Testimonial: Chartered membership with CIWM

Chartered member
Christine Cole
research associate
Loughborough University

Why did you join CIWM?

When I was a recycling officer for a local authority I joined CIWM in order to access information relevant to my role. I was also studying part time and could make use of the resources available via the website. This course (MSc in sustainable Waste Management at University of Southampton) was CIWM accredited, which gave my employers confidence in the relevance to my job role.

Why does your membership grade work for you?

I feel that being a Chartered member shows a level of commitment to the sector and also indicates the recognition of my abilities and knowledge from my peers. My jobs may have changed, but the benefits I have had through my membership of CIWM have changed with it.

How has CIWM membership helped your professional development?

I have attended many events for continuing professional development (CPD), some organised nationally, but many organised by Midlands Centre. Most of these are free to CIWM members.

These are always interesting, sometimes cover areas in which I am relatively knowledgeable, but I always learn something. These events also offer a great opportunity for networking, meeting many people in the sector whose roles are very different to mine.

For you, what is the greatest benefit of CIWM membership?

I joined the waste prevention special interest group some time ago, this was more focussed on the area I was working in and I attended the meetings which I always found informative and a good place for networking.

I now chair the SIG group and we are working on development of an action plan to focus the groups work. This gives us as a group a voice, but my employers also like me taking on this role as it offers them the opportunity to evidence impact within the sector.

I have also been fortunate to have travelled abroad with CIWM. I went on a study tour in Germany looking at different waste collection and treatment facilities. I was also part of a health and safety exchange programme with Denmark and Sweden. This programme was granted EU Leonardo funding and was run initially by the Midlands Centre. I spent two weeks in Copenhagen with City Containers, one of the contractors collecting waste for the City of Copenhagen.

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