Dirk McBain: My journey to becoming a CMIOSH and OSPR member

I often take time to reflect on my Health and Safety journey to becoming a Chartered Member of Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH) and OSPR member.

At 18 I joined the British Army (Royal Engineers) and served in various countries and continued up to the ranks to Sergeant before deciding to leave the forces after 15 years of loyal service.

Leaving the forces was a tough decision but not as tough as choosing a new career!

Did I want to continue working in the engineering construction trade or could I potentially attempt to manage the safety of those who worked within it?

As part of my Armed Forces resettlement grant I completed the IOSH Managing Safely course and enjoyed the idea of a career in HSE. I then decided to take on the NEBOSH General Certificate (2-week course). Before I even received my results I had enrolled on both the NEBOSH Construction and NEBOSH Fire Safety and Risk Management Courses. Once completing them all I then further completed the NVQ Level 4, as it was known back then, now level 5 of course.

I now needed the opportunity to put all this newly acquired knowledge into practice and I was lucky enough to be employed in the decommissioning sector initially as a Project Engineer & QHSE Representative – a great start.

I have now been involved within the offshore sector for nearly 10 years. In that time I’ve always been keen to complete courses while gaining ‘on the job’ experience of auditing and developing management systems, incident investigation and so on. I’m now with Diamond Offshore Drilling as the Regional HSE Supervisor.

For this article, I want to touch on the most recent courses I attended delivered by QMI Scotland at the lovely Kippie Lodge; ISO 9001:2015 Lead Auditors and ISO 14001:2015 Internal Auditors.

I attended these courses primarily as it is a training requirement for our QHSE Department at Diamond Offshore, who are always supportive in developing its employees. Attending such courses to ensure training is current not only demonstrates Diamonds support of personal development but, also demonstrates to clients and potential clients that Diamond Offshore are ensuring they provide competent personnel with our service.

Both the Quality and Environmental ISO standards were updated recently to a new 2015 version. Attending this updated training allowed a clearer understanding as to the new requirements of the standard and allows Diamond Offshore the opportunity to implement new or amend current processes to ensure a seamless transition to the new standard and eventually be awarded the 2015 certificate of compliance.

Click here for more information on ISO standards and their importance within the sector.

Undertaking the 5 Day ‘Lead Auditors’ course also equips me personally with the knowledge to conduct external audits at suppliers and potential supplier’s premises while feeling comfortable in the knowledge that the training I received gave me more understanding in the requirements of the new standard.

QMI Scotland was our chosen provider. The course delivery was of the highest standard as usual and is the main reason QMI remain a preferred training provider of Diamond Offshore. On a personal note I have now attended several courses delivered by QMI Scotland and luckily enough every cours was delivered by Jennifer Napier (pictured) who I couldn’t thank enough for getting me through these courses. The ‘No Powerpoint’ approach is a winner for any delegate as I’m sure we all dread a course in which we are fixated to a screen for a couple of days.

The venue, Kippie Lodge, chosen by QMI Scotland is simply excellent. Start the day off with a bacon roll and scones, cakes, coffee, tea etc throughout the day with a 2 course lunch somewhere in the middle you really can’t beat the venue.

I strongly believe that to be an exceptional QHSE professional, I must continue to embrace change and keep learning. It took me a few years to truly appreciate the positive effects of auditing. Realising the proactive impact of an audit, perhaps identifying show stopping elements of a procedure, streamlining a process or avoiding hazardous events occurring is a skill I have honed over the years and I believe It has helped me support, not only Diamond Offshore, but many of our suppliers and potential suppliers to improve their management systems through internal and external audits.

Being a member of OSPR I see this as an opportunity to continue with my CPD. Auditing experience and formal training is mandatory when applying for OSPR level 4+ membership in line with their joining criteria so I am delighted to keep updating my skills with QMI on this occasion.

Should any OSPR members wish to discuss the course or the provider I would be delighted to assist my fellow members and interested HSE professionals.

Best regards,

Dirk McBain, Dip RSA, CMIOSH

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