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The lead associate of HQN's Health and Safety Network (SAFETYnet) has reached the pinnacle of her profession.
Vicki Cutler has become one of only 40 women around the world to be awarded Chartered Fellowship status by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).
Vicki says receiving the accolade is the proudest moment of her professional career.
She explains, “Chartered Fellowship is the pinnacle of the health and safety profession and it’s not something that’s given lightly by our peers.
"To reach fellowship status, the IOSH panel looks for passion and involvement in health and safety practices, both in your work and outside of it, and anyone who knows me, knows that’s me.”
According to Vicki, there are over 46,000 IOSH members worldwide, but only 451 are Chartered Fellows and, of those, just 40 are women. “It really is such a prestigious title to hold and I can’t tell you how proud I am to hold such a title," she adds.
Vicki's primary focus for health and safety over the last 13 years has been within the social housing sector, sharing her expertise and best practice across many organisations.
"I was given a brilliant opportunity to work with HQN some nine years ago and have also been allowed to establish a vitally important national housing health and safety network (SAFETYnet), which has flourished and now has more than 100 social landlords as members," Vicki explains.
"The network shares good practice within the sector, develops tailored training and events, and also has a dedicated annual housing sector benchmarking exercise, which is something that was not available some years ago."
Another of Vicki's specialist areas is compliance in the key landlord health and safety subjects, such as fire safety, asbestos, water hygiene and gas safety.
"There is such a huge focus on the compliance of landlords and indeed for the safety of tenants and customers that this area features prominently in the minds of CEOs and directors," she says.
As an active voluntary member of the IOSH Consultancy Committee since 2014, Vicki has just been accepted to serve a further three years as a committee member.
She explains: “This is vitally important to me as it enables me to be a major part of shaping the IOSH world of consultancy. Part of the committee strategy is to ensure that it continues to develop suitable competence assessment standards for consultants and I feel passionate about this.
"There are some excellent consultants out there, but there are also many that are not so good, therefore it’s important that the committee’s work strengthens the profession."
Vicki adds: "Without a doubt, this is the proudest moment of my professional life; progressing to the highest level of membership is a natural step for my career and acknowledges my dedication to what I do and how I do it.
“I would like to say thank you to all of those colleagues and peers with whom I have worked, and without their support and guidance I wouldn’t be where I am today. To those who provided references to support my application and who made me realise that what I have done in health and safety over the years has made a difference.
"Reading their references pretty much humbled me but made me extremely proud at the same time."
For more information about SAFETYnet, please contact Louise Burgess at HQN on 01904 557163.