Bringing new meaning to the phrase “more than one string to his bow”!

Case Study: David Wright


At 35 David Wright has already had one successful career and is achieving great things in his second!

During his 9-year career with the Royal Marines Band Service, David performed at state ceremonial occasions across the globe, playing both the saxophone and violin to various audiences, including Royalty and VIPs. He had additional responsibilities too, including composing and arranging music and working as an academic instructor and music librarian.

When David chose to leave the Armed Forces in 2014, he secured a post at a local community college where he was soon promoted to Deputy Business Manager. Health and Safety was one of his main responsibilities and he quickly realised this was the aspect of the job he enjoyed the most. When David saw that City College Plymouth was recruiting a Health and Safety Manager, he decided to apply believing it would be the perfect next step for his new career.

“During my interview, I was able to demonstrate my passion for health and safety and the relevant experience I had gained during my five years at the community college and service in the Royal Marines. There was just one thing I was lacking from the recruiter’s wish list – the NEBOSH General Certificate. I was offered the job on the understanding that I made gaining this qualification my priority.” explained David. “I still had some of my ELCAS resettlement left over, so I used this to fund both my NEBOSH General and Fire Certificate studies passing both with distinction.”

As the only dedicated health and safety staff member at City College Plymouth, David has plenty of opportunity to put into practice what he learnt from his NEBOSH studies. The large inner-city college is recognised as one of the leading providers of vocational, professional, and technical training in the South West of England. It has over 600 staff and nearly 13,000 students who are registered on a wide range of courses including Construction and the Building Trades, Hair and Beauty, Automotive and Marine Engineering and Hospitality and Catering. As a result, there are a myriad of risks to manage both on and off site!

David’s efforts have already made a huge difference, and there is now a really strong, positive health and safety culture amongst staff and students. He has overhauled the college’s health and safety management system and introduced a three-year strategic plan. He has also built strong links with providers in the local community and regularly delivers training sessions to the college’s staff and students. 

David WrightMore recently, David has been leading the college’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It first affected operations in January 2020 because some of the college’s staff and students were in South East Asia at the time. David has been taking the lead on business continuity and contingency planning ever since. He has been simultaneously managing for the site to remain open throughout the lockdown for vulnerable students whilst planning in advance a series of social distancing and safety measures ready for the college welcoming back selected students in June to complete final assessments.

Staggered starts, designated entry and exit doors, clear signage, one-way systems in corridors, social distancing monitoring and the availability of hand sanitisers will all help to keep everyone safe. To provide reassurance David has ensured that all these policies and frequently asked question responses are easily accessible on the college’s staff intranet through his dedicated COVID-19 hub and detailed operational manual. This combined set of work has received recognition as best practice by the Government Department, the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

“My NEBOSH studies have really helped me, particularly when I was faced with the challenges that came with COVID-19.” David said. “I gained the confidence and strength in my convictions to deliver my responsibilities in a very large organisation which has over 13,500 people to protect.I am proud of everything I have achieved so far; in both my Military and Health and Safety careers!”


How has your NEBOSH qualification helped you? Email us with your storymarketing@nebosh.org.uk