Chartered status case study:
Benny Lawson MCIEH CEnvH

Benny

Benny is an Environmental Services Officer at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, and graduated from the two-year, practice-based Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner Programme in 2020.

When I first heard about CIEH’s Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner programme and discovered that it was focused on your job role and the particular competency areas that you work in, I thought it was a great fit for me. I'm very fortunate to work for an organisation where I was encouraged to join the programme from the get-go and was given the support to do it.

I enjoyed the flexibility that the programme afforded me because I could build up my knowledge and experience over the two-year period, while carrying out my day job. I could also put the specific elements that I was learning into practice as they were directly related to the areas that I work in.

I found that, as the programme was designed to complement my day job, it was easy for me to demonstrate how I met the competencies as I could tick off those competency areas as I went along. If there were areas I felt I needed to get more experience in, I would think ‘okay there is a gap here’, and seek out more opportunities to work on them.

Having a mentor was a really valuable part of the programme. My mentor was very hands-on and we would have weekly catch-ups to discuss technical and functional competencies and identify any gaps where I needed more support, or needed to get more involved with cases that would benefit me.

Also, just having the chance to chat with her about my thought processes and why I had chosen to do things a certain way really built up my confidence. When it came to my final Professional Discussion, I was already very comfortable with being challenged as I had already had those sorts of conversations regularly with my mentor.

One of the benefits of the programme being over two years is that it allows time for your confidence to grow. The more you do things, the more confident you get and the more expertise you build up. I also really enjoyed being able to connect with other Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) on the programme. I found that the LinkedIn group was really beneficial because you could talk about how you were getting on and buddy up with other EHPs to support and encourage each other.

Ultimately the end result of completing the programme is not just your success but your organisation's as well, so it's a win-win for everyone.

You can also read a previous interview with Benny and her mentor, Laura Webb, which originally appeared an article in the February 2019 issue of EHN.

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