Skilled, qualified and many strings to his bow

Terry Cranston isn't a full-time health and safety professional. He works for Dale & Vallley Homes and managers a scheme to improve council homes in a district of North East England.

But Terry has a NEBOSH Certificate, a NEBOSH Diploma and is even thinking about taking a Masters Degree in Occupational Safety and Health.

Terry needed a NEBOSH qualification to get his latest job. He's responsible for bringing council homes in the Wear Valley up to what's known as the 'Decent Homes' standard by 2012. The work involves things like electrical re-wiring and replacing old kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems. Terry manages the budget, organises the work and has to make sure various targets are met.

He's also responsible for health and safety. That's why he needed to be qualified.

Terry sees health and safety as another string to his bow. And his bow has quite a few strings.

He's got an impressive list of qualifications, all linked to past work. He's qualified in things like plumbing, heating, construction, CDM, surveying, customer relations, energy efficiency, Legionella management, asbestos removal...

Back in his early 20s, Terry was a gas-fitter at his local council. He loved the work and was devastated when he was made redundant. It happened in the late 1980s, a time of high unemployment. He feared he might not find another job.

He did, and for all the different work that's followed, he's gained a qualification. This, he says, has given him and his family a lot of security, and plenty of options.

But there's a bit more to it when it comes to health and safety. For a start, it's what Terry's late father used to do. And he says being awarded a Credit when sitting his NEBOSH Diploma as a mature student, aged 50, was the most rewarding thing he's ever done.

Terry doesn't think it's unusual for someone who's job isn't just about health and safety to get a NEBOSH qualification. He reckons anyone working in construction for example, should go for a NEBOSH Certificate. He believes it would improve health and safety on site and it would help in other occupations too. Not least to stop health and safety being used as a poor excuse for bad-management.

Work-wise, Terry isn't sure what's coming next. But if he decides to make health and safety his full-time role, he certainly has all the experience and qualifications to make a success of it. It's good to have options.

Terry Cranston at Work