Achieving professional chartership – Katherine Dixon

At JBA our people are our greatest asset. By supporting life-long learning and professional chartership opportunities, we help and encourage colleagues to achieve their individual career aspirations. Read on for advice about achieving Chartered Member status (C.WEM) with CIWEM from Katherine Dixon.

Written by Katherine Dixon | Hydraulic Modeller

Beginning the chartership process

After completing my MPhys Geog from the University of Hull, I worked for a year in the agricultural industry before joining JBA. During my early career, I was involved in large broad-scale hydraulic modelling for fluvial and surface water outputs. As my career evolved, I continued to develop my technical skills in hydraulic modelling and established a specialism in flood warning. At the same time I developed my project management and leadership responsibilities as Team Leader of the Hydraulic Modelling team.

I have completed JBA’s Graduate Scheme and a Postgraduate Certificate in Flood and Coastal Risk Management (PgCert).

The Graduate Scheme gave me an understanding of how to approach and write the competencies for the chartership process. Through the PgCert, I gained knowledge of best practices, nuances of methodology and application of industry-standard software. The course also gave me a wider industry knowledge which I could apply to the CIWEM competencies.

These experiences, combined with a range of project and technical development opportunities led to my decision to begin the chartership process.

Advice for anyone considering professional chartership
  • Find a mentor

    Throughout my career at JBA I have received guidance and mentoring from colleagues. And going through the chartership process was no different. I was able to make use of JBA’s CIWEM mentoring scheme and was supported by my mentor through the whole application process. Whilst this process is driven by the individual, my mentor was always available to answer questions, help me break down the requirements of chartership and identify any gaps in the competences and how to go about attaining these.

  • Set a deadline

    The CIWEM website highlights the application submission dates. I found it useful to look at these and identify one to aim for. Working back from that date I was able to break down the requirements for chartership into manageable sections. Focusing for a short period of time allowed me to be in a position to submit my application within 6 months of starting the process.

  • Prepare and practice

    I found it really useful to practise my presentation regularly with colleagues alongside. Taking the opportunity for a mock interview allowed me to understand the format of the interview. It also reduced my reliance on prompts, identified any weaker elements and helped build my confidence.

    I’m delighted to have achieved MCIWEM, C.WEM.

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