Bipin Gautam CMIOSH, country HSE manager for Cape in Oman, explains why continuing professional development (CPD) is important for him.
CPD is my delight. There is no why to it, I simply enjoy doing it.
When I first arrived in Dubai, UAE, in search of job in 2005, I visited various organisations to submit my CV. Every day I’d observe high rise buildings and infrastructure under construction, with a huge setup of tower cranes, resources and people working at height. Subsequently, I started thinking about what the consequences would be if somebody fell from height or a crane failed.
From this, I started understanding various aspects of health and safety. After three months of continuous effort, I got my first job as an assistant safety officer in an oil and gas company, CAE, based in Abu Dhabi.
In the 11 years since, I have progressed well in HSE management within oil and gas and in construction. I have worked across all the parts of Middle East – in Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
The turning point of my career was when I joined a UK-based multinational company, Cape, in 2008. I was appointed HSE adviser in Oman. This is where I got all of the opportunities and challenges to prove my competency as a health and safety professional. Subsequently, in 2011, I was promoted to country HSE manager.
As we know, effective safety and health performance comes from the top so I am always grateful to my line manager for providing all the support, learning and development opportunity to take me into this level.
I got my chartered status from IOSH last year. Every organisation knows that they will get the highest professional standards from a chartered member of IOSH so I was very pleased to get this qualification.
My consistency and strive for excellence on maintaining my CPD has never stopped. It is my top priority and I simply enjoy doing it. CPD motivates me; it keeps me up-to-date. I believe if you can focus yourself and your time towards CPD continuously, there is no doubt it can bring positive change in your professional life.
CPD is a reflection of our learning process. It can be updated in a wide variety of ways as IOSH provides us with many activities to map our learning process. It can include strategy and planning, sustainable business practice or engagement and influence. So the very idea of CPD is a focus on what I am involved in and the reflection of my learning outcome on that particular set of activities.
One example is that I was recently in India for the selection process for a new safety and health recruit. It was my first experience of this process but I am now able to determine the cost of recruitment and staff turnover in health and safety. The process involved identifying the causes of poor recruitment, strategies for effective recruitment practice, the stages of recruitment, designing a job description and person profile, techniques for opening the interview, questioning the candidate and much more. On reflection, the experience provided me with a new skill development point for my CPD.
CPD has helped me to grow as a professional and has played a major role in my development. But this is only the beginning for me because CPD gives opportunities to individuals to set a development goal. Therefore I have set my five-year development plan to add CPD points, including submitting my applications for admission for the MSc in safety, health and environment at the University of Greenwich, UK. Recently, I have been appointed as a vice-chair for IOSH’s Oman branch committee, bringing additional responsibility as an IPD/CPD coordinator.
CPD to me is a relentless pursuit of excellence that sets my objectives for development and then maps my progress towards achieving them. It’s about where I want to be as a health and safety professional and how I plan to get there.