Case Studies

We approached people in the industry to find out what they thought about careers in environmental health. Here is what they said:

Gail Tranter Senior Food and Safety Officer

''No two days are the same''

Gail’s interest in environmental health came about in an unusual way. Faced with redundancy, she persuaded an acquaintance to give her a job in his retail meat business. 

It sparked her interest in environmental health. She developed a keen interest in meat hygiene and decided to broaden her knowledge and skills, studying at Derby College of Further Education.

Continuing to work in the private sector, Gail gained practical training and support from Chesterfield Borough Council and then in 1988 she joined Bassetlaw District Council as a poultry meat inspector. She studied to complete the Royal Society of Health Poultry and Red Meat Inspection certificates.

Gail is now the Senior Food and Safety Officer in the Housing and Environmental Services Department at Newark and Sherwood district Council.

“My work is a blend of enforcement and education. No two days are the same.

“I encounter all types of situations and all types of people and every day presents a new challenge. In one day I might be meeting a director of a large enterprise and then visiting a small catering outlet.

“Qualified environmental health practitioners and support officers have an important role in helping to protect public health and improving quality of life.”

 

Howard Williams, Environmental Health Officer

"I feel constantly challenged"

Following the sudden death of his father from cancer Howard took a career break and became a volunteer, undertaking small sustainable projects around the world.

It was during this time that his outlook changed and he realised he wanted to make a positive difference to the environment we all share.

He signed up as a mature student and studied for four years, obtaining a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Health at Nottingham Trent University.

The study path was demanding and involved a placement, completion of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’s (CIEH) Practical Training Logbook and the CIEH’s professional qualifications.

Once qualified, Howard joined Boston Borough Council.

“The job requires considerable people skills as well as technical knowledge. No two days are the same and as such I feel constantly challenged that I am making a positive difference through my work.

“My advice to anyone looking to join the profession would be to stick with it. The end goal of working in a profession that makes a difference is well worth it.”

And you can see from the picture that it also entails a healthy lifestyle. This is Howard checking cockle samples on the coast near Boston.

 

Lesley Price, Environmental Health Officer

"One of the proudest days of my life"

Lesley worked in catering for 15 years but a change in personal circumstances meant the mother of two was forced to re-think her career.

Her catering career had obviously brought her into contact with Environmental Health Officers.

This was enough to make her interested. She made enquiries at Nottingham Trent University and discovered that Environmental Health was not just about food safety. It also covers housing, public health, health and safety and pollution.

“I was told that I would have to complete the Access to Science course first to gain the necessary qualifications to enter University. At 40 years of age this was terrifying!

“But I was determined to give it my best shot. After a year at college and four years at university – including a year on practical placement - I graduated with a degree in Environmental Health. It was one of the proudest days of my life.

“I work at Nottingham City Council as an Environmental Health Officer in the Public Health Department. If you are looking for a job where every day is different and you can make a difference to someone’s life, then I would recommend a career in EH.”