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Advancing the Safety Profession Certification of Generalist OHS Professionals and Practitioners.

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Presentation on theme: "Advancing the Safety Profession Certification of Generalist OHS Professionals and Practitioners."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advancing the Safety Profession Certification of Generalist OHS Professionals and Practitioners

2 Today 9.30 – 9.45 – Introduction (SIA Chair/CEO) 9.45 – 10.00 - Fears, Facts and Fiction (Activity) 10.00 – 10.30 – Why Certify? 10.30 – 11.00 – The Body of Knowledge 11.00 – 11.10 – Break 11.10 – 12.00 – The Certification Process? 12.00 – 12.30 – Discussion & remaining issues (group exercise)


4 Issues Driving Certification 1.Varied competence in the profession 2.Lack of clarity of knowledge required for generalist role 3.Inconsistent education (level, content, delivery) 4.Unqualified/ inexperienced working without supervision 5.Lack of selection criteria for consumers 6.Poor role clarity of generalist role 7.Poor professional boundaries across the safety profession


6 “….This industry may benefit from some form of industry based accreditation scheme, similar to those operating in the accounting field, so that customers can gain a level of confidence about the consultants that they may engage” (Victorian Workcover Authority 2004).

7 Legal Obligations International law - Recommendation 161: Occupational Health Services, which calls for organisations to have access to “sufficient and appropriate expertise” as a basic right of all workers Australian Law – a clear obligation for employers to demonstrate due diligence when obtaining advice about health and safety and its management. A key element of meeting the reasonably practicability test is demonstrating what information has been obtained to determine what measures can be implemented to eliminate or reduce risks. SWA - While certification is not mandated under the model legislation, the Australian Strategy includes an improved work health and safety infrastructure as one of its key outcomes: this would include business having access to suitable advice and that those providing work health and safety education, training and advice have the appropriate capabilities

8 What Certification Achieves Certainty to consumers Demonstration of due diligence by clients Role recognition Recognition of education, knowledge and experience Recognition of the Practitioner and Professional roles International comparability

9 Current Qualifications Safesearch 2013


11 The OHS Body of Knowledge Project 1.Funded by WorkSafe Victoria in 2008 to ; 1.Define OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals 2.Develop and implement accreditation criteria and process for OHS professional education programs 3.Develop a certification process for OHS professionals Conducted in consultation across the safety profession – HASPA

12 HEALTH AND SAFETY PROFESSIONALS ALLIANCE  Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists  Australian and New Zealand Society of Occupational Medicine  Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine  Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia  Safety Institute of Australia Ltd  RMIT/BALLARAT UNIVERSITY/MONASH UNIVERSITY  TRADES HALL COUNCIL (Observors)

13 OHS Minimum Service Standards (2007) Knowledge obtained through education and industry experience Recent professional activity Able to provide referees Member of a professional association which requires CPD Familiar with OHS legislation Technical expertise Knowledgeable in contemporary risk management theory Commitment to an ethics process

14 The Body of Knowledge Developed through consultative processes including: A two-day workshop attended by 40 OHS educators from across Australia SIA College of Fellows Professional Reference Group convened for the project Eight workshops conducted in all states and the ACT attended by 137 OHS professionals Focus groups conducted as part of developing the Model of OHS practice, involving approximately 30 OHS professionals. Expert authors and peer review Ongoing International recognition

15 The Body of Knowledge The key concepts, core theories and related evidence that should be shared by Australian generalist OHS professionals. This knowledge will be gained through a combination of … education and experience.

16 The Body of Knowledge Science Law Socio-political science Organisational behaviour and design Psychology System design and management Causation Control Hazards Professional practice and research

17 The OHS Profession Ergonomist Occupational Nurse Occupational Physician Occupational Hygienist OHS Generalist Occupational Psychologist Physiotherapist SYSTEMIC FOCUS WORKER FOCUS Engineers

18 (Generalist) OHS Professional – A specialist role “one who applies a multidisciplinary Body of Knowledge in a unique way to provide enterprises with advice on the organisational arrangements that will lead to the systemic and systematic management and reduction of fatality, injury, disease and ill-health”

19 What Does a Generalist Do? Diagnose and identify risk profile Identify regulatory requirements Refer for specialist services Work with organisations as a whole Develop organisational OHS strategy Educate and support Provide risk management advice (specific and general) Monitor & report

20 What Knowledge Does a Generalist Need? Science Law (OHS, industrial, contract) Socio-political science Organisational behaviour and design Psychology and behaviour System design and management Causation Hazards Controls Professional practice and research

21 The Certification Process

22 Generalist OHS Professional Certification Implemented by SIA as representative body for Generalist OHS Professionals Reflecting ISO 17024 – Certification of People Certification considers and assesses Experience Qualifications Capability SIA grading assesses qualifications, experience and CPD – no capability assessment SIA grading does not recognise Diploma/ Adv Diploma 4 categories, not levels

23 Certified Roles Certified OHS Graduate Certified OHS Practitioner Certified OHS Professional Chartered OHS Professional Tertiary qualified No experience Must work under supervision Must undertake IPD Site based Implementer, Oversight and drive compliance Effectively use a range of OHS tools and processes Work under supervision (may be remote) Problem solvers Systems development Planning Reporting Analysis of trends May manage others Designer of strategy and influential with senior managers High level strategic skills Consider broader organisational and social context

24 The Generalist OHS Practitioner - A special note Certification promotes a specified role for OHS practitioners (which is currently the situation in US and EU but not Australia) OHS Practitioner role is an important role in its own right, not just a step on the way to OHS Professional OHS Practitioner (implementer) role requires a different set of skills to that of OHS Professional Certification will be accompanied by a communication strategy which will benefit all practitioners and professionals

25 Certification Criteria Certified OHS practitionerCertified OHS ProfessionalChartered OHS Prof’snl MembershipOf SIA Qualifications VET Diploma/Adv Diploma in OHSDegree, Grad Dip or Masters in OHS Doctoral qualification in OHS related area OR Masters in OHS OR Degree/ Grad Dip in OHS plus Masters in any other discipline Experience3 yrs incl 12 months post education 10 years org experience incl 5 yrs OHS Evidence of capable practice Portfolio report Referees Practice report Referees Reflective journal Referees Interview CPD Code of ethics

26 Certificate IV Qualified? The SIA recognises those who have a Certificate IV in OHS but it is seen as an entry level qualification and is not adequate for professional certification. A process of recognising those with a Cert IV plus experience in a dedicated OHS role is being considered. This process will bench mark against comparable international categories.

27 Other Professions Working in OHS & O/S Related Qualifications Each profession is responsible for certifying those working within that professional discipline e.g. Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists certify hygienists Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of Australia certify ergonomists Safety Institute of Australia certify Generalist OHS Professionals/ Practitioners Related qualifications will be assessed against the BoK to ensure they have the necessary content to enable certification as an OHS Generalist O/S qualifications will be assessed against the BoK plus a law exam.

28 International context USA – certification by examination (BCSP) (technical focus) Canada – certification by examination (BCRSP) (technical focus) UK – qualification, assessment and/or skills portfolio (depending on qualification), interview (IOSH) EU – EuSafe

29 Who Will Assess Applications Pool of qualified assessors – equivalent of level being assessed (min professional category) TAE Trained in process Appeals processes Assessors will be required to agree to an ethics process Quality control

30 Complete online application including evidence of qualifications evidence of experience Complete practice or portfolio report (Cert OHSPract / Cert OHSProf) Complete reflective journal (Cert ChartOHSProf) Attend interview (Cert Chart OHS Prof) Provide names of referees Complete ethics declaration Pay required fees The Standard Certification Process

31 Transition Administrative Transition - (available for 12 months) Open to all financial members as at 31 January 2015 of SIA Ltd Requires Evidence of experience, qualifications Complete ethics declaration Pay required fees Certification category awarded based on the above Alternative Knowledge Assessment Exam (available for 24 months) To enable those with significant experience (7 yrs +) with a diploma in OHS to change their certification category from certified practitioner to certified professional

32 SIA Grading & Certification SIA grades will remain and can be used along with certification categories. Grading applications will be accepted up to 31 December 2014 SIA grading applications will not be accepted after January 2015 Certification is voluntary

33 SIA Fellows The Fellow Program will continue and all Fellows will retain their Fellow status. The process and criteria to award Fellow status is being reviewed.

34 When will it start? Announced in March 2014 Workshops being held in Nov 2014 Financial SIA Ltd member transition commencing January 2015 (available for 12 months) Standard applications commencing April 2015 (new members and financial SIA members as at 31 Jan 2015 ) Alternative knowledge assessment commencing June 2015

35 CERTIFICATION FEES One off fee Initial administrative transition = TBA (~$130) Initial standard application = TBA (~$450) Alternative Knowledge Assessment = TBA (~$1200) Ongoing fees Renewal & CPD confirmation = included in SIA membership renewal fee or equivalent fee for non SIA members.

36 Where are we now? The Generalist OHS Profession can be proud that it has voluntarily recognised the need to ensure that those working in the field have the highest level of capability, obtained through a combination of education and experience, to ensure the highest level of health and safety for all Australian workers. We can now take our rightful place as a true profession, with a clear framework for ensuring the professions ongoing integrity, through a process of accountability for all those who practice in it.

37 SUPPORT Formal promotion of certification to employers, regulators and unions The SIA is planning to deliver workshops to support applicants prepare; Practice reports Portfolio reports Reflective journal For the Alternative Knowledge Assessment Email Go to

38 Group Activity Review the issues you identified at the beginning of the session. Cross out what has been addressed Raise what has not

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