ISPON CERTIFICATION A PREREQUISITE FOR ISPON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP – RIGHT OR WRONG?

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ISPON CERTIFICATION A PREREQUISITE FOR ISPON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP – RIGHT OR WRONG?

Before I go into the subject matter, “ISPON CERTIFICATION A PREREQUISITE FOR ISPON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP – RIGHT OR WRONG” let me give a background information about ISPON.

ISPON (Institute of Safety professionals of Nigeria) is by far one of the most renowned HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) body in Nigeria.

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ISPON which was inaugurated in August 1980 as Nigerian Society of Safety Professionals during the annual conference of the National Industrial safety Council of Nigeria has built itself to a point of recognition and relevance as far as Health and Safety is concern in Nigeria.

With its mission statement,To achieve excellent safety performance of organization and create safety awareness through information dissemination, courses, seminars, audit and publications”, they have been able to achieve their objectives extracted from their mission statement through:

  • Training and re-training of Health and Safety professional/Certification
  • Consultancy services and
  • Advocacy programs.

In my opinion, they deserve accolades.

More so, ISPON has a membership structure where professionals unite under an umbrella as ISPON members under different categories of membership. Members spans from different professions, they includes Safety professionals, Factory inspectors, Occupational hygienist, Environmentalist, Engineers, Occupational Health Physicians, Nurses, Economist, Scientist, etc., and they have contributed immensely to the grown and development of the Health and Safety profession in Nigeria.

 

ISPON MEMBERSHIP

ISPON membership over the years has been highly coveted because of the immense benefit that accompanies it, which includes:

  • Opportunities for members to advance their professional knowledge through the institute published newsletters, journals and lectures by members and other professional guest lecturers.
  • Share expertise and experience
  • Exchange of ideas and keep up with new development in safety practice.
  • Gain recognition for professional endeavours.
  • Membership insurance for members who pay their dues regularly.
  • Members tend to have competitive advantage in the labour market.

From the above membership benefit, you will understand why ISPON membership is one of the most coveted among HSE professionals in Nigeria.

 

Going back to the subject matter “ISPON CERTIFICATION A PREREQUISITE FOR ISPON INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP – RIGHT OR WRONG?”

Though ISPON have two (2) categories of membership, for the subject matter I will duel on the individual membership category.

 

NOTE: What you read here is my personal opinion.

Before I continue let me state the requirement for ISPON individual membership. My area of concern is in this area – (Supporting document needed – Individual applicant)

  1. Certificate(s) of educational qualification(s)
  2. Certificate(s) of professional qualification(s)
  3. Evidence of professional safety experience (reference letter from employee or client)
  4. Certificate(s) of relevant HSE training
  5. Means of identification (International passport, Driver’s license, National ID card or voters card)
  6. Signed sponsor form

Looking at item no. 4 – Certificate(s) of relevant safety training.

From the no. 4 requirement, it says “Certificate(s) of relevant safety training” not Certificate(s) of relevant ISPON safety training; so I do not know where possessing an ISPON certificate as a criteria for ISPON membership came from. A lot of people have seen their ISPON membership request turned down because they do not possess ISPON certificate.

From my personal findings, the least HSE training requirement for ISPON membership is ISPON HSE Competence training GHSE and HSE Level 3, aside from other requirements, and these are just basic HSE certifications; and NO OTHER HSE COMPETENCE CERTIFICATE IS ACCEPTED FROM ANY OTHER TRAINING/AWARDING BODY. ISPON has made it mandatory that you must possess an ISPON certificate (Either GHSE and/or HSE Level 3) before your membership application is accepted.

 

My area of concern –

Aside from ISPON, in Nigeria there are several HSE trainers who also certify their students with HSE proficiency certificate – HSE 1, 2 & 3; some certify to HSE level 5. Some of these trainers have very good training structure with seasoned trainers and relevant accreditation.

But with the ISPON membership certification requirement some persons who have been trained by some very good trainers under a recognized and fully accredited training bodies are forced to repeat a training they had already completed.

I know ISPON have their reasons – I once discussed with an ISPON member on this issue and this was the line of argument:

Most bodies awarding this certifications are not accredited to do so, some do not have the competence base to even train. Since we cannot ascertain the competence level of these divers awarding bodies, we cannot accept their certificates because we are not sure of them.

Looking into the response, the reason is very valid, but in my opinion the reason is not enough to make all other trainers look like outcast.

ISPON is working very hard to be a force to reckon with in Nigeria and probably be an approved Health, safety and Environment regulatory agency. If they must achieve this, they have to carry everybody along, including training agencies.

 

In my opinion, instead of ISPON rejecting other training bodies, they should seek modalities to unite them.

ISPON can organize interviews or tests for membership applicant without ISPON certificate to ascertain their depth of understanding of HSE. It is also pertinent to mention that awarding someone a membership status does not mean that he/she has stopped learning, there is always an avenue for continuous learning through CAP (Career advancement Program).

The membership requirement – No. 4 can be reviewed to allow more professionals to come in.

ISPON can learn from IOSH – Review their membership policy to accommodate more persons and also package CAP for continuous professional growth and development of their members; this will be a WIN WIN situation.

 

In conclusion, if you ask me, placing ISPON CERTIFICATION AS A PREREQUISITE FOR ISPON MEMBERSHIP, IS IT RIGHT OR WRONG?

 

IN MY OPINION, I WILL SAY IS WRONG – WITH REASONS ABOVE.

 

THIS IS MY HUMBLE OPINION

 

Thank you – You are free to air your views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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