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H&S assessor overcomes ME to achieve career landmark

Julia Fielder, a health and safety NVQ assessor with SHE Knows Health & Safety, has become a Chartered Member of the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (CMIOSH)

In the process, she has successfully managed to combine her day-to-day work with extra studying and travel while also coping with the debilitating condition, ME.

“As an H&S practitioner becoming a chartered member is something that we all work towards,” said Linda Crossland-Clarke, managing director of Hull-based SHE Knows Health and Safety.

“It provides real recognition of competence in the eyes of the law. On its own this would be a career landmark, but as Julia suffers from ME and is often wheelchair bound there is an added sense of achievement and success.”

The 44-year-old from Leven, East Yorkshire, has been with SHE Knows Health & Safety for seven years, during which time she has been an IOSH affiliate member, and has added a host of professional qualifications including an NVQ level 5 diploma in health and safety.

Gaining the CMIOSH accreditation is a challenging process involving a stringent peer review by an IOSH panel, as well as exams and interviews and a record of continuing professional development.

“I’m ecstatic to have gained the accreditation,” said Julia, who works a flexible, part-time 16 hours a week.

Because having ME means that Julia, can’t always do what she wants to SHE Knows Health & Safety help tailor her job accordingly and most of her assessments are on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group of trainees, which she finds very tiring.

“ME is a strange one – I look alright, but I can feel absolutely awful inside. My legs, head and back have a constant aching pain that makes it feel like I’m being crushed by a bus, lack of coordination.”

Supported by walking sticks or a wheelchair the big Hull City fan works a lot from home or travels to see her NVQ candidates.

“We have to be very selective about where I work and who for, and that it’s not too big a job. The majority of my assessing work is for client in the Humber area, but I also go to Birmingham and London for conferences and exhibitions.

“Linda asks me what I think I can do, and I’m really appreciative of how the company has worked around my problems, keeping me going and taking care of my emotions.”

Before joining SHE Knows Health & safety Julia worked for Ideal Standard as a team leader for 20 years and has never been out of work.

SHE Knows Health and Safety operates through the UK and abroad, including in the Middle East and Africa.