Certification of people providing professional services is well recognised with accountants, lawyers, health professionals and engineers. Adding Occupational Health and Safety to that list makes sense. And it’s our view that only good can come from this announcement.
Certification of Generalist OHS Professionals and Practitioners is already standard practice in countries such as the USA, Canada, the UK and Europe. In Australia, Generalist OHS Professionals and Practitioners have lagged behind in implementing a Certification scheme to ensure that those providing Generalist OHS advice have the right skills, knowledge and qualifications.
In 2007 the Health and Safety Professionals Alliance (HaSPA) confirmed in its minimum standards that Certification of those providing OHS advice is important in achieving the highest level of protection for employees and employers (and other workplace health and safety stakeholders) against risks to their health and safety.
The need for a specific OHS professional Certification program was also noted by WorkSafe Victoria in the Maxwell review of Victorian OHS legislation.
The introduction of professional certification brings us into line with international best practice and increases the credibility of the industry.
Emphasising our expertise
Certification sets standards of education, experience, and demonstrated knowledge and skills and evaluates people against those standards. It gives increased confidence and guidance to employers, clients, workers and the community as to the competence and standing of the person providing professional advice.
We’re well ahead of the gameAll Work Safety Hub consultants have achieved Professional level certification, so we can operate as Certified OHS Professionals. Frankly this is one of the most exciting initiatives in the history of our organisation. It allows us to make a major contribution in the public interest, to rebuild the community’s trust and confidence in the OHS profession.
Work Safety Hub has an ethos of integrity and transparency. We are all about providing the highest quality advice. It’s what the community has been crying out for and deserves. Our practices are consistent with the OHS Body of Knowledge, which enables us to use terms like ‘evidence based practice, based on science, management principles and systems thinking’.
The introduction of a new professional standard in the industry will only emphasise what we’ve already been doing and practising for years. We welcome it wholeheartedly.