It is a good idea to have a plan for your CPD, there is always room for spontaneity too.
To my mind CPD is a bit like a risk assessment. Risk assessments have static elements that are planned in, such as the now-routine reviews of COVID-secure measures.
But risk assessments also have more dynamic elements.
A perfect example of this occurred last week when I was having the “winter is coming” conversation with a group of RoSPA
members, and my learning process as a result is something worth sharing.
The conversation made me stop and think about the role of the built environment, particularly office ventilation systems, in the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. When OSH professionals were thinking about the return to workplaces a few months ago, Legionella
and the undertaking of testing before reoccupying buildings was a topic of much discussion. Recent research
by the University of Cambridge has highlighted that office ventilation systems mixing airflows (to improve comfort and save energy) could be increasing the rate at which the COVID-19 virus spreads. Ventilation systems designed to maintain uniform comfort conditions in an occupied space also disperse airborne contaminants evenly.
This led me to reflect on the challenges associated with attaining thermal comfort, and flashback to my original PhD, of which a significant element was consideration of the built environment.
Needing to understand more, I picked up the November 2020 edition of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE
) Journal, which was by happy coincidence a CPD special. The 4th
edition of the COVID-19 ventilation guidance reflects on the onset of cooler conditions in the UK, and includes additional guidance on the use of natural ventilation openings, recirculation and thermal wheels. Cooler conditions could bring thermal discomfort for occupants, who may block off ventilation and increase the risk of airborne viral transmission.
This opened a window on another aspect of being COVID-secure and remaining situationally aware - are fellow OSH professionals working with those who manage the buildings we work in? What are their thoughts on building regulations to include measures to mitigate the risk of infectious disease transmission as suggested by SAGE?
So that’s my take on dynamic CPD: do, reflect and record. And as suggested by the CIBSE, it is fundamentally important to #Build2Perform on a personal and organisational basis.
Dr Karen McDonnell
OSH policy adviser, RoSPA
Posted: 11/10/2020 3:08:02 PM