IOSH publication on coaching for safety goes live

As red letter days go, today Wednesday 29th March 2017 is red indeed. For it is today that the long awaited IOSH publication ‘Coaching for safety – an introductory guide’ goes live in the Books and Resources section of the IOSH website. Written by yours truly in collaboration with renowned Coach and author Jenny Rogers, the guide aims to provide practitioners with a basic understanding of the soft skill of coaching. Today marks a significant milestone for us. Our Coaching for safety course first came to market in 2013 and we quickly learned two important lessons. Firstly, how little the safety profession in the UK valued soft skills relative to technical knowledge and understanding. And secondly, we learned how widely misunderstood ‘coaching’ is. That the professional body has endorsed the use of coaching skills to enable practitioners to engage with others to improve occupational safety and health outcomes is, understandably, music to our ears. We couldn’t have put it better than Kate Field, Head of Information and Intelligence at IOSH, who says “There is an increasing acceptance within the occupational safety and health profession that a knowledge of the law and compliance standards is not enough. To succeed and be effective, an occupational safety and health professional needs to engage and influence at all levels within a business. The role is increasingly collaborative, supportive, challenging and helpful – the characteristics of a coach. This guide provides a first step on that journey.” Download a copy of ‘Coaching for safety – an introductory guide’...

Download a FREE Coaching for safety taster

In 2016, the number of delegates attending IOSH Approved Coaching for safety classes increased by over 70%. In 2017, by the second week of March, we’d already trained half the total number of delegates that attended in the whole of last year. Delegates from Oil and Gas, Rail, Waste Management, University Education, Aviation, Workplace Services, Water Regulation and Steel Distribution have attended already this year, as have a number of private safety consultants, but what is driving this groundswell in interest and what is it that delegates and organisations value so highly? Certainly, IOSH Blueprint is a factor. IOSH Blueprint is the new competency framework for OSH Practitioners. Developed by IOSH and a cross-sector group of industry experts, it defines ‘what good looks like’ in OSH competence. The Engagement and Influence category of the framework, includes references to questioning, active listening, collaboration, being aware of body language and non-verbal communication. These are just some of the attributes of a good coach and of course they feature strongly on the IOSH Approved Coaching for safety programme. To find out more, download our FREE Coaching for safety taster here. Whether safety is only a part of your role or you’re a full-time safety professional, IOSH Approved Coaching for safety has been designed to provide you with valuable skills. It’s unlike any other course – don’t miss out. When                Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May 2017 Where              Holiday Inn Express, Loake Close, Grange Park, Northampton NN4 5EZ Price                 £525 + VAT Book today by calling Michael on 01706 217122 or 07921914099 or email...

“One of the most valuable and engaging courses I have attended.”

We love Coaching for safety courses, they hardly seem like work at all. Last week’s for Ervia in Dublin, presented jointly with Thomas Keane of KSi, was especially rewarding. When the room is full of highly-engaged delegates immersed and collaborating to help each other learn new skills, the instructor’s job is a joy. And when delegates describe the experience as “one of the most valuable and engaging courses I have attended,” it really doesn’t get much better. What is it that engages people so? Coaching is all about collaboration – coaches exit to be collaborative and supportive and to help their colleagues and clients perform better. If you attend IOSH Approved Coaching for safety, you will spend two days learning and practicing the skills and techniques that under-pin a collaborative approach. This will enable you, in turn, to help others be better at what they do. You will learn that curiosity drives collaboration and that where you focus your curiosity is a choice. And you will learn what the ‘active’ in active listening really means and why one delegate remarked, “there’s so much being communicated I had no idea. It could be exhausting.”  The way we see it is that technical knowledge is important of course, but alone it’s not enough. We believe that it’s the ability to collaborate that distinguishes the very best practitioners from the rest. And if you can coach, then you’re able to support your colleagues and clients even when you have little or no technical knowledge to contribute. One of the reasons we love it so much is that we know that by helping you...

IOSH Approved Coaching for safety London

Communication is a key component of IOSH Blueprint, the new competency framework for OSH professionals. And with references to questioning, active listening techniques, body language, collaboration and the importance of effective relationships, a casual observer might think that Coaching for safety was written in response to IOSH Blueprint. It wasn’t. IOSH Approved Coaching for safety has been gradually maturing over several years and steadily developing  an excellent reputation as a must-attend, OSH training programme that is like no other. IOSH Approved Coaching for safety was designed to provide OSH practitioners with skills to complement their technical knowledge and help them develop a collaborative style. Collaboration is essential to improving OSH culture, leading to better solutions to safety problems, better management buy-in and better engagement all round. We believe it’s the nearest thing to a silver bullet there is. How are your communication skills? How collaborative are the members of your team? Coaching for safety is unlike any other course – don’t miss out. When                 Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th February 2017 Where                Holiday Inn Express London – Heathrow T5, London Road, Slough SL3 8QB Price                   £525 + VAT Download a booking form here of call Michael on 01706 217122 or 0792 191...

What is your why?

This is mine; the reason why I do what I do, which has influenced how I do what I do. Shortly after becoming involved in health and safety – and to be honest, before really being sure it was for me – I turned on the television one evening and quite by chance, a Panorama-type documentary was starting. It was about the state of health and safety in the UK and it centred on an accident that happened not far from where I now sit in Lancashire. A worker was dragged into a plastic crumbing machine and killed. The machine, not unlike a large food processor, had an aperture at the top through which waste plastic could be fed, and a giant blade at the bottom rotating at high speed. A factory inspector had been horrified to find that the interlock guard on the lid had been overridden enabling more plastic to be fed into the machine more quickly. The inspector issued a health and safety enforcement notice, prohibiting use of the machine. The bosses ignored the notice and the inevitable happened. George Kenyon was 25 years old when he died and much was made of how little of him there was left for his family to bury. It was exploitation, pure and simple. A staggering lack of consideration for the value of human life. It was 1988 and health and safety was very much in the public consciousness but for altogether different reasons than it is today. In the 1980’s, high-profile accidents involving many fatalities and serious injuries were common – Piper Alpha, The Herald of Free Enterprise,...

Greetings of the season from Securus

What a time we’ve had in 2016. The number of delegates attending IOSH Approved Coaching for safety courses increased by over 70%. Even more important to us than that however, is that the high-regard with which the programme has become associated, has continued unabated as evidenced by the wonderful testimonials we’ve received – absolutely genuine every one of them. We were invited to present at the IOSH 2016 Conference at the ExCeL in London in June and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We’ve developed an exciting new partnership with Tom Keane and KSi. Based in Montrose in Scotland, KSi are a world-wide provider of training and coaching and we’re delighted to be associated with them. We welcomed our first overseas delegate, Mark A. Cooper who travelled all the way from Blacks Beach, Queensland, Australia for our open course in Knutsford in November and what a contribution he made to an excellent course. We’ve developed a Coaching Guide jointly with IOSH which is on it’s way to production ready for release in the New Year. And, we’ve put the finishing touches to International Coaching for safety, a new distance-learning version of our programme which will be available in an innovative 1:1 modular format soon. To all the good people we’ve had the pleasure of working with in 2016, thank you for your help and support. Have a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Michael...

“A breath of fresh air”

We haven’t done the maths yet but 2016 is looking to be an extraordinary year for Coaching for safety. There has been a significant growth in the number of delegates attending the course and the indications are that this trend is likely to continue into 2017. But even more satisfying than the increase in numbers is the high esteem in which Coaching for safety is held. When delegates say things like “What a breath of fresh air. An enlightening course …” it’s reward indeed for the persistence that was necessary in the early days. Gradually gradually over several years, IOSH Approved Coaching for safety has been slowly maturing and gaining recognition. For reasons we didn’t fully appreciate at first, it’s taken time for the course to achieve the reputation it now enjoys. Firstly, coaching is widely misunderstood. It isn’t what most people think it is and few give it the credit it deserves. And secondly, the safety profession’s fixation with technical knowledge, has obscured the value of soft skills in general and coaching skills in particular. The trajectory for 2017 looks promising indeed. We’re making arrangements for our next open course early in the New Year – we’re heading to London this time – and we’re putting the final touches to a Coaching guide. And a pilot we’re running will – fingers crossed – provide a springboard to launch Coaching for safety internationally. The course at Cottons Hotel & Spa in Knutsford this week typified what it is we love about the course so much. Top professionals, highly engaged and working hard to support each others’ learning in an open, friendly and collaborative atmosphere. Work doesn’t get...

Have we become OSH data junkies?

I was relieved to learn today, that far from saying “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” what W. Edwards Deming actually said was “It is wrong to suppose that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – a costly myth.” Phew! It’s puzzling isn’t it, that the shortened version – which is actually the opposite of what he did say – should become the mantra that it has, almost without question, in so many quarters? Perhaps it’s that we’d prefer it to be true; that otherwise complex and intangible things, can be reduced to simple facts and figures. I’m increasingly of the opinion that in occupational safety and health (OSH), we’ve taken things too far and that we’ve become ‘OSH data junkies’, fixated to the point of obsession with measuring stuff. For me, there’s far more to managing well than managing what you can measure. I’ll put my hand up; my name is Michael Emery and I have been a data junkie. I’ve bought in to the balanced scorecard dashboard key performance indicator metric world as much as the next man/woman and I do still believe in the value of data, to an extent. I’ve come to realise however that just because I believe for example, that the more people at work talk about safety, the better it is, that isn’t enough of a reason to measure the number of conversations. I understand of course that carefully selected KPIs, encourage the behaviours you want and therefore measuring the number of conversations will drive up the number of conversations. I get that, but that’s kind...

Does role-play even work?

How do you feel when you realise that the course you’ve attended will involve role-play exercises? Do you suddenly get a feeling similar to that of a small lump of cement in the pit of your stomach? And are you then ever so slightly distracted by the thought of what’s to come? Does anyone actually enjoy role-play? More importantly, does role-play even work, meaning do the participants of role-play actually gain any insights or benefit or are they so pre-occupied trying to remember the details of the scenario and the part they’re trying to play and avoiding feeling like a fool, to actually learn what they’re supposed to be learning? In our experience, role-play just doesn’t work and we wouldn’t entertain the idea of including it in any of our programmes. We believe we can do better than resorting to role-play in ways which are far more rewarding. Our IOSH Approved Coaching for safety programme for example, is highly-participative and is packed full of 1:1 conversations including exercises on curiosity, on listening and of course there are coaching-skills sessions too. We contact delegates before the event and ask them to bring real-life subjects, giving them examples of what delegates before them have brought. Consequently, delegates bring issues and problems that they’re having to deal with and would welcome help with – issues that are real and that matter. For sure, when it comes to the 1:1 conversation in class, the opening “Hello, how are you today …” is a little contrived, but because the topic is real and it matters, the engagement quickly becomes genuine. And not only do...

FREE Coaching for safety webinar

IOSH Approved Coaching for safety has been gradually maturing and gaining recognition over several years. The testimonials it receives are exceptional. If you would like to: – – learn more about what coaching is; – learn about the attributes of a good coach; – take away useful insights into questioning and being solutions-focused; and – discover why it is that an increasing number of OSH Practitioners coach then please join our FREE Coaching for safety webinar on Friday 7th October 2016 at 10.00 a.m. (BST). The webinar will last 30 minutes-ish, plus Q&A. To register, please email us at...