Personal development debate causes a stir

One of the biggest areas of debate in OH circles is that of education and personal development. When we published some conflicting viewpoints on the future of OH training last year, we unleashed great deal of debate regarding the direction the profession should be going, especially as it relates to obtaining an accredited degree.

Paul Martin, chief nursing officer for Scotland, caused controversy during the OHN Forum in Scotland (page 10). He responded to a comment by a delegate on the general lack of funding to encourage OH professionals in carrying out research and further training by suggesting she needed to show more initiative and drive to seek out sources of funding. In fact, the questioner happened to be the recipient of a Florence Nightingale travel award – to help her research the effects of alcohol in the workplace – and his comments stirred up something of a hornets’ nest of debate on whether OH practitioners should be eligible for funding for their research and training.

There are sources of funding out there, but the difficulty for many is in finding it – a subject we intend to address in a future issue of OH.

Meanwhile, there are ways you can notch up some points for your continuous personal development (CPD), and that is by contributing an article to the pages of Occupational Health. A number of delegates at the Scottish conference had interesting projects, experiences and best practice stories to tell, and were encouraged to hear that not only will we give them a helping hand to write their features, but they’ll also be paid for the published piece – another source of funding.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to contribute your thoughts on these or other issues relating to OH, e-mail us at the address below or log on to the discussion forum for OH professionals via our sister publication Personnel Today at

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