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Dynamic Occupational Safety & Health Portfolio

Over the last three articles, you glimpsed into the benefits of having a Occupational Safety and Health Portfolio in helping you secure the job of your dreams. You have also been given some tips on how to react towards feedback about your portfolio.

By now you should realise that your OSH portfolio is a dynamic tool.

In some world-class medical universities, medical students are asked to sit for a progressive test each semester. The test contains the same question for that set of students and all students fail in the first half of the semester. Why? The questions asked on subjects, principles and procedures that these students have not study yet. In fact, they’ll only be taught about the answers to the questions in the coming semesters.

So what’s the purpose of the progressive test?

It’s to gauge the understanding and progress of the students.

Portfolio Reflects Understanding

If your understanding of a subject matter has not changed over the course of you preparing your portfolio, there must be something wrong in the process you’re using. If you’re to reflect on the knowledge, principles and theories, your mastery is shown through the many ways you can manipulate and apply that knowledge to find solutions in life.

Your portfolio is meant to reflect your growth and maturity in the field. If you’re a final semester student and yet still thinks like a 1st semester student, what difference do you have compared to your juniors? Why should your prospective employers employ you when your knowledge is no different than someone who has never studied Occupational Safety and Health?

Because your portfolio is dynamic, your portfolio can incorporate change. You can revisit your thoughts and understanding in the past and ratify it through writing a newer article – an update. There are many authors I know – whether OSH related or not – who update their books every now and then.

Knowledge is Dynamic

Your portfolio is meant to demonstrate your mastery of occupational safety and health workplace knowledge. In the Information Age, knowledge and information doubles every two years besides being obsolete in the same time.

Think of the many “miracle substance” which – after a few decades – is revealed to be extremely hazardous to humans.

Knowledge is never perfect, knowledge undergoes the scientific and philosophical debates and with new understanding, the perceptions towards the knowledge changes. Let’s take cheap child labour and slavery. Once upon a time, it’s accepted as true and valid in many countries. Today, it’s condemned by human rights activists and many businesses and democracies.

Realise this: knowledge is dynamic, so your understanding and reflection of that understanding must also be dynamic.

Transition from Generalist to Specialist

Your OSH portfolio is also a marker of your transition from a generalist to a specialist.

For instance at the Diploma or Certificate level, your are taught or exposed to the general principles and practices of workplace safety and health. So few diplomas and certificate specialise immediately in fields like toxicology, occupational hygiene etc.

Thus, your portfolio should represent the transition. Show that you mastered the basic concepts in OHS in the general sense. Based on your focus, company or industry, demonstrate how you can use your understanding and mastery of the knowledge in the circumstances or scenarios that exist in your chosen industry.

Take Action, Draft it Now

You have every reason to promote yourself through an OSH portfolio – online or offline. There is a never perfect timing for action – you need to begin with an action, react to the reactions and take charge by foreseeing the obstacles and challenges  of the future.

No amount of literature, video or audio can help you without action on your part.

Take action, draft your OSH portfolio today. Make it a priority.

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