This month, a small booklet that could be the catalyst to your career progression in 2013 accompanies the environmentalist. It is your personal, portable version of the IEMA environmental skills map (ESM)
The skills map is the environment profession’s first and only competency framework for career development and progression.
Launched in 2011, the ESM provides individual practitioners, employers, recruiters and careers advisers with a framework of the skills and competencies required for environment roles at all levels of experience. Many organisations are now using the ESM to define what is required for their environment roles and to ensure they are recruiting the ideal candidates.
Infrastructure firm Balfour Beatty, for example, has used the ESM to develop a company-wide environmental skills matrix which informs recruitment, training and leadership development. The matrix builds on the ESM’s content to align it with Balfour Beatty’s specific skills requirements and the firm’s 2020 vision for sustainability.
For early-career professionals and those working at an “operational” level (typically aligned with Graduate and Affiliate memberships of IEMA), the ESM provides direction as to the knowledge and skills required to progress to more senior positions.
Meanwhile, for those in specialist, management and leadership positions, the ESM sets out the key skills required to become firmly established in a consultancy, senior or strategic role, across a variety of sectors.
Members should have become familiar with the ESM over the past 18 months through events, networking, iema.net and the environmentalist. Now it is envisaged that this refreshed and handy format will inspire members to use the map to its full potential, stimulating their professional development and career progression.
As the competencies listed across the ESM are separated into role categories (entry, operational, specialist, managerial and leadership), to begin using the map simply establish where you are on the skills map at the moment, and then find where you ideally aim to be in the coming months and years.
Once your goal is ascertained, identify the skills you need to get there and explore the learning and development opportunities available through your IEMA membership and other routes. To help plot and prioritise your career advancement, visit iema.net/skills and download the ESM tools, starting with the development planning tool.
Should you wish to discuss your development options as a result of using the ESM, email IEMA’s professional development adviser, Dipvandana Mehta, at [email protected]. Or to let us know how you are using the map, either personally or in your organisation, email IEMA’s project officer, Tara Cox, at [email protected].
Finally, remember to check the reverse of the skills map (see below). The testimonials on the back have all been submitted anonymously from members and confirm the value of IEMA membership.
Thank you to all those who gave their feedback; it will be an important tool for the Institute in recruiting other environment professionals to join us as members.