Interview with Rachel Stone - This year's Best NEBOSH Diploma Delegate

We caught up with Santia student, Rachel Stone of Brett Landscaping and Building Products Limited, who was awarded Best NEBOSH Diploma Delegate at this year’s NEBOSH Graduation ceremony, to find out what she made of her studying experience with Santia Training, and her plans for the future.

Interview: 2016's Best NEBOSH Diploma Delegate

Rachel Stone receiving her NEBOSH Best Delegate awardWhy did you want to study the NEBOSH Diploma?

Having gone from being an operational manager to a HSQE Manager, I decided to study the NEBOSH Diploma to strengthen my in-depth knowledge of Health and Safety and enable me to better support and advise my colleagues. I believe that as well as practical experience of implementing Health and Safety as an operational manger, having the theoretical knowledge/understanding of the principals and practice of health and safety helps me do this.

What persuaded you to choose Santia as your course provider?

I had previously used Santia Training, firstly as an operational manager on short courses such as CDM-Coordinator, and later, when I studied for the NEBOSH General Certificate after moving from Operational Management to special in HSQE in 2009. My choice was fully supported by my-then line manager at Lafarge Aggregates Limited.

What did you think of your overall course experience?

I chose the week release programme, which gave me 6 x 1-week study periods, allowing me to concentrate fully on the course, especially as the location, Warrington, was too far to travel on a daily basis.

The biggest benefit of the course was meeting fellow students from very different businesses and industries from those I had worked in. This gave me a deeper understanding of how different health and safety challenges were met, and also showed how much common ground we all had. The periods between each study week gave me the time to absorb and understand the work, and the course text books - together with the suggested reading - were clear and supported my learning.

What support did you get from Santia and your course tutors and how did this help you to pass the course?

Santia provide high quality training and texts, while the course tutors stretched and challenged us to improve throughout. As I was staying away during the study weeks, I was able to consolidate my learning in the evenings, by reviewing the day’s work and the ‘homework’ provided by the tutors. The tutors gave great feedback to my answers to previous past paper questions and gave us the opportunity to fully understand the standards required when completing the NEBOSH papers. 

In addition, the tutors advised us when planning our Unit D projects, though due to mergers of the businesses I was working for I had to delay starting my unit D project. In fact, I moved to a new employer before starting the project, but the support I had received from the tutors, enabled me to adapt my project plan from a minerals industry to my new employer’s (Brett Landscaping and Building Products Limited) concrete product manufacturing business.

What does it mean to you to be this year’s best Diploma candidate?

I am proud to have achieved this, though due to mergers and a change in employer, there was a delay between taking my Unit A – C examinations and completing my Unit D project. Whenever I take on a project I like to do it to the best of my ability. However, I am only one of many people who have passed their NEBOSH Diploma this year, all of whom have had to put in an incredible amount of time and effort, whilst doing the day-to-day jobs and with the support of their families, friends and colleagues. All have put in the hard graft, and all should be very proud of their achievements. As a child, I saw the effort needed by both my parents, as my Dad studied part-time with the Open University to achieve his degree, and from my mum who helped him achieve his ambition while they raised a young family. 

What are your plans now that you have passed the NEBOSH Diploma?

I firmly believe that achieving zero harm isn’t just about people following processes and procedures, but having a Positive Safety Culture in place is key. Achieving my NEBOSH Diploma has helped me secure a place on the University of Derby’s MSc Behaviour Change (Occupational Safety and Health) 3-year part-time course, which will commence in Autumn 2016.  By studying the psychology of behaviour change, I will have a more in-depth understanding which will help me develop a Safety Culture in my business that will truly deliver zero harm.  


Post date: 04 Jul 2016

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