’s commercial Health and Safety training centre at its Telford campus, in April 2021, completing the qualification in just 11 months! 

Alison, a senior health and safety advisor at Bromford, one of the biggest housing associations in the country, said “I didn’t want to do an online course as I work well in a group setting and wanted the interaction with other people in the class – and having done a previous qualification with the college I was familiar with the style of teaching and support. 

 “There were only three or four other people on the course which meant that we were able to have lots of interaction with the tutor and ask questions in a safe environment. Partway through the course classes were affected by the Covid lockdown restrictions and teaching was switched online, but lessons were delivered on Teams, so I still had contact with others in the group and had one-to-one online sessions with my tutor too. 

 “After each taught module we were given a range of tasks to complete and, whilst there was no set deadline for completion – apart from a requirements to submit all work before the end of the 18-month programme – I set myself an ambitious target of competing all the required tasks before the start of the next module. This enabled me to stay on top of the workload, work on the topic while it was still fresh in my mind and address any queries I had before the start of the next module. 

 “I recognised how disciplined I needed to be to keep on top of the work and fit it around my job and other personal responsibilities, so planned a schedule  and committed time for studying at evenings and weekends and my approach paid off as I was able to complete the course in just 11 months. 

 “As the course is an NVQ, it covered all aspects of managing health and safety policy and practice – including organisational and individual competence, professional development & ethics, behavioural safety, positive safety culture, safety auditing and controlling risks – and showed me how the diversity of the work I was doing in my role aligned with the core principles of the course.  

 “It also improved my corporate knowledge as I had to provide evidence of how the company meets certain criteria and, because I had to relate it to the organisation, I had the opportunity to focus on parts of the business that I wouldn’t have otherwise had direct contact with.   

 “On completion of the Level 5 in May 2022, I was awarded Graduate membership of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in June 2022.  I then took advantage of the opportunity to convert the qualification to the Occupational Health and Safety Practice NVQ Level 6 diploma, again through the college, which I completed in October 2022 and immediately began my journey to Chartered Membership of IOSH which I achieved in May 2023.

“Gaining the qualifications has given me a real sense of achievement, demonstrated my competence as a health and safety professional and increased my confidence. 

“The college has been part of my professional journey since I completed my NEBOSH certificate qualification in 2015 and, with its support, I have demonstrated that whatever your age, committing to continuous professional development through learning and training  can help  you to get to where you want to be in your profession.”