Mike joined the board in 2016 and since then his role has included the management of operations across all of the SMS offices in the UK.
He recently became a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and a member of the Institute of Water. We took some time out to have a chat with him (socially distanced of course) to find out more.
How did you go about becoming chartered status and a member of the Institute Of Water? Did the opportunity come to you or did you actively seek it out?
It's something that I've wanted to do since joining SMS, and something that John Sandford had encouraged, however when I first looked into it, I didn't have sufficient experience to qualify for the application. Since then, it's just something that has been put on the back-burner through either other things being prioritised or sheer laziness! With lockdown 2.0 looming I decided I was going to have a more productive time and put the lack of social life to good use and get the application started - it took to midway through Lockdown 3 to complete and finally pass.
Following on from this, what did you have to do?
The application consists of a written application and interview assessment. The application form itself consisted of around 15 competency essays where I had to demonstrate my experience, skills and knowledge through 'real-world' examples, these consisted largely of case studies of projects and experiences I've had at SMS. Once the written application was completed, it was sent off to assessors from the Science Council who review and then conduct a 1-2 hour interview where I had to defend my application - fortunately this wasn't too painful and I passed. Once the Science Council authorised my application they sent a recommendation to the Institute of Water that I be given Chartered Status and become a Member of their institute.
Do you think it's important to be a member of the institute of water and if so, why?
It's not something that I'd previously given much thought to, more something I said I'd get around to once I felt was the most suitable industry group for me to join given my qualifications and background. I also see that in our chosen field, we help manage and support a small (but important) area of water quality and by joining The Institute of Water it would provide me with opportunities to speak with like-minded people working in other disciplines of water quality and hygiene and may open up collaborative working and learning opportunities. I think fundamentally, CPD is vitally important because we work in a dynamic and ever changing environment and I don't want to stagnant (pardon the pun), my CPD has always been something that just happened through my day-to-day work activities and hasn't been something I have invested much time in, but I've chosen, with the support of SMS to take it seriously and continue investing in my development.
I think CPD is important for everyone, regardless of job role and there are loads of great industry groups out there, depending on your interests there is something out there for everyone. As an example I also recently joined the Water Management Society, and have plans to look at the Chartered Management Institute.
How did your qualifications play a role in the above?
My qualifications made the application process a little easier for CSci, but overall it didn't have a major impact as there are loads of different pathways to achieving the status - the main factor was my experiences and how those have helped with my development. By taking on opportunities and importantly making mistakes (and there have been a few) along the way it helped me along the journey. I plan on having a long career in our industry and with the experiences I get from SMS and the new ones available through IWater, WMSoc and CMI hopefully it can only further my development.
Mike Crook - About
Mike joined SMS Environmental in 2011 following a Masters degree in Water and Wastewater Engineering. His role has been focussed on Account Management and he has been involved in a number of high profile projects for SMS clients to deliver safe and sustainable solutions to Legionella control and water hygiene issues, as well as providing comprehensive training courses in Legionella Control and Water Hygiene Management.
A Career at SMS Environmental
At the heart of SMS Environmental is the people who help us provide world class services. We understand as a business that the future of SMS is the people behind the scenes making sure deadlines and business objectives are met. Our staff work tirelessly every day and make sure our customers are happy and satisfied with the services that we offer. This is why we heavily invest in the people who make the organisation successful because they are the future of our company.
Combining smart people with smart technology, SMS offers an intelligent, transparent and competent service. We strive to see things from our customers' point of view and put ourselves in their shoes.