A great way to reinforce what you already know and to introduce you to new options!

Case Study: Emma Carl, Risk Management Analyst, AA Projects

We spoke to Emma Carl, a risk management analyst at AA Projects, about her NEBOSH journey including her thoughts on one of our newer qualifications; the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Risk Management.

Emma, the first NEBOSH qualification you studied was the National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety in 2015. What motivated you to take this qualification?

After completing a law degree at university, I secured a role as a team leader for a health plan provider. I worked there for over four years and found that over time role expanded to include health and safety responsibilities, which I enjoyed. As my career progressed, I secured HR Support and operational roles with other employers, and found health and safety was a common thread in all of the roles I held.

This was what motivated me to take the National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. I wanted to build my confidence and understanding so I was more certain of what I was doing for this important aspect of my job.

How has the knowledge gained from this qualification helped you throughout your career?

Completing the NEBOSH General Certificate delivered what I hoped for when I signed up, in terms of strengthening my knowledge and confidence. I found it to be a practical qualification full of useful insights that were relevant in the workplace. It also allowed me to develop my critical thinking. I really enjoyed it.

You have been working in Risk Management for the past 3 years at AA Projects. Can you tell us a little about your role and responsibilities?

AA Projects is a management and property consultancy who prides itself on achieving best value for clients, providing specialist knowledge of property solutions, procurement, financing and the complete management of the construction process.

Services include project management, quantity surveying, facilities management, building surveying, energy and sustainability consultancy and strategic management.
I support my colleagues who deliver these services by making sure they consider and mitigate the risks they face at work. We have worked hard to ensure we are seen as a support function rather than a department to avoid. Our approach is collaborative rather than dictatorial. Taking this approach has meant our colleagues are more open to what we can offer and as demand for our services has grown so has our team.

I really enjoy my role which offers real variety and builds on my previous experience and studies. I particularly enjoy delivering induction training as this helps ensure colleagues understand our risk management approach from the outset. I also like analysing risk data to help glean insights so we can find better ways to keep our colleagues safe through our continuous improvement ethos.


Throughout your career you have gained a wide range of skills and experience, from data analysis, process reviews, administration and management. Why did taking the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk appeal to you?

I have always been a big believer in devoting time to my own learning and development and am fortunate to work for an organisation who supports its people’s personal growth and development.

I have previously completed my law degree, the NEBOSH National General Certificate and other relevant courses to the roles I have held. These, combined with my work experience, have enabled me to build up my skills and knowledge in several areas of risk, but I know that I can always learn more. The risk arena is vast and ever changing, and I felt that completing the NEBOSH IIRSM Certificate in Managing Risk would allow me to refresh some existing skills and learn new ones.


How did you find it?

I enjoyed it. As I suspected, the content did reinforce lots of things that I have learnt previously but also introduced me to new concepts too, which was great. I like how the qualification encourages the adoption of a broader view of risk than most health and safety professionals are used to.


What did you gain from completing this qualification?

It was a great choice for me in terms of my own professional development. I also feel that the new knowledge I have gained will help me better support the business.


Would you recommend it to others?

I would and have recommended this qualification already. After taking it myself, I enrolled two team members onto the qualification. They have differing levels of experience, and I felt that they would gain a better understanding of the many areas that fall under risk by completing the course. I think it is helpful that we have all have a common understanding of the concepts covered in the qualification.

Even if you have been in a risk role for a while, the qualification is a great way to reinforce what you already know and to introduce you to new options. I enjoyed the ‘mini’ quizzes as you progress through the course as they helped ensure I kept focused and identified areas that I needed to revisit.


Given your experience, what do you think is needed to be effective in managing risk?

I think those of us who work in health and safety, or risk management should “support, not shout”. Being able to actively listen to people and hear what they are saying is vital. You need to find out what risks are being faced and what is needed in order to resolve or reduce risks before they happen. You should be open to suggestions as often the best ideas come from those with first-hand experience. We don’t always have all the answers, so listening and talking through issues will help identify solutions that work.


What advice would you give to someone who is considering risk for a career?

Risk covers so many areas, find an area you are passionate about or enjoy and look into that. If you can, get some work experience before you commit to make sure it’s the right version of risk for you. Don’t be afraid to make contacts in the risk arena and ask questions. Ask them to be honest about their own pros and cons of working in risk.

If you don’t know or are ever unsure, say so. It is important that we all accept we won’t know everything. It’s ok to go away, investigate a topic or speak to someone with more experience than you so that when you provide your answer, you have confidence that what you are saying is correct.

I have always found this to be a rewarding role that gives you the opportunity to help others. If you have decided it is the right choice for you, welcome and enjoy!