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Phillip Brown FIIRSM
Meet Our Members
Phill is Head of Risk & Safety at Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre
“Being a member of a recognisable institute with a highly identifiable professional designation has certainly opened doors for me, particularly when I was awarded Fellowship. I have no doubt in my mind that it has helped my successful career progression”
Phillip began his career with the Ministry of Defence in 1989, working in a variety of positions including UK and international security management. Fast forward a decade, he retrained and qualified in safety and risk management, first working in the NHS in safety, risk and security management positions before moving into the theatre industry in 2006 and eventually becoming Risk Management Director for the Ambassador Theatre Group.
“During that time, I created and nurtured a proactive approach to risk management, developing positive changes in theatre working practices before moving onto the newly created industry role for SOLT|UK Theatre,” explains Phillip. “As the inaugural person to hold this role I provide a consolidated and effective industry voice to represent the collective interests of SOLT & UK Theatre membership in relation to risk, safety and technical management. It gives me the unique opportunity to have direct dialogue with hundreds of theatre operators, employees and other stakeholders such as the Health and Safety Executive and The National Counter Terrorism Security Office.”
A member of IIRSM for more than 20 years, Phillip was introduced to the Institute when he joined the NHS in the late 90s. One of his line managers was a member and suggested Phillip joined when he started his professional qualifications in risk management. “I felt personal and professional recognition was important when newly qualified,” he continues, “it gave me professional status with an internationally recognised institute right at the start of my career and has been part of my professional life ever since.
“I find being a member gives me a sense of ‘belonging’ to a larger community of like-minded professionals; we’re there to support each other. Due to previous workloads I haven’t always had the opportunity to be as involved as I would have liked but this has been changed and encouraged in my current role. The Institute has been very supportive in engaging with me and my industry and I hope to develop closer links in the future.”
We’re especially pleased to hear that Phillip has always encouraged his direct reports to join the Institute, with some becoming full members as they have grown within the profession. “One of the main reasons I feel proud to recommend IIRSM is because it encourages people to join in their early careers, as well as those with a professional status in other linked risk industries – something that isn’t necessarily encouraged in other risk bodies.
“Knowing that you are part of a larger community can be reassuring when making tricky decisions – other members can sense check issues for you! It’s great to be part of a peer network who can be contacted to provide further support or advice,” he notes. Phillip took advantage of our community just a few weeks ago; he approached a fellow member in the events industry who expertly offered his advice on a subject that has been causing the theatre industry some concern recently.
“Being a member of a recognisable institute with a highly identifiable professional designation has certainly opened doors for me, particularly when I was awarded Fellowship. I have no doubt in my mind that it has helped my successful career progression,” he adds.
Phillip has also taken advantage of attending events, namely the 2019 Annual Conference and the Crowded Places event, which he says not only gave him the opportunity to hear about developing issues, but more importantly offered an excellent way to meet other members and raise the profile of risk management within the theatre industry. “It’s so interesting talking to people – many don’t realise some of the complex safety issues we have to control.”
When booking events or enquiring about my membership subscription, the team at head office have all been a pleasure to deal with, says Phillip. He believes IIRSM has improved and become more professional over the years. “I remember the first events I attended felt like being part of an ‘old boy’s network’, but this has certainly changed. Now I’m one of those ‘old boys’, I hope our new members feel like they are joining a more inclusive expert body.”
Going forward, rather than what he wants to get out of his membership, Phillip is now in the fortunate position to be able to give more back to other members, and he looks forward to supporting them and the Institute in the future.
If you would like to join our community you can make an online application here.