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So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

Ok, I admit it – I am showing my nerdy side and the title will mean nothing to those of you who are not a fan of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”. Many of you will realise that I am due to retire on 31st July and so, this is my valedictory blog. Phillip Pearson, my replacement is already working within IIRSM and I know that he has the drive and commitment to continue to take IIRSM forward.

We have come a long way over the past four years; we now have 23 branches up and running in UK and 4 overseas. IIRSM is truly international with members in over 70 countries and with our overseas membership growing at over 15% per annum. We are fully engaged with both our own UK governments and with those of several countries abroad and are now fully immersed in the work of the European Union and on a more global scale, the International Commission on Occupational Health.

We have started to realise our full potential on behalf of you, our members. The appointment of Barry Holt, our first Director of Policy and Research, has led to some ground breaking papers, workshops and publications. Outside agencies want to talk to us and our members because they know that we have a view and insights that are unique to us. Our engagement with the Manchester Business School, Warwick University and Liverpool John Moors University means that we are underwritten by an academic rigour that adds considerable value to what we say and what we do.

Corporate membership, training approval and a comprehensive e-learning package are allowing us to input additional resources into our outreach programs and, importantly, add value to our members. It has, all in all, been a busy, demanding and rewarding four years. We have, as an organisation, come a long way in a short period of time. It is always difficult in any process of change and development to maintain the essential ethos and culture of an organisation. Over the past years I have met and many of you and the feedback I have had is overwhelmingly, that we have succeeded in preserving the feeling of a membership organisation that works for its members; that is open and accessible and is responsive to your needs and concerns.

There is much more in the pipeline and Phillip and the team here in Hammersmith will deliver it. I am sorry to be retiring as your Chief Executive, but it is time. I will take with me the memory of the commitment and enthusiasm of the IIRSM membership who represent the best the profession has to offer. So thank you all for your hard work for the safety and health of others and for your continuing commitment and support for IIRSM. In the words of the late and great Richard Adams, “so long and thanks for all the fish”!

Brian Nimick, (soon to be ex) IIRSM Chief Executive

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