The Risk Management Services (RMS) team at NFU Mutual is the largest Risk Management Consultancy in the UK. Our colleagues in Loss Control share their thoughts on the support and development they’ve been given and how it’s helped their career paths.
Whether it’s gaining professional qualifications, receiving mentoring from senior management or just the development that comes from the work they’re involved with, everyone in the team agrees that they’ve never stopped learning.
Support for qualifications
Several of the team have studied for and achieved the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with the support of the business. For Claire Cripps, it had been something she’d been looking forward to completing in order to develop for the role. “With NFU Mutual support I was able to gain the NEBOSH certificate in health and safety. It was something I'd wanted to do for a long time. The learning and development side of this role is really important, and it’s enjoyable too.”
For Nick Green, who’s been with NFU Mutual for 20 years, the support he received to gain qualifications has helped him in more than one area, as he explains. “I've always felt very well supported. I think it’s an indication of the kind of business we are. I’ve been supported to complete my insurance qualifications, my ACII qualification and my NEBOSH general health and safety certificate. As well as this, there’s been numerous development opportunities too.”
Tom Fraser, who’s also achieved the NEBOSH certificate with NFU Mutual, knows this has already been beneficial to his future career, and is aware there’s more development on offer, as he explains. “I could effectively head up health and safety for a medium-size business through this qualification. There are also opportunities to become chartered, but I haven't gone down that path yet. There's certainly a lot of opportunity to develop and learn and move your career forward with NFU Mutual.”
Mentoring and development
NFU Mutual is known as a development led organisation, where training and development is essential to maintain our strength as a function and as a business. So, how do we use mentoring to help achieve professional and career potential within Health and Safety? Sarah Froy, who has been with NFU Mutual for 10 years, feels she receives a lot of developmental support. “I'm currently on the Developing Leaders Programme. I was in the claims area of the business before I came into this role and I've had a lot of help, support and mentoring from the senior management in my region.”
Steve Trevett shares his experiences of the development programmes at NFU Mutual and feels that while programmes are in place, you also need to drive the process yourself. “We have a good development program and system of training. There is a skills matrix, where you can identify any of your weaker areas, and you can get support from head office and colleagues to develop your skills as you feel necessary. Working from home you do have to drive your own development, but if you identify where you want to develop there's plenty of opportunity.”
As well as his own development over the years, Nick Green now enjoys developing others. “I’m involved in supporting and training our new starters as they join us. A lot of this role is about learning through experience and you never stop learning in our role.”
Development through the projects we do
As well as the variety of work being one of the most enjoyable aspects of their role, it also plays a big part in how the team develop their skills and experience. Steve Trevett believes he’s developed not only from the business, but from outside too, as he explains. “I’ve been asked to join a working group of a body called The Risk Authority, which is all to do with passive fire protection – from things like fire barriers and protected zones, to roofs and fire seals. As various experts on different bodies come in and talk with us, I learn a lot from being on that committee. Every year we also have a technical conference over a couple of days with guest speakers and further opportunities to learn, depending on what skills you feel you need to develop.”
And, as Steve also explains, you learn from your colleagues too. “You learn a lot from reading each other’s reports, going on-site visits with colleagues and sharing experiences.” Claire Cripps agrees. “I also shadow other colleagues as well, because they're the people that have got potentially more expertise than me, and you learn from how they interact with the client on-site and deal with technical elements. You see what their soft skills are like, and how you could potentially improve yours. I think shadowing is quite an important part of our development because our work is so diverse.”
Support from senior management
Claire Cripps appreciates the impact the senior management team have made on her career. “They’ve been very much involved in my development and more importantly, they challenge me to look at things from different perspectives.” Sarah Froy enjoys the support she gets for her ideas. “The managing director of RMS is very keen to hear ideas and help you realise those ideas. If you've identified areas for change, or ways to improve the business, you're given the opportunity to discuss your ideas. And you get a lot of support around those ideas if they’re worth taking forward.”