CIEH Leadership Programme
Take your career to the next level with the CIEH Leadership Programme.
Friday, 23 June 2023, Julie Barratt, CIEH President
For consistency, I will report under three headings of media engagement, profile and policy and member engagement. This report covers the period 24 March to 22 June 2023.
As many members will know my term of office comes to an end in December of this year and CIEH is now actively recruiting my replacement. I have participated in an interview to be published in Environmental Health News (EHN) about the President's role and what it entails to encourage members who may consider taking up the role to do so. This supports the video that I did that can be viewed from our social media platforms.
As a consequence of the two Special Meetings that have been held, I have received and responded to a considerable number of emails from members, in which I have explained the Board's position and a number of other related matters. I continued to use the @CIEH_President Twitter feed to promote the work of environmental health professionals and of CIEH. This continues to be a useful mechanism for engaging with other stakeholders as well as with CIEH members.
I had a meeting with the Head of Shared Regulatory Services (Cardiff CC, Vale of Glamorgan CBC and Bridgend CBC) regarding recruitment issues. It was a helpful and productive meeting which I hope will result in SRS reverting to calling professional officers EHOs rather than non-professional generic titles and further may result in SRS specifying that preference will be given to Registered EHOs when advertising job vacancies.
This has been a particularly busy period for member engagement.
I was pleased to attend the New to the Profession coffee catch-up session on 3 May. The session was addressed by Christina Hill from SRS (see Policy & Profile above) as the result of a comment made during the referenced meeting. She talked about how students should approach visits to local authorities and what she, as a manager, expected of students who were being hosted by her service. It was particularly useful for students to get an insight into the view of 'the other side' and to understand the need to create a good impression with potential future employers.
Continuing the new to the profession theme I led two Interactive Training Days that were held in Cwmbran. Both were very well attended and were extremely positive days. Attending delegates were able to complete three interventions for their Environmental Health Portfolios, all of which are amongst the more difficult to gather in a real‑world environment. I was very grateful for the help of the mentors, retired members Simon and Elaine Clarke (and Pepper the dog) and Jason Austin, an EHO and student mentor. These days are hugely valued by students and generally are a lot of fun. I would encourage any members who want to help to do so, it is a great day, and you learn a lot about your preconceptions as well as providing a really useful service for the participants.
Still on the theme of entrants to the profession I have spent some time putting together a 'job description' for Careers Ambassadors. Whilst we want the role to be fluid and built by ambassadors around the time they have available to support it, it was suggested that a degree of formality might be helpful. If you would like to join the team of Careers Ambassadors, please email us and ask for details. The role is as big or small as you want it to be, and we need as many ambassadors as we can get.
Finally, on the theme of entrants to the profession, I continue to actively seek additions to the Directory of Student Training Opportunities. This has been a good period and a number of new local authorities and private sector bodies have added opportunities for students, but we need more. If your local authority or your employer can help please add what you can. In the current recruitment crisis, we all need to do as much as we can to help people into the profession and this is a very practical way to do so. Visit our website to add your opportunity or opportunities, please.
On a non-student training note the President's Challenge continues to be lively. The first walkers have already completed the 750-mile Best of British Challenge, in less than three months. We now have some triple medal winners who have completed all three challenges, the South West Coast Path, Wales Coast Path and the Best of British.
You may have seen that we held a photography competition, the theme being 'Water' in its widest sense. Some very good photographs were submitted and independently judged. Debbie Wood won, with a photograph of the River Itchen flowing through Winchester. Have a look at my blog about the competition and see if you agree with the judge.
At the beginning of June, we held a walking weekend in Hay-on-Wye and had a great time. The main walk on Saturday, about 10 miles, varied from the planned route a little in large part due to some very protective cows with calves and an absolutely huge bull which then caused us to beat a hasty retreat with our tails between our legs and do some on the spot route variation. Read my latest blog to find out more.
The application window for Board member positions and the role of President are now closed, and I would like to thank those who showed interest and chose to put their name forward. As ever I am happy to talk to members - drop me an email and I will reply or we can arrange to talk online if you prefer.