CPD Stars: Ria Sooknarine, Grad IOSH
Ria Sooknarine Grad IOSH, senior HSE co-ordinator for the Massy Stores chain in Trinidad and Tobago, and communications co-ordinator for IOSH’s Caribbean branch, explains why continuing professional development (CPD) remains important to her.
On the final Sunday evening of every month I sit down for an hour or two with a relaxing cup of coffee and some chocolate chip cookies. But I don’t just watch the TV. This is the time when I update my CPD.
CPD adds substantial value to both my organisation and myself. It builds my confidence and credibility; making me feel inspired and motivated to push harder to achieve targets that I previously thought were unreachable due to my lack of knowledge on an area.
Of course, being a safety and health professional is a very busy career. It can be quite challenging to make the time to update my CPD, especially when trying to shuffle time-sensitive projects.
But I always ensure I find time to keep my CPD up-to-date. And having this regular routine helps me to do this. It feels quite rewarding when updating my CPD and realising all that I’ve accomplished within the past month. This is an excellent incentive to keep persevering, challenging myself and ensuring continuous learning.
In addition, my secret weapon to fulfil this task is the use of “Google Keep”, a time-saving app that saves voice memos, photos and notes. During the month, when a task has been completed, I log the achievement details via voice memo – this memo would include details such as the date the activity was completed and a synopsis, with a snapshot of evidence where applicable. The voice memo converts speech to text, which means that less time is required to type information. This makes it effortless to update my CPD on a monthly basis.
If a fellow IOSH member admits that he or she doesn’t have the time to update their CPD, I would explain the benefits of keeping the record current: CPD can be used as a tool or roadmap for career advancement as it is a record of all activities accomplished during a career and intended future plans; it ensures continuous improvement on a professional level by identifying training and development needs; and it provides evidence and demonstrates a level of competence, by keeping knowledge and skills current.
It also aids in keeping up with key developments and current trends in the industry. Competence improves morale and boosts levels of confidence when it comes to getting tasks done in the workplace.
Throughout my career to date, I’ve been inspired by a phrase I once heard Richard Branson use: “A setback is never a bad experience, just a learning curve.”
There are many people starting out on their safety and health career. I’d advise them to follow their passion and keep developing themselves, map out their career goals and establish what the best route is to get there and how.
For more information about completing your CPD, call the IOSH membership team on +44 (0)116 257 3198 or email [email protected]