Eureka! I Have a NEBOSH Diploma Too!

Case Study: Lisa Sherratt - NHS

When Lisa Sherratt attended the NEBOSH Graduation Ceremony to collect her Diploma in June 2014, she found she was a little awestruck by all the hard-working and successful people she encountered there. Then she had one of those “Eureka!” moments when she realised: “Wow, I'm one of them too.”

Lisa wanted to be a police officer when she left school at the age of 18. But as her local force in Cheshire was not recruiting at the time, she decided to join the Army to gain some relevant experience. She quickly impressed and was selected for officer training at Sandhurst where she rose to the rank of Captain. 

After ten years in the Army, Lisa joined Hampshire Police, spending two years on active duty. She then spent five years in a civilian role with the police, teaching probationary police personal safety techniques and conflict resolution. 

In 2005, the National Health Service set up a Special Health Body called NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (now NHS Protect), who delivered strategies designed to safeguard NHS staff and resources from violence, aggression and crime. One of the strategies was to ensure all NHS Trusts had a Local Security Management Specialist in place. Lisa was perfectly suited to the role and so she joined East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust.  

Although Lisa worked primarily in security, her role was strongly linked to the health and safety area. As a result she successfully passed the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety with a distinction as a way of boosting her knowledge and adding to her CV. It was a good move, because it provided the perfect platform for what happened next.

In 2012 the Trust restructured Lisa’s role to include responsibility for health, safety and fire, as well as security. As this was effectively a health and safety management position, one of the requirements was for Lisa to work towards gaining the NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety.

By January 2014 she had passed all of her Diploma exams and only had her final assignment to submit. It was perfect timing, because another position then became available at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust as Head of Health, Safety and Security. Just as Lisa was submitting her assignment, she was offered the job.

She loves her new senior role. Lisa heads up a team responsible for all aspects of safety and security for a number of community hospitals, health centres and healthcare services delivered within patients’ homes.

“I face new challenges every day and to be honest I feel really privileged to be able to apply the knowledge and theory I've learned on a day-to-day basis. Everything I learned from the Diploma is relevant, whether it is managing building issues, safety of medical gases or lone working. I feel really lucky as we cover the whole spectrum here.”

Lisa adds that receiving her Diploma at the NEBOSH Graduation was an “incredibly special day” for her: “Wearing the hat and gown was a really proud moment for me and I think receiving my Diploma at the ceremony helped my employers understand this is a degree level qualification and it takes a lot of hard work and commitment. I found I had so much respect for everyone at the graduation, because I know exactly what they have been through. I was so pleased to be part of that.”