Saiosh Annual General Meeting 2016 - Report
28 October 2016
Posted by: Neels Nortje
Saiosh President Robin Jones delivering the Annual report. From Left to Right: Councillors Robins, Jones and Nortjé
The 5th Annual General Meeting of Saiosh was held on 27 October 2016 at the Bytes Conference Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg.
The AGM was held directly after the Johannesburg Saiosh CPD OHS Workshop which was attended by more than 200 Members!The Saiosh President, Robin W Jones, delivered the 2016 report.
Another year has gone by and it is just filled with great statistics and other good news. I will cover a number of topics which illustrate just how Saiosh has grown. I am proud to be the President of this great organisation. Other organisations and ordinary visitors ask what the secret is to our successes. I could answer it this way:
- Our two simple objectives spell it out: Do everything we can to motivate, support, lobby for, mentor and guide the OHS Profession and to do the same for the Professionals.
- Do what we say we are going to do.
- Find ways to increase our influence in the OHS field and provide greater benefits for our members.
- Do all of this with the maximum enthusiasm.
The first Major Step in 2016
Back in February 2010 when the 7 Founder members started Saiosh, all the work was handled by the 7 volunteers who gave of their time for the profession. We realised, as we grew rapidly, that the time would come when we moved to fulltime staff. We started with one lady in the office, then two and then three.
We realised that by January 2016, when we reached the magic 6000 member target, that we needed a dedicated CEO to manage the business fulltime. We followed a set of procedures which lead to the appointment of our present CEO, Neels Nortje. All our staff are based at our office in Kloof.
In February 2017 we will be 7 years (young) however we have already passed the 7000 members mark. Membership is growing at just over 200 members per month (or roughly 9 members every working day of the month)
Corporate membership continues to grow and we now have over 350 Corporate members.These cover Training Providers, PPE Providers, Consultants and a few other parties who support our objectives and the work we are doing.
From the SAQA Professional Body perspective we have just over 3000 members registered under the designations recognized by SAQA.
Members attending the OHS Workshop and 5th Saiosh Annual General Meeting in Midrand
Keeping our members informed is a key function of our duty to members. Whether it is notices of meetings, CPD Workshops, articles from authors, legal updates, etc., our output of information is roughly 3 newsletters per month.
The software package that we use to keep track of our members, as well as a host of other information, has a unique feature. If we send out 2500 newsletters it can tell us how many actually got to the correct address and how many recipients actually read the newsletter. It goes even further. To explain, if a member reads the newsletter and decides to send it to his GM, Engineer and HR Manager the system will log the extra “postings”. A recent research article, submitted by a conference speaker, was sent out in Nov. 2015 to 2500 addresses. It was read by 2485 persons and then forwarded onwards, over and over, until now it has been read by 45000 readers
Our official communication through the SHEQ Management journal goes out free to members every two months. An unusual feature which perhaps members do not know about is the “Contact Us” service on our website.This is where members, or the general public, ask questions about everyday queries which they have. The queries are all answered from our office by the team. Currently the number of queries answered is on average 13000 per year!
Saiosh and working with other organisations.
We are an accredited “Voluntary Association” member on the SACPCMP Committee. We have also held meetings with SAPEMA, MBA, FEM and the DOL. At our conference in May 2016 we again had the Chief Inspector presenting a paper. Saiosh also attends the regular SAQA Forum meetings.
These are organized directly from our Head Office. The National Office organizes the entire process from dates, venues, speakers, and catering and travel arrangements. The change has started to show very positive benefits. This move has a number of benefits for members.
- Initially PE, CT, Gauteng and KZN were on the workshop tour
- Speakers cover new topics/legislation changes, relevant to OHS
- Members earn CPD points
- More than 1 000 members and visitors have attended during the current round of workshops
- In the current round of CPD Workshops we also added Bloemfontein in to the group
The Workshops are held roughly quarterly. We will go to other areas if there is sufficient demand from members. We have had requests from Polokwane and Richards Bay. All we need is a viable number of delegates (minimum 55) for a region.
Functions which Saiosh has attended
We have attended all the SACPCMP VA meetings. The Institute has regularly attended the SAQA Forums for an exchange of information with other Professional Bodies. We were visited by SAQA for the halfway audit as part of the 5 year Recognition appointment. In maintaining our programme we were delighted to get a clean sheet from SAQA. We attended the COFS and KZN Conferences at the end of last year.
In May 2016 we hosted the 6th OHS Conference at Gallagher Estate. There were over 250 delegates for the 1.5 day conference.
- There were 11 speakers including 2 international speakers
- The international speakers were from the UK and Saudi Arabia
We have also exhibited at the NOSA NOSHCON in the ‘Berg’. Saiosh presented a paper at the Interbuild Exhibition in Johannesburg in August. In addition our CEO was invited as a panellist for both the NOSHCON and the MBA Congress.
The List of Benefits for Members continues to grow
Our e-learning programme currently has more than 5000 modules completed. Members have free access to updates on 800 Acts (up from 256 Acts). There is also a 50% discount on the subscription to any of the listed Acts.
Saiosh makes a financial award to The Top Student of the Year. It is open to full time students studying for their NADSAM. Second year students are nominated by their respective tertiary institutions for this category. The award is paid directly into the successful student’s 3rd year academic fees. This is a NADSAM study assistance.
We recognize the work done by professionals in the OHS field through the Safety Practitioner of the Year award. Members may nominate themselves or a fellow member for this award, together with a motivation. The nominations are adjudicated by the full Council. This is Recognition of the work done by a member and is a financial reward.
With the emphasis on obtaining qualifications in OHS, Saiosh has finalised a Study Bursary Scheme for members wanting to study for their NADSAM. Details have just been published.
In addition we are negotiating for the addition of a second e-learning programme for members
The Financial Report will be covered by the CEO but I need to make a few key points first:
- Saiosh is registered as a non-profit company and as a non-profit organisation
- We are VAT registered and (almost) registered as Tax exempted
- We are still with PKF as our appointed Auditors
- Saiosh have a registered office as per the SAQA requirement
- We have 4 full time employees
- No salary is paid to the Directors
Saiosh need to specifically acknowledge the most generous sponsorship from Federated Employers Mutual (FEM) This sponsorship will enable Saiosh to widen the services to all members and specifically towards the Construction Industry. The first FEM sponsorship was received in July 2016 and will therefore reflect in the next year’s financials.
I need to thank our Membership Manager, Gill and the two ladies Ariel and Faye who keep our National Office running smoothly. I thank my fellow Council colleagues for their input during the year. I wish to thank all our Corporate members for their support and participation in Saiosh activities. A great vote of thanks to all our members who are proving that OHS is now well and truly on the map.
Seven years ago we were a small band of enthusiastic and determined OHS Practitioners. Today we have topped the 7000 mark. Not only that but both OHS practitioners and other organisations are coming to realise who we are and what we do. For example, the DHET approached us about approving Saiosh Graduate members to conduct official SHE audits of private colleges. Speakers approach Saiosh offering to present at our conferences. Companies ask us to talk to employees or be present at their Safety Awareness programmes.
Who knows what other delights and surprises wait for all Saiosh members. In the past I have predicted a specific increase in membership and that prediction has always been surpassed. I’m going to generalise that not only will our membership increase at a growing rate but that more benefits will be introduced and that a greater impact will be made with the managements of companies, by the next AGM.
Health and safety regards.
Robin W Jones