Seven employers win IOP awards for Best Practice in Professional Development

13 July 2015

Seven organisations that employ physicists are to receive Best Practice in Professional Development Awards from the IOP.

Best Practice in Professional Development

The annual awards recognise and celebrate employers who can demonstrate excellence in the way that they train and develop staff and promote work-life balance. The 2015 winners will be presented with their awards, which are valid for three years, at the IOP’s Awards Dinner on 5 November.

The winners this year are AMEC Foster Wheeler, AWE, BAE Systems Submarines, CRA Risk Analysis, DSTL, IRS and Sharp Laboratories. Entries were assessed by a judging panel, which commented on the particular strengths of each of the winning organisations.

Some examples of good practice noted by the panel were AMEC Foster Wheeler’s competency assurance scheme, head of profession, “lunchtime learnings”, allocation of mentors, and system of ongoing appraisal; AWE’s head of physics, discussion of physics career paths, six-month community project, people awards and employee forum; BAE Systems Submarines’ initial professional development, secondment opportunities and outreach projects; and CRA Risk Analysis’ professional development forum and seven days of external training per year.

Further examples of good practice that the panel highlighted were DSTL’s subscriptions for professional bodies, framework for mentoring, steps to ensure a healthy work-life balance and mid-career refocusing; IRS’s apprenticeship scheme, clear commitment to ongoing CPD, record of contributing to conferences, well-established coaching and mentoring, concern for work-life balance and corporate social responsibility; and Sharp Laboratories’ six-monthly appraisal scheme, mentoring by directors, transparent system for promotions, and sponsorship of employees to do PhDs.

Commenting on the awards, the IOP’s membership, careers and CPD manager, Vishanti Fox, said: “We were delighted with the high volume and standard of entries and the excellent practices that the winners are showing in the way that they support and develop their physicists.”