To be continued …
ROBIN JONES, president of the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Saiosh), discusses continuing professional development (CPD)
If you don’t know about earning CPD points, you are missing out on a great tool available to all occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals. In fact, it is not only a tool to self-improvement, but a requirement of your registration as an OHS professional.
The world is changing all the time and the field of OHS is no exception. Very simply, when we talk about CPD we are recognising the fact that we have to keep ourselves up to date with new developments.
Why do members need to earn CPD points?
Members should strive through their own personal initiative to maintain their professional competence, and keep abreast of emerging issues and trends in the field of OHS.
Members contribute to the development of the profession through the sharing of skills and ideas and by participating in networking, to promote and enhance the competence of the profession.
It is a requirement for Technical (TechSaiosh), Graduate (GradSaiosh) and Chartered (CMSaiosh) members to complete CPD points in line with the policy. It is, however, recommended that members at all levels undertake CPD to ensure improved knowledge and enhanced skills, as well as to develop personal qualities to ensure professional execution of their duties throughout the field of occupational health and safety.
It is important to note that failing to complete CPD could result in members being deregistered. A true professional who regularly undertakes CPD could quite easily move from one industry to another. Of course, the true professional realises that he or she will have to learn all over again about the new industry.
How does CPD work?
Reading is an easy way to improve your knowledge. It can be as easy as reading this SHEQ Management magazine for new information, views and research on a number of topics.
You can also attend conferences or CPD workshops. Saiosh conducts CPD workshops in five major centres. These are free to members and can be booked on line. The next round of Saiosh talks and workshops start in October (check the Saiosh website diary for more information). At these workshops, knowledgeable speakers discuss the latest news and developments.
There are, of course, a number of other ways to earn CPD points. For example, you may complete another qualification, attend a short course, do some research, or write an article for a magazine. To get more details on how to earn CPD points, visit the Saiosh website, click on “Professional Membership” and then click on the “CPD Policy”.
Here you can log in to your profile and fill in the necessary details. It is important to update your profile as soon as you earn points. An even easier method is available at the Saiosh CPD workshops. When a member has registered for a workshop and signs the register on arrival, their CPD points will be automatically uploaded onto their profile. They will then receive an SMS to confirm that the points have been accredited to their file!