Just over two years ago I arrived at Corporate Risk Associates (CRA) looking for a new challenge in my career.
I hoped to cultivate my existing skills while developing new ones in complementary areas. One of the defining factors in my choice of new employer was my belief that this was a company that takes professional development seriously, and which would invest in the advancement of my career.
A year into my new job, all of my expectations had been surpassed. I was so impressed with my experience that I nominated CRA for the IOP Best Practice in Professional Development Award – an award we ultimately won.
There are numerous examples of CRA supporting high-quality professional development for its employees. CRA has recently sponsored one of its consultants throughout his studies for an engineering doctorate (EngD) at Imperial College; another employee has been sponsored on a similar EngD since 2013, and a consultant is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in ergonomics at Loughborough University.
These are some of the more extravagant examples, but CRA is committed to the development of all its staff. Understanding that employees are its greatest asset, CRA strives to develop each consultant technically and professionally. In addition to internal training and mentoring programs, CRA encourages all employees to invest in their professional development by allowing all staff to propose at least seven days of training each year.
CRA provides a structured approach to initial and continued professional development through the Professional Development Forum, which is held on a quarterly basis for all staff. The forum provides an opportunity to support consultants’ development through knowledge-sharing, progress-monitoring, topical open discussions and technical presentations. It acts as a point of focus for professional development while allowing each individual to drive their own progress.
CRA is not only concerned with the professional development of its employees: it is committed to the development of our industry as a whole. This is best demonstrated by the annual CRA Risk Forum. This two-day event has been hosted and funded by CRA for the past six years and provides a unique opportunity for attendees to understand industry best practice and to contribute to the development of risk analysis and human factors in mission-critical industries.
It is always pleasing to be recognised and praised for the work CRA consultants are doing. It was particularly nice to be singled out by the Institute of Physics, as a significant portion of our employees are physicists. It was also a valuable opportunity to share ideas and further improve our working processes based on the experience of others.
- The IOP Best Practice in Professional Development Awards commend, celebrate and promote the very best in training and development opportunities for physicists. If your organisation promotes the continuing professional development of its physicist employees and has a formal career pathway for physicists, enter by 30 June to get the recognition you deserve.