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Below are some frequently asked questions about IIRSM's CPD Scheme. To participate in the Scheme you must be a current IIRSM member and be logged in to My IIRSM.
Is the IIRSM CPD scheme compulsory?
The IIRSM CPD scheme is a voluntary one, which will be open to all members at all levels. However, the scheme will eventually replace the existing pathway from full membership to fellowship level and so will, in this sense, be compulsory if a member wishes to become a Fellow or Specialist Fellow of IIRSM. IIRSM CPD will become the career pathway in the future.
How do I demonstrate to my colleagues and the wider health and safety world that I am taking part in the scheme?
Once a Full member (MIIRSM) or a Fellow (FIIRSM) or Specialist Member (SIIRSM) even a Specialist Fellow (SFIIRSM) completes a three year period (starting from the date of your first activity) on the IIRSM CPD scheme, the designatory letters RSP will be issued to indicate that the member is a Recognised Safety Practitioner.
RSP indicates a member is participating in a programme which helps to develop and maintain safety professional skills relevant to the individual’s safety role. RSP will become the benchmark which other safety professionals will recognise and respect.
What is the duration of the CPD cycle?
The CPD cycle lasts for 3 years. In order to maintain your RSP status you must bank a minimum of at least 30 credits over the 3 year period. The 30 credits must be spread across the following 3 sections (each section will require a minimum of 5 points):
Maintenance of Skills;
New Professional Skills; and
I am used to having to complete a development plan but I cannot see an icon to press to upload / complete one.
We will not ask you to show us your development plan as IIRSM takes the view this document is personal to you. We will undertake random audits of CPD activities and this will entail presenting evidence that you have attended the activity and a written confirmation that the benefit you have indicated in your self-reflection was true.
Does the scheme work for Consultants as well as employees?
Yes, the scheme is designed to help every type of health and safety practitioner whether a consultant or employee.
However, Consultants please take note: if you are registered in our database as being a consultant, your CPD record must reflect at least 10 – 15 % related topics to your specialist consultancy fields.
Tell me about the benefits of the IIRSM CPD Scheme
We have designed and launched the IIRSM CPD scheme to help you to develop and maintain safety professional skills relevant to your safety role, as well as helping you to maintain your core health and safety competences. The scheme will help you to focus your efforts on the areas that you feel need development to ensure you remain at the top of your game.
Other organisations use paper based systems – why aren’t you?
IIRSM decided to use an online CPD scheme to enable every member all over the world access at anytime of the day – remember IIRSM has members in over 70 countries worldwide so a scheme that could cater for all our membership was the best choice.
Additionally, making available a simple and user-friendly online scheme keeps in mind the often hectic schedule of the busy health and safety practitioner. Rather than spending time filling out and filing forms, the online CPD scheme means that you’ll be able to spend more time developing as a professional.
Another benefit of participating in the online CPD scheme is that it sends a clear message to your employer (or prospective employer), colleagues and clients that you’re serious about keeping your skills and experience fresh and fit-for-purpose.
I am concerned that I will end up having to attend a lot of expensive courses that I may not be able to afford – is this the case?
No, not at all: CPD isn’t about attending lots of expensive courses. It can comfortably include many of your day-to-day tasks – planning a major project, grappling with a new technical or management issue, participating in Branch meetings or being on a Branch Committee, delivering training or mentoring a colleague in a new role to name but a few – and it's free to join and maintain.
CPD is all about activity, reflection and evaluation and should help you to realise the value of some of the daily activities you carry out for which you may never have given yourself credit. CPD will help you to realise the value of everything you undertake during the course of your professional life and should help you to focus on specific areas of learning as well as maintenance of your core knowledge and skills.
I like the concept but why not make it a compulsory scheme – wouldn’t that have more value?
We at IIRSM feel strongly that there is more benefit to be gained from joining a scheme like this on a voluntary basis. As we mentioned earlier, this scheme will eventually become compulsory as the career route to Fellowship of IIRSM but it is a voluntary scheme open to all levels of membership. The use of the designatory letters RSP will indicate just how serious you are about health and safety and your own professional development.
The whole undertaking ought to be viewed as a two way process. If you participate then you are actively demonstrating to your current employer / prospective employer, or your clients, a proactive approach to maintaining your professional status in the field of health and safety. By volunteering to undertake this course of professional development you are demonstrating a keen and enquiring mind as well as a desire to succeed in what is a very competitive field. IIRSM feels that a compulsory scheme only demonstrates a certain level of coercion rather than your dedication or level of participation.
If you think of the scheme as a resource it should become a useful tool for meeting the demands of a new post, keeping track of ever changing legislation, best practice as well as safety management hot topics.
Furthermore, the IIRSM CPD scheme will be subject to regular audits. We will randomly select a section of participants and write to them requiring evidence of their activities. Those not able to provide evidence will be stripped of their RSP status.
I have a number of qualifications and years of experience – why should I participate in the scheme?
IIRSM recognises that a competent health and safety practitioner is the sum of many parts; therefore, although qualifications and experience are both important there may be areas in which you feel you need to focus that you have not thought about since college or that last exam. Thus, the scheme can also help you to revisit skills that you might not be using a great deal in your current work, or look at in greater depth at the ones that you are using. The simplicity of the scheme means that you do not need to undertake expensive new qualifications unless you decide to.
So the IIRSM CPD scheme won’t be a heavy burden?
No, you should think of it as a methodology which will lead you to thoughtful consideration of all those activities you regularly undertake and the value they have for your own professional development. Only a little bit of time is required to set up your own development plan and then it won’t take much to enter all your learning activities as you go along.
How often should I be updating my CPD plan?
Ideally, you should visit the site every couple of months and reflect using your Outlook calendar. Whether it is a workshop, seminar, training day, writing or reading an article, participating in work related blog or being interviewed - it all has some learning value. Remember, the key to IIRSM CPD is activity, followed by reflection and evaluation – then banking your credits in the appropriate sections. You may enter a CPD record up to 12 months after completion of the activity but should aim to update your record more frequently wherever possible.