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New routes to membership
We're broadening out our routes to membership in recognition of the breadth of knowledge and people involved in managing risk well.
Experience, business insight and leadership skills are equally important as qualifications. Our new routes to membership have a pathway for everyone - from those starting out in their careers to those already leading the way.
Our members, at all levels, play a pivotal role in building safe, healthy and resilient organisations. They're not just health, safety and environment people, nor are they simply experts in quality, insurance, security, compliance and audit. Instead, they work in all these fields – and more – to bring integrated risk decision making to their organisations.
Technical ability is essential, but equally important, are business insights and our behaviour. All three are required to be able to make a positive impact. This is backed up by the research we carried out which informed the development of our Risk Management and Leadership Competence Framework, which underpins our new routes to membership.
The new routes recognise the breadth of roles and expertise involved in the effective management of risk, and that we do not all have access to the same learning opportunities or take the same career pathways, as these depend on our geographical location and the type and size of organisation we work for. However, everyone should have the opportunity to join and benefit from being part of a professional community and progress through our membership structure as their skills, competence and experience advances.
Qualifications are important and they demonstrate an individual’s knowledge; however, they don’t always reflect how they ‘apply’ that knowledge or their evolving competence and experience. The new routes are more inclusive, enabling someone to join and upgrade based on their qualifications and / or by demonstrating their skills, experience and competence within their area of work.
We believe diversifying our membership and being more inclusive provides richer learning and networking and reinforces the need for all risk fields to work collaboratively to drive integrated risk decision making.
Student, Affiliate and the new Fellowship process introduced last year remains unchanged. We will continue to recognise qualifications, but are introducing competency-based routes recognising experience, skills and competence.
The new competency-based routes require a member to demonstrate how they meet several risk competency areas and leadership behaviours as set out in IIRSM’s competency framework. The number and attainment level depends on the grade of membership being applied for. We are also broadening out the qualification subjects we recognise reflecting the breadth of fields involved in the effective management of risk.
The competencies and behaviours within the framework are presented in a generic way so they can be interpreted and applied to different areas of practice, specialism and to different geographical locations. It is important that you apply them within the context of your own area of work. For example, a HSE professional within manufacturing working in the UK will apply their skills, knowledge and experiences differently to a compliance officer within Healthcare in Singapore.
New members joining will not be able to join as a Specialist Member or Specialist Fellow. The merged membership structure of Associate, Member and Fellow recognises the breadth of expertise and specialisms involved in the successful management of risk. However, existing Specialists and Specialist Fellows can remain or transfer free of charge to Member or Fellow, respectively.
How to become an Associate
To become an Associate, the scope of your role will typically be operational in nature, using your expertise to make a positive impact on day to day activities, contributing to function output such as supporting the development of policies and processes and providing advice to stakeholders on projects and operations in support of overall organisation objectives.
At present, to become an Associate you require a health & safety academic or professional qualification at level 3 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) or equivalent. Please note, we also recognise non regulated qualifications.
The qualification route remains unchanged; except, we will recognise more risk-related qualifications.
Or, you will be required to demonstrate a minimum of 2 years’ experience and how you meet at least 3 risk competency areas and 3 leadership behaviours at Operational level as set out in IIRSM’s Competency Framework.
How to become a Member
To become a Member, typically, you will think strategically, but lead operational change and policy development working with a wide range of stakeholders. You will use your expertise to drive change that positively impacts the organisation to better manage its risks. You may lead a risk function, or a business function with some risk management responsibilities.
At present, to become a Member you require a health & safety academic or professional qualification at level 4 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) or equivalent.
We will be introducing two additional routes to become a Member and changing the current qualification route.
Qualification & Experience Route
If applying via this route, you will be required to demonstrate how your knowledge, skills and behaviours meet at least 3 risk competency areas and 4 leadership behaviours at Managerial level, as set out in IIRSM’s competency framework, as well as have a level 4 risk-related qualification.
Experience Assessment Route
If applying via this route, you will need to demonstrate how your knowledge, skills and behaviours meet at least 4 risk competency areas and 5 leadership behaviours, again at Managerial level.
To apply via the amended qualification route, you will be required to have at least a level 5 qualification on the RQF or equivalent. Please note, we also recognise non regulated qualifications and will be recognising more risk-related qualifications.
Transitional arrangements for current members
Click on the link that best describes you to read the transitional arrangements we have put in place from the launch of the new routes.
I am a current Associate wanting to upgrade to be a Member
As an existing Associate, you have until 30 June 2021 to upgrade to be a Member based on the current requirements - i.e. having a level 4 qualification. Alternatively, you can upgrade using the two new routes, once launched.
Please note, from 1 July 2021, all new routes will apply.
I am a current Specialist Member
As an existing Specialist Member, you can choose to remain a Specialist Member or transfer for free to be a Member. We will process the change and send you a new membership certificate and card.
Also, as an existing Specialist Member, you have until 30 June 2021 to upgrade to Specialist Fellow. From 1 July 2021, all upgrades will be to Fellow, as we are merging Specialist Fellow and Fellow.
I am a current Specialist Fellow
As an existing Specialist Fellow, you can choose to remain a Specialist Fellow or transfer for free to become a Fellow. We will process the change and send you a new membership certificate and card.
I am a current Member wanting to upgrade to become a Fellow
The current process applies, and no further changes have been made to the new Fellowship process since its launch in May 2020.
Past members wanting to re-join
We are giving previous members up until 30 July 2021 the opportunity to re-join IIRSM based on the current criteria, and, if you are based in the UK, we will also waive the £50 re-join fee. Those outside the UK do not pay a joining fee. So, all you need to pay is your annual subscription. Simply apply online, and if rejoining from the UK, please use the REJOIN21 code to waive this fee.