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Adam Pocock

In October 2020 IET volunteer Adam Pocock was elected to Council and joined the Membership and Professional Development (MPD) Board. Here we look at his journey to governance.

Adam lives in Derby, UK, and has worked for Royal Mail for the past 20 years.

He has a national role as Lead Machine Safety & Asset Lifecycle Manager and works across 37 mail centres and six distribution centres located around the UK.

He completed Ordinary and Higher National Certificates in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Burton Technical College in 2000; a European Machine Safety Standards certificate at Teesside University in 2018; and is on track to finish his Masters degree in Managing in Changing Technologies at Warwick University in 2021.

Inspirational assessor

Back in 2010, Royal Mail joined up with the IET with a view to professionalising the engineering workforce.

At that time, Adam was in a Maintenance Shift Team Leader role. “I recognised that this was a great opportunity,” he said, “so I applied for professional registration as an Engineering Technician [EngTech].

“Within weeks of my registration, I received an email from the IET inviting me to apply for the role of EngTech Assessor, which involves assessing candidates’ applications against the Engineering Council’s UK-SPEC Competence and Commitment Standard for Engineering Technicians, along with two other assessors. I felt this was an excellent opportunity to step outside of my work environment and comfort zone, to try something new.

“It didn’t disappoint and I’ve actually been an EngTech Assessor since 2012. I really enjoy seeing others progress to professional registration and have so far assessed more than 300 EngTechs.”

Mirroring best practice

In 2019 Adam took on two new IET volunteer roles: Professional Review Interviewer (PRI) and Professional Registration Advisor (PRA).

“Back in the days when I was a candidate for IEng [Incorporated Engineer] and CEng [Chartered Engineer], I was fortunate in having excellent IET interviewers who made the interviews feel like a three-way conversation.

“This allowed me to give the best account of myself at interview, to confirm that I possessed the skills and capabilities for the work I had listed in my application and ultimately to become professionally registered.

“The interviewers had a big impact on me. Now that I’m a PRI, I do my best to mirror their person-centred, friendly approach.”

In his PRA role, Adam is responsible for advising candidates of the most suitable category for their level of qualifications and experience, and for working through the UK-SPEC with them.

In both of these roles, what Adam enjoys most is seeing people succeed. If a candidate is nervous, he takes the time to provide reassurance and talk about other topics. More often than not, this puts the candidate at ease, enabling them to excel in the interview.

Governance role

“I’m elated and honoured to have been elected to Council. Being recognised as capable for such a role inspires me to be successful and give my all for this great institution,” said Adam.

“I work in Engineering Governance at Royal Mail, so moving into governance at the IET gives me a chance to transfer the knowledge I’ve gained, including understanding the importance of strong leadership in creating and implementing change.

“I’ve covered corporate strategy and vision in my MSc studies, along with the associated tools and techniques. Moving forward, I look forward to putting the theory into practice on Council, which will in turn support my own development.”

Adam has a keen interest in driving up membership at all professional levels and ensuring that the IET provides a professional home for life for all competent engineers. He said: “From a personal perspective, I’m really looking forward to working with fantastic individuals from a range of backgrounds and to pushing myself outside my comfort zone. From a global perspective, it’ll be great to see change happen and to know that I played a small part in that.

“IET governance, including sitting on the MPD Board, gives me an opportunity to do what’s right for a sustainable future. This will involve listening to the views of others at all levels – fellow volunteers as well as IET staff members – and making sure the platform is used wisely to share mixed viewpoints.

“At our first meeting, we discussed many topics, including the impact of the pandemic and strategies for keeping the IET moving forward during these times of uncertainty.”

Raising industry awareness

The two new governance roles weren’t the only additional responsibilities Adam took on in 2020. He also became an active member of the Electrician Registration Group, a team responsible for rolling out the IET’s new Electricians EngTech category.

Overcoming what he describes as his “imposter fears”, Adam seized opportunities to speak publicly to audiences of engineers, delivering workshops around the country to raise industry’s awareness of the new category and encourage applications, while also inspiring attendees to become IET volunteers as a way to give something back to their professional community.

“We now have more than 60 registered electricians, which is a highlight for me,” he said. “Although 60 may seem a low number, interest is rising and I can see real growth, which will drive up competence.

“Being part of the roll-out and facilitating group discussions around competence – a passion of mine – has enabled me to get closer to the frontline workforce and gain a true indication of how the industry is feeling.

“Changing opinions has been a challenge, particularly because there are a number of competent person schemes that have been in the industry for a while. The new focus is very much on continuing professional development and the importance of maintaining it, which demonstrates professionalism through attitudes and behaviours.”

When asked how to get the most satisfaction out of an IET volunteering role, Adam replied: “Embrace a range of roles and commit what time you can, but also recognise the importance of time to yourself. This will give you a balanced understanding of the process to registration and will increase your professional network, both within and outside of the IET.”

 

If you’d like to explore how you can engage with IET volunteering, please contact volunteer@theiet.org