Chair's Xmas and New Year Message 2015


In 2015 the standouts have got to be the new Leadership & Management Guidance and the revised HASMAP auditing tool.

The feedback from the Guidance launch in Manchester, the audience profile and the endorsements secured reflect the high esteem with which both pieces of work are held. The efforts of Monica Kanwar (Herts), Scott Trim (Coventry) and all the members of each Group have resulted in work of real significance to the sector, and of which every USHA member should be proud. The Guidance and HASMAP will certainly be integral to both USHA and the sector moving forward over the next 12 months and beyond.

Special mentions must also go to Stewart Crowe ( Liverpool) , John Crust ( Essex)  and Rachel Valentine ( Manchester) as they continue to lead the Estates, Fire and Competency, Development and Training Groups. All continue to go from strength to strength, reflected now in how they're seeking regular opportunities to work collaboratively amongst one another and with other sector associations. They are also now active members of national bodies that influence and shape government policies and strategies. The groups certainly have exciting times ahead.

Looking ahead to 2016, and to list some of the many projects, events and initiatives that tie in to our aims: -

  • The Belfast conference. The theme fits in perfectly with the new challenges we're facing and the programme captures these excellently. As ever, I'm sure it will be a success. What would enhance the event further is if you get chance to take up the fantastic early bird offer and extend the opportunity to team members who wouldn't normally attend.
  • USHA holds its strategy and planning day in June to shape how the association moves forward over the next three to five years. The success of the day and, most importantly, the outcomes from it require the membership's contributions. Please do look to your local representatives (or Group Chairs if you have a specialist interest) in the months leading up to the day, in order to feed into the new strategy.
  • USHA being centric to, and a key player in, developing the sector's Health and Safety Strategy for 2016 to 2020. Whilst we have always input to the UCEA strategy in the past, we have been asked to take a more prominent lead role for the first time. I'm sure many of our members will look to the strategy to shape their own organisational strategies. It also provides opportunity to secure influence across the many associations and bodies that support the sector and achieve the overarching common goals – securing the health, safety and wellbeing of its community and enable individual institutions and the sector to continue to evolve and thrive.
  • Under the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, the research of Dr. Sara Guediri into health and safety leadership amongst principal investigators and as part of responsible research. USHA is actively contributing to and supporting this project. Its outputs I'm sure will offer us valuable learning opportunities to take not only to our own research communities but also inform our institutions' approaches to health and safety leadership.

I want to close by giving massive thanks to: my colleagues on the executive; Lynda, Gail and Lesley who continue to be the backbone as at USHA Central; and, most importantly, you the membership. You are USHA's lifeblood – vital, indispensible and essential for life.

Please, please, please do have a wonderful Christmas and here's wishing you a successful New Year. I do really hope to see you at one of the many events and have opportunity to contribute to the areas of work in the year ahead.    


Gary Wood

USHA Chair