I chose the NEBOSH IGC because it is well recognised globally...it is one of a kind!

Case Study: Bartosz Suchecki - Second Officer DPO (Dynamic Positioning Officer) at N-Sea Group and freelance Instructor at Vulcan Training Centre

NEBOSH spoke to Bartosz Suchecki, who is employed as a Second Officer DPO (Dynamic Positioning Officer) by N-Sea Group and works as freelance Instructor at Vulcan Training Centre. We wanted to find out about Bartosz’s busy working life and discover why he recently chose to complete the NEBOSH International Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety.

At what point in your career did you decide health and safety was an avenue that you wished to pursue and why?

Ever since I completed my B.Eng Degree in Marine Salvage and Rescue I have worked at sea. I initially worked on deep sea ships, which are used to transport goods around the globe.  In 2014, I decide I wanted a change and switched to offshore ships, which are specifically designed to support operational activities, such as oil exploration or construction work at sea.  I was really struck by how different the safety cultures were in these two environments and it got me more interested in the subject.  I took on health and safety responsibilities at this time and found I enjoyed it.

In 2019 I began delivering OPITO (offshore oil and gas) and GWO (wind energy) training for Vulcan training and consultancy. The company employs health, safety and environmental (HSE) experts, including paramedics, fire fighters and occupational health and safety specialists. Working with these professionals was the main inspiration for taking a NEBOSH qualification. I suppose you could say I wanted to expand my own health and safety knowledge having seen their expertise. 

Why did you choose the NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety (IGC) in particular?

I chose the NEBOSH IGC because it is well recognised globally, and I knew from my colleagues that although it is demanding study, it is one of a kind! The qualification leaves your head full of up to date and useful knowledge. Another key factor for choosing a NEBOSH qualification specifically, is they are what employers ask for when they recruit HSE Officers and Specialists. 

Whilst I was studying for the NEBOSH International General Certificate, I also completed and passed a post diploma studies of “Management of Health and Safety” at the Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin. I found working on both at the same time helped me understand the subject further and cross-reference my knowledge.

Did you find it useful and enjoyable?  

I found it very useful, and it has changed the way I think and see safety. There is so much behind the 3 letters - HSE. 

How did you juggle work and studying? 

I work offshore in permanent rotation with 6 weeks on land and 6 weeks at sea. When I am at home, I split my time between studying and working on a part-time basis as a trainer. I like to keep busy!

What impact has having the NEBOSH International General Certificate had on you and your career?

For me there is no doubt that the knowledge I gained from the course will help me keep myself, my co-workers and other people I encounter at work safer. To be honest, I have already received some job offers for HSE Officers so it has also broadened my long-term career prospects too. At the moment, HSE is one aspect of my job, but I’m considering moving my career to this path and my NEBOSH IGC will certainly help me achieve this if it becomes my goal. 

Can you explain what your current roles involve?

The responsibilities of a Second Officer DPO (Dynamic Positioning Officer) on the ship are varied and that is one of the things I enjoy about my job. It certainly isn’t boring! Health and Safety is vital whilst at sea and we are all responsible for our safety and wellbeing on board. The more safety minded the crew, the safer we will be and that is what you need when you are in the middle of the ocean! 

At Vulcan Training Centre, I work as Instructor delivering OPITO and GWO courses. Gaining core HSE knowledge from the NEBOSH IGC, has made me more confident and able when I teach my delegates about safety. I can bring many examples and most importantly, I’m able to explain safety related issues in detail if they need me to. 

What advice would you give someone who is considering health and safety as a career?

I have already recommended this path to many of my friends unsure of what career path to take or looking for a change. Obviously, taking the NEBOSH IGC was the first thing I recommended them to start with and then it is about looking for opportunities to apply that knowledge.