Volunteering

Help to make a difference

Volunteering

CPD logoThere are many ways for you to develop your career through activities such as training and delivering presentations for example, but it can be more difficult to find opportunities to grow your management or project skills. Volunteering for Institute activities can help to fill that gap.

Volunteering shows that you are a dedicated professional, willing to give something back to a discipline that has given you the chance to see and experience things no other single discipline could.

There are a variety of volunteering opportunities open to you which can be very rewarding and add to your own CPD.

  • Be an assessor: open to Registered Members & Fellows. Extend your skills in developing professionalism in others.
  • Be a part of project team: open to all grades. Improve your team working and communication skills.
  • Be a mentor: open to Registered Members & Fellows. Grow your leadership, management and communication skills.
  • Be a reviewer: open to Registered Members & Fellows. Get experience in evaluating and providing feedback on the written skills of others.
  • Be on the conference secretariat: open to Students. Get team working skills and experience in running a major event.
  • Be on a committee: open to all grades. Improve your team working and communication skills.
  • Be a Regional Group Organiser: open to all but Students. Grow your leadership, management and communication skills.

Be an assessor

Assessors play a vital role in upholding standards of professionalism in the discipline by peer-reviewing applications for membership. You will be helping to give confidence to organisations and the public that our members are skilled, knowledgable and have the experience to carry out ergonomics and human factors work competently.

Assessors also accredit externally run degree courses and training courses in ergonomics and human factors. You will be helping to ensure quality content and delivery of these courses for those signing up to them.

The Professional Affairs Board (PAB) sets standards of accreditation for individuals (as new or upgrading members) and companies (as Registered Consultancies), and for degree courses and training courses. Specialist Panels, made up of assessors, are tasked with carrying out the accreditations. The Chairs of these Panels make up the majority of members of PAB.

All assessors are Registered Members or Fellows of the Institute. As an assessor, the number of assessments you would be asked to make would vary from perhaps 2 a year up to around 12, depending on which Panel you sit on. There are many more applications for Registered Membership each year than for degree courses for example.

Each assessment may take an hour or more to complete, and normally, 2 assessors would be asked to independently and anonymously assess an application, liaising with the Institute’s Membership Manager. All applications, unless there are exceptional circumstances, are dealt with electronically and there is rarely, if ever, a need for the panel members to meet in person.

Assessment includes the completion of a report providing feedback and the decision of whether to accept or reject the application or ask for more information. When an application is ready for assessment, we ask for volunteers from our assessor pool. We then email you the application and ask that your assessment is completed and feedback provided within 2 weeks.

Applications are confidential and all assessors are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the applicant’s information.

We are always looking for assessors to join our Panels to help us to provide a fast but rigorous turnaround of applications. If you are a Registered Member or Fellow and would like to help, please contact us.

Be part of a project team

In order for us to achieve our aims according to our strategic plan, there are a number of projects that need to be undertaken, for which we rely on help from our members. As part of a project working group, you could be asked to do some simple fact-finding or to formulate a detailed plan for something, such as a programme for an event.

These projects will have set aims and deliverables, and an end date so you won’t be signing up for anything long term but we will need your commitment for the length of the project.

We will publicise each project as it arises so you can get all the details you need and decide whether you wish to volunteer.

Be a mentor

Mentoring can be highly rewarding, enabling someone less experienced and skilled than you to benefit from your help. This is especially true for members just starting out in their career or for those who find themselves as the lone ergonomist or human factors specialist working on a new project.

Members looking to upgrade to Registered Membership are required to find a mentor to cover a certain period of their experience prior to their application. See more details on this aspect of mentoring.

As a mentor, you would need to meet with the person you are mentoring and to be in contact at least by phone and email with them regularly through the mentoring period but it would not necessarily take a lot of time. How much time is up to you.

Many members struggle to find someone in their area or who has experience in their sector, so if you are a Registered Member or Fellow and think you could give something back to a discipline that has served you well, please consider volunteering to be a mentor.

Go to the members portal MyIEHF and select the ‘My profile’ menu option. Please tick the box saying you would be willing to be a mentor. If we are asked for help in finding a mentor, this will help us to better match the member to you.

Be a reviewer

The proceedings of our annual Ergonomics & Human Factors conference are well recognised as a high quality publication,  achieved through a robust system of peer-review developed over many years.

As a reviewer, you would be helping to maintain this quality and to assist authors in raising the standard of their individual papers.

The reviewing of papers for this event takes place in October each year and needs to be complete by the beginning of November. You could have up to 8 papers to review depending on how many we receive in your particular area of expertise, which you can specify. A paper could be an extended abstract of 2 pages, or a full paper of up to 8 pages.

Each review includes ratings on set scales and feedback for the author. Guidance is given on what you need to do and what you need to look for. The whole review process is carried out online so there is no restriction on where you are located or what time you do it.

Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a reviewer.

Be on the conference secretariat

The secretariat are a small body of students and young ergonomists who provide vital assistance in ensuring the smooth running of the Institute’s annual Ergonomics & Human Factors conference.

The event occurs in April each year for 3 days and secretariat members must be available for work throughout the whole conference, including some time before and after the event.

It is one of the most rewarding things you can do as a Student Member. You have the chance to attend the whole event for free, to meet and get to know a large community of members, and to enjoy yourself, amongst all the wide variety of tasks there is to carry out. You will be managed by a Secretariat leader who is very experienced in the event.

You will need to be versatile, willing to learn quickly and to take responsibility for the running of presentations. Look out for notices in The Ergonomist towards the end of each year.

Be on a committee

As a member of a committee, you will be helping the Institute to formulate plans and ideas for progression towards achievement of our Strategic Plan.

Our Events Committee contributes to the programme, organisation, format and content of all national (excluding Regional Group) events. Committee activities include formulation of ideas for events and workshops, the identification of keynote speakers, the structure of each event and event themes. The Committee meets face to face or through conference calls as and when the calendar of events demands.

Our Membership Committee generates ideas to gain and retain new members, offers membership initiatives, and reviews membership benefits to ensure the delivery of value at every grade. The Committee meets face to face or through conference calls 4 times per year.

You would need to input into committee activities as and when necessary, time needed being dependent on the exact nature and timescale of the activity. Each committee has a set number of seats.

Contact our Chief Operating Officer to see if there are any vacancies on these committees or if you are interested in the type of activities these committees undertake, as there could be project work that would interest you.

Be a Regional Group Organiser

As a Regional Group Organiser, you will be helping the Institute to provide opportunities for members to get together, to share experiences and to learn.

Regional Groups participate in a minimum of 4 activities per year. These may be events such as meetings with 1 or 2 presentations by members or other invited speakers, or it might be a joint meeting with a local group from another institution. It may include visits to local industries, businesses or locations of interest. Other activities may involve co-ordinated visits by individual Regional Group members to local schools and universities.

You would need to input into Regional Group activities as and when necessary, time needed being dependent on the exact nature and timescale of the activity. There will be help, advice and support available from the Institute wherever possible.

Contact our Chief Executive to talk about how you might help and to see if there are any vacancies as a local organiser.