Alumni Case Study: Lisa Kirkbride


Woodward Alumni member Lisa Kirkbride was recently interview by NEBOSH :

“A career in health and safety seemed like a natural step when I left the Army.”

Lisa Kirkbride joined the British Army in 1997. After 25 years with the Royal Military Police, she left in April 2022 to take up a role in health and safety. In this case study, Lisa tells us about her transition from the forces to civilian life and how NEBOSH helped her.

Lisa, tell me about your role within the British Army.

I joined the British Army in July 1997. After completing my training, I was posted to Northern Ireland. Over the course of my military career, I served in various locations, including the UK, Germany, Cyprus, Canada, and Afghanistan. During my tenure with the Royal Military Police, I held several key roles, including:

• Section Commander
• Platoon Second-in-Command (2IC)
• Police Office Manager
• Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS)
• Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS)
• WO1 Policing

I left the military in April 2022 at the end of my contract.

When approaching the end of your contract with the Royal Military Police, did you have an idea of what career you wanted to transition into?

Throughout my service, I consistently applied health and safety policies and procedures at various levels and conducted numerous audits of vast locations. I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in health and safety after my military service, so I obtained the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with Woodward SHE Ltd during my transition. Additionally, I acquired other civilian qualifications while working as a Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS) and Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS), which allowed me to demonstrate relevant experience in health and safety.

Since December 2022, I have been employed as the Health, Safety and Facilities Manager for Pioneer Foodservice in Carlisle, covering Cumbria, North East and Southern Scotland. To further solidify my expertise, I am due to begin the NEBOSH Level 6 National Diploma for Health and Safety Management Professionals with Woodward SHE Ltd later this year.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in health and safety?

Having been a Royal Military Police Officer in the Army for 25 years, I was naturally inquisitive and completed a number of appointments where I was required to carry out health and safety duties or accident investigations. A career in health and safety seemed like a natural step when I left the Army following the completion of my contract. While I was waiting for my current opportunity in a health and safety role, I was employed as a transport manager, which required me to carry out accident investigations and safety audits.

What drew you to choose a NEBOSH qualification?

NEBOSH qualifications are globally recognised, they provide a range of qualifications to suit various industries and career paths, all of which complement each other. Many organisations are increasingly prioritising employee safety, and companies recognise the value of having skilled safety professionals on their teams.

Did you use ELCAS funding to fund your NEBOSH studies?

I used Enhanced Learning Credits (ELC) funding to complete my NEBOSH National General certificate to cement my experience throughout my military career. I am due to commence my NEBOSH Diploma this year and will utilise the last ELCAS to partially fund this.

Find out more about utilising your ELCAS funding for your NEBOSH training here: https://www.woodward-group.co.uk/elc-funded-training/

What is the best piece of health and safety advice you have been given throughout your career in the forces?

Communication is key and make sure you have a plan from the outset which should be reviewed at all times.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Adapted from an article posted on the NEBOSH website here: https://www.nebosh.org.uk/our-news-and-events/case-studies/a-career-in-health-and-safety-seemed-like-a-natural-step-when-i/