We are extremely proud of our colleague Drew McLaren for being one of the ten winners of the 2022 Michael Adamson NEBOSH Diploma Scholarship.

The scholarship is named in memory of Michael Adamson who lost his life in a preventable workplace incident and provides paid-for study for the NEBOSH National or International Diploma for Occupational Health and Safety Management Professionals. This year's scholarship programme received 1,200 applications from people around the world. 

Find out more about the scholarship and Drew’s journey below.

In 2018, I attended a compulsory basic safety course whilst working as a fitter/FLT driver. In that two-day course, the instructor really opened my eyes to what a career in health and safety is all about ... getting people home safely to their family and friends. I had fancied a change in career for a while, but I left school with no qualifications and didn’t serve my time as a tradesman so changing career or job was always a struggle.  So, when he explained that, to do the NEBOSH general certificate all you need is dedication, time, and a little bit of savvy I thought “two out of three isn’t bad!” I then self-funded my NEBOSH General certificate in 2019 and I haven’t looked back.

Taking on the diploma was always the natural next step for me in my personal and professional development.  It was something that I had hoped to do a few years down the line, especially with a new baby in the house!  Group Safety Manager Stuart Kerray had noticed that this scholarship had been set up via LinkedIn, he sent me the link to it and here we are.  I didn’t think I would have a chance of getting it!

It was a written application, 15 questions, 250 words per answer. They asked a mixture of personal and professional questions such as “Why do you want to achieve the NEBOSH diploma?” and “How will gaining this qualification impact your workplace?”  Stuart Kerray also gave me a great reference as my referee.

It’s unbelievable to be selected, to be honest is hasn’t really sunk in yet. To be less than two years into my career in health and safety and be selected for this scholarship is amazing.   

The course is split into 4 units and the key topics are Management of Health and Safety at Work ,The Key Legal Frameworks for Health and Safety in the UK, including The Key Elements of Health and Safety Systems, The Identification and Control of Risk Associated with Hazardous Agents, Workplace Issues and equipment, Management of Stress at Work & The Importance of Human Factors in Reducing Incidents. I get five years to complete the diploma but I’m hoping to achieve it in two.

Achieving the NEBOSH diploma would allow me to provide best in class support to all staff and allow me to advise and guide management and stakeholders to best practises.  I would use the materials and knowledge from the NEBOSH diploma to develop and nurture staff at all levels throughout the business, and to make positive change.

Hillington has just begun its cultural change regarding health and safety. Accidents, incidents and near misses are all now reported immediately, not just by the Health and Safety team but by employees at all levels throughout the business.  Health and Safety is discussed daily at management meetings and a safety committee has been formed.  There is still a way to go and I will continue to support management and staff as best I can so the site achieves “best in class”.