The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asks its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they'd share with people looking to move into the industry.
Deborah Clements IRMCert
Manager HSE Improvement
Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Johor, Malaysia
How did you get your job?
My current role is a short term assignment; you may see it as the classic win/win scenario. I elected to leave the comfort of the corporate HQ to join an Operating Company in Malaysia to uplift its HSE performance and in return, I gain valuable insights in the terminal environment making me more impactful.
How did you get started in risk?
My first mentor Andy Shaw shone a light on business risk management. I observed him position HSE related information through the risk management lens. This meant he positively influenced change within the trans-Atlantic airline who employed us at the time. I could see this was a mechanism for the HSE function to become value added and become their go to person.
What’s a typical day like?
I operate and influence at four levels of the organization. One day in business attire and the next ready for the terminal in jeans. Mixture of relationship building; presenting in the office environment and continually listening to the voice of the customer. Juxtaposed with resisting the lap-top and joining daily stand up meetings, spending time absorbing what happens and why. Investing time walking with team members, experiencing their reality to change it for the better.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The autonomy, working for an organization who has the foundations for HSE and has high ambition aspirations. Having the opportunity to understand business objectives, tease out the HSE risk profile and enable sustainable success.
What are the challenges?
The enormity of the HSE change project itself, given the pace and scale when working in the largest hub terminal in Malaysia.
In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?
Uplifting the tired traditional HSE approach by offering hybrid risk management HSE solutions. My IRM qualifications enable me to offer business friendly advice that supports the achievement of its strategic objectives.
Access to case studies and involvement in special interest groups
1) Presenting HSE information with a risk management twist is fresh and not anticipated
2) Talking a non-traditional HSE language and offering solutions that give capacity / add resilience means you will participate in business-critical decisions
3) The HSE function can often omit perspective and have a bias towards sharing downside information only. Becoming risk management capable is an illuminating experience. When you hold your IRM qualification you become an enabler who measures / describes risk more objectively. Its my USP, could it be yours?
Find out more about the Institute of Risk Management and our Training, Membership and Qualifications.