Adam Donnan
2 January 2019

A vital to-do list for the New Year

The new year is a great time to evaluate your own personal development needs, and those of your team, and make sure you are getting the most out of your membership. Here are some suggestions for things to do this January.

Reviewing your qualifications

1. Are you in the right grade?
Are you in the IES membership grade that reflects your experience and skills? If you have recently reached one of our work experience thresholds, or have achieved a Higher Education qualification since your initial application, you may now qualify for a different grade. Click on one of the descriptions that best describes you to see what your next steps should be.

2. Is it time to apply for Chartership?
The IES is firmly established as the place for environmental professionals to become Chartered. With our unique 'Support-Speed-Rigour' approach to Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Scientist, you can confidently and quickly achieve a higher level of professional standing in 2019. 

Learn more about the workshops and mentoring schemes we offer for our Charterships. 

Reviewing your learning and the learning of your team

1. Complete last year's CPD record 
Now's the time to check you have added all your continuous professional development activities for 2018 to the IES CPD tool, available in the Members' Area. All professional members are required to complete CPD, but this is particularly important for Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Scientists, where we audit 10%, and for Lead Energy Assessors and Registered Environmental Technicians, where we currently audit all registrants. Go back through your calendar, adding each event to the relevant learning category. Alternatively, if you have recorded your CPD elsewhere, you can simply upload a PDF to our system, provided the submission meets our guidelines. There is a walkthrough video to help guide you.  

2. Creating a plan for this year's CPD
Forward planning is essential part of the IES CPD cycle. Having reviewed last year's learning, it is time to create an action plan for the coming year to ensure that you continue to develop as a professional.  

CPD cycle

3. Book your place on an IES event
Don't worry, we've got lots planned during 2019 to help you meet the number of hours of CPD required to maintain your Chartership. Bookings for our next conference, the Land Condition Symposium on 27th March in Manchester, are now open. This one-day technical conference for land condition professionals will provide excellent opportunities to gain valuable CPD, network and exchange knowledge with fellow professionals.

Across the year, we will be hosting a series of afternoon discussion meetings throughout the year, facilitating debate, discussion and development opportunities for our members across a number of environmental themes. Our first meeting will be held on 16th January in Manchester exploring the important relationship between Air Quality and Ecology - Impacts and their Assessment. We then head up to Edinburgh on the 18th February for a joint event hosted with the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS) to explore VOCs and Soil; the full programme is now available for you to book your free place. 

Alongside these events, we will continue to host our 'CPD Over Sandwiches' webinar series, exploring a range of topical issues within the environmental sector across all 17 specialisms that we support. Sign-up for our next one as we discuss changes to the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting regulations.

4. Recognise the contribution of technicians in your workplace
Why not take your New Year motivation and ‘pay it forward’ by getting the whole team involved? Our new REnvTech designation helps organisations and institutions to attract, develop and retain the highest quality technicians and technical support staff within the sector, ensuring technical careers receive the recognition, respect and support they deserve.

Technicians come from a diverse range of professions underpinned by the application of technical knowledge and skills, spanning the breadth of consultancy, academia, government and industry. To be eligible for the REnvTech designation, your technical staff will need to have a minimum of two years’ full-time relevant work experience and at least a Level 3 qualification (or equivalent professional experience).

Take a look at the feedback from our first REnvTechs to find out why they decided to get recognised.

Deepening your relationship with the IES

1. Volunteer for the graduate mentoring scheme
Want to develop your coaching and leadership skills, contribute to your CPD and give back to the sector? Why not join the IES graduate mentoring scheme! Share invaluable experience of the industry, give expert advice and inspire the next generation taking their first steps into the world of employment.

We need volunteers who are at least Full Members of this IES willing to give a small amount of their time to help develop the skills of aspiring environmental scientists while they prepare for the workplace. Tempted? Learn more about the scheme on our careers page.

2. Tell a colleague, friend or client about the IES
We know from our retention figures and high Net Promoter Score that you enjoy being a member of the IES. Last year, we achieved incredible membership growth rates (40%) and we would love that to continue. A large institution can provide more membership services and have a strong voice within society, government and education.

Ask yourself this New Year, would some of your team members benefit from the support and resources that come with IES membership? Do you have a colleague that has had their application in their desk for a long time and needs a little encouragement? If so, now is the time to spread the word.

3. Advertise your jobs with the IES
The IES jobs page is frequently checked by our members and, with our website receiving thousands of unique visitors each month, we can ensure that vacancies posted here will be seen by some of the most experienced and qualified environmental professionals in the field. Next time there is a recruitment need in your office, why not advertise with the IES?

4. Volunteer for the IES Chartership mentoring or assessment team
So you’ve got your Chartership and you know about the world of difference it makes to your career. Now it’s time to take a look at the two ways in which you can help us help other environmental professionals.

Going through your Chartership can be a daunting time – you remember! What you would have given to have someone right there with you providing guidance on report writing and helping you prepare for your interview. Join us as a Chartership Mentor to develop new skills and gain the satisfaction of supporting someone through their Chartership journey. You only need to be willing to commit to a minimum of one hour per month of contact time with your Mentee. Interested? Just fill out a Mentor Form (.docx) and send it across to the IES office.

Perhaps you are more interested in getting to know the Chartership process at a deeper level? As a Volunteer Chartership Assessor, you will sit on the interview panel of our CEnv in a Day workshops as well as assessing candidates reports. This is a great opportunity to further understand the importance of Chartership in sectors different to your own and expand your knowledge of the innovative work emerging across the environmental sector. You will also gain valuable interview experience whilst demonstrating your seniority within the sector. Want to know more? Pop us an email.

You can also challenge yourself and sign up for both!

5. Join one of our specialist communities
Contribute to the development of the institution through one of our specialist communities. As professional members working in dedicated environmental specialisms, you will have invaluable expertise to help steer the activities of the IES within your chosen field.

In August 2017, we launched the Land Condition Community, a member-led group designed to further the membership offerings for the second largest specialism within our membership. Over the past 18 months, this community has gone from strength-to-strength, launching the Land Condition Symposium in March 2018 and the Land Condition Early Careers Network in January 2019.

We welcome your input in developing the work of our communities further, from assisting with conference programmes, presenting at our early careers network meetings, attending community meetings to develop and discuss new ideas, and contributing to publications and guidance pieces. As members we need your support to keep these communities and subsequent activities moving forward. If you have a little bit of time in your year to spare, why not join one of our community boards and contribute to its growth?

Perhaps you have colleagues in the first ten years of their career. Encourage them to attend one of our Early Careers Network. These forums are excellent platforms to gain professional development, network with peers and improve presentations skills - all completely for free! 

6. Stay connected
You can follow the IES on Twitter and our company page on LinkedIn to get the latest news about the IES. Make sure to interact with us on these channels as each like, retweet or comment helps introduce our work to new audiences. Subscribe to our Youtube channel to be alerted when new webinars are added each month. When you achieve a new milestone with the IES, such as moving up the membership grades or becoming Chartered, why not post about it on social media? Your network should know about your fantastic achievements and it helps spread the word about the IES.

Finally...

Don't forget to renew your membership promptly through the Members' Area. By renewing on time, you free up our administrative team, enabling them to concentrate on delivering you our membership services.

Analysis from the archive