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Risk action

Letters

At first glance your reported safety survey (NCE 6/13 January) provides more concern and yet another stick with which to beat academia.

Yet further examination reveals the potential for a misunderstanding of the essence of higher education - as opposed to further education or indeed training as used in the headline.

While many universities may choose to cover the items that were listed, reflecting the wide spectrum of course contents and styles in our universities, the article did not really reflect the fact that the fundamental key to this stage of education is an introduction to an intellectual understanding of risk management, and the responsibilities that accrue to professionals from their first day at work.

This has recently been outlined in a HSE sponsored paper and issued to all the construction accreditation bodies.

We have to be realistic.

Time is a scarce commodity over a three or four year course. The foundations of risk management - the thread that flows through all our work - need to be laid as the first priority, reinforced by practical example as time allows.

It is on this base that industry can add experience and knowledge acquisition leading in time to the competent professional.

John Carpenter, consultant, 1 Sherbrooke Close, Sale, Cheshire M33 5SZ

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