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Callum Irvine MIIRSM
Meet Our Members
Callum is a Director at Deloitte LLP and a Trustee on IIRSM Council
“Since moving from a frankly passive member to an ‘active’ one, I’ve been delighted at the breadth of backgrounds and experience within IIRSM’s membership, and how mutually beneficial the experience of volunteering can be”
In common with many risk management professionals, Callum Irvine’s career in safety and risk began by accident. A chance encounter as the “only manager available” when an environmental health officer came calling sparked Callum’s interest in the subject, launching a career that has seen him rise to senior risk management positions in various industries.
“I’ll admit to having a pretty eye-opening experience with the EHO; I couldn’t believe how much [health and safety] ‘stuff’ there was that I never knew existed; and to this day, don’t take for granted that there might be lots of people in that same position I found myself in – largely oblivious to the world of health and safety! As a result of this visit, the company decided we needed someone to focus on health and safety and I threw my hand up and started my odyssey with the NEBOSH Certificate.”
Having got his feet wet with the NEBOSH Certificate, Callum decided to “jump all in” by immediately enrolling in, and self-funding further learning through the NEBOSH Diploma, which he recalls as a period of “sub-optimal” timing. “A few weeks before the course started, my wife was expecting our first child, I was working full time and studying one day a week too, in addition to being ‘inactively on-call’ for two nights a week with work – I definitely made the most of the hour lunch break at college for a powernap!”
Having begun his health and safety career in the leisure industry, Callum next took up a position with the British Transport Police (BTP), where his role threw up some uniquely challenging issues, not least the question of how to risk assess the introduction of tasers. “It was definitely a conversation I wouldn’t of imagined having a year or two prior; I remember having a meeting with one of the Officers who wanted to share a number of ideas they had on where to shoot the tasers to test them.”
Over the next decade, a number of opportunities opened up for Callum beyond BTP, seeing him take on his first ‘Head of’ role, expand his horizons to cover quality, environment and security across leisure, logistics and hospitality.
His development in industry culminated with a stint as Director of Safety, Security and Environment at Millennium and Copthorne Hotels – where Callum had more of a corporate-governance role than in previous jobs, before he took up his current position at consultancy Deloitte within the risk advisory function of the UK based firm.
Leading a team which advises organisations across all industries, Callum heads up the health, safety and environment practice, and benefits from being immersed in a world of risk. “The core purpose of our risk practice at Deloitte is to help clients succeed responsibly, regardless of the risk ‘topic’ in question. It really is a diverse environment, which both so much to learn and so many similarities between the way the business world approaches various risks – daily contact with specialists from sustainability, cyber, anti-bribery and fraud through to teams shaping the narrative on compliance with medical device regulation means I’m never short of something new to learn from and bring back into my own world.”
It’s this diversity of topics and interests that Callum sites as being particularly relevant to being actively involved in IIRSM. “The great thing about IIRSM is the breadth of perspectives represented by our membership, it’s a constant game of restraining your reflex opinion to offer the ‘answer’ in favour of hearing, and being actively interested in, someone else’s perspective over the same topic – we’ve now a community of over 8,000, and I don’t doubt we paint at least that many mental pictures when we think of what the term ‘risk’ means to us all”
Callum has been increasingly active in contributing to IIRSM. He joined IIRSM’s Education & Training Committee and has played a major part in the development of the new Routes to Membership and the competency framework that underpins the membership grades, culminating in his election to IIRSM Council in 2018.
“I decided to volunteer to help give something back in acknowledgement of the help I’ve had at various stages in my career,” Callum explains. “Since moving from a frankly passive member to an ‘active’ one, I’ve been delighted at the breadth of backgrounds and experience within IIRSM’s membership, and how mutually beneficial the experience of volunteering can be”.