Posted Thursday 27 July 2023
A long-serving health and safety leader from Kingston University has been shortlisted for the TechnologyOne Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's University Alliance Awards - recognising the contribution he has made during his 17 years in post.
Ian Appleford is among 29 nominees from across the higher education sector to have been named a finalist at this year's awards, and one of five shortlisted for the prestigious lifetime achievement category. The awards celebrate the work of staff, students and teams at institutions who are members of the University Alliance, which represents professional and technical universities across the country who are at the heart of their communities.
Since joining the University 17 years ago, Mr Appleford's dedication and commitment to health and safety has resulted in the institution being recognised as a sector leader in the field, securing multiple accolades including the ISO 45001 international management standard for health and safety at work, 15 consecutive British Safety Council International Safety Awards and six ‘Swords of Honour' - the British Safety Council's top award.
During his tenure, he has led the University's health and safety response to a range of challenges, ranging from helping keep campuses Covid-safe during the pandemic to managing the swift evacuation of the Penrhyn Road campus when an unexploded World War II bomb was discovered on a nearby construction site. Throughout, he has sought to develop and improve on existing policies and explore new ways of working and innovating to ensure the safety and security of the University community.
Paying tribute to the hard work of staff from across the institution, Mr Appleford stressed the importance of having a strong network of colleagues who contribute towards maintaining a safe environment for students, staff and visitors. "I've been fortunate in my time here to have been well supported by so many members of staff. I could not have done the work I do without them," he said. "So much has changed since I first started here, from the campuses themselves to the technology that supports our teaching and learning environments."
"One thing I take real pride in is how we have substantially reduced the number of accidents being reported each year, demonstrating the value of regular training sessions and making sure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities around ensuring our students stay safe."
Having worked in a range of other sectors before moving into higher education – from roles at Surrey Police to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and the Treasury – the health and safety leader has worked to improve practice and promote the latest safety standards across the sector, as well as collaborating with local organisations through the University's membership of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Borough Resilience Forum.
During the pandemic he was involved with the University Alliance health and safety group, through which he and colleagues in similar roles were able to share experiences, approaches and collaborate on effective solutions to what were often unprecedented challenges. "The opportunity to work with such a supportive group, exchanging ideas and working together to solve problems we were all facing was hugely valuable," he said. "Being part of the University Alliance and therefore being recognised by this group of dedicated individuals makes me realise I have been able to make a contribution in higher education. To be shortlisted for this award is definitely a career moment to remember."
The shortlists for each award were selected by an independent panel of judges from across the higher education and research sector. Congratulating the nominees, University Alliance CEO Vanessa Wilson said: "To be nominated for an Alliance Award means you have had a really positive impact on your university, and that your colleagues recognise and appreciate your work. To make the shortlist is even more impressive. We are really excited to showcase some of the incredible individuals who make our member universities and the alliance itself so special."
The winners will be announced at the University Alliance Awards ceremony on 12 September, hosted by the University of South Wales.