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Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Safeguard OSH Solutions - Thomson Reuters

Alert24 - Safeguard Update

Safety Council sets benchmark

Safety Council sets benchmark
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New Zealand

The New Zealand Safety Council will soon be requiring all its Registered Safety Professionals to complete a level 6 advanced diploma in safety, environment and risk management, working from a framework developed for the Australian federal government.

At the council's December meeting executive director David Calvert launched a new minimum standards programme which he hopes to see adopted as the benchmark for all New Zealand OHS practitioners. The programme, based on the Australian qualifications, will be administered by the Safety Council but independently moderated. If adopted as a nationwide standard, Calvert says, it would ensure everyone working in health and safety, from workplace reps to senior managers, had the right skills and experience for their particular roles.

The programme offers competency-based assessments at four levels, not only introducing new national certificate courses at levels 3 and 4, but also providing diploma courses at levels 5 and 6. Implementation will begin with the level 5 diploma, a pilot programme for which is already under way, with the council's 27 RSPs - including Calvert himself - having until February to complete it.

"This will be the first level 5 diploma of this sort in the country," Calvert says. "We want it to become the minimum standard for anyone calling themselves a health and safety professional. Every OHS inspector should be able to produce a portfolio of evidence consistent with this level of achievement."

The diploma covers 56 competencies across six modules, calling for candidates to demonstrate competency in all core areas of OHS. The level 6 course, which focuses on providing solutions to specific workplace issues, will ultimately become the minimum standard for those seeking RSP status, Calvert says.

"This is at the level where you start to write strategic plans, create risk matrixes, and so on. It isn't for the rookies, but it may suit those who have been in health and safety for years without ever getting a formalised qualification."

Industry trainer Andy Loader has removed any specifically Australian content from the new course material, and feedback from those in the pilot programme will be used to identify any other aspects that do not sit comfortably in the New Zealand environment. Once such issues are resolved the Safety Council's Accredited Safety Auditors will also complete the course, with general rollout expected "as early as possible" in 2013.
While Calvert hopes NZISM will also adopt the accreditation programme, he says the Safety Council's key objective is to establish some form of minimum industry standard.

"In our submissions to the Health and Safety Taskforce we asked for minimum standards to become mandatory, but we're not saying that it has to be these ones. We just want to get the conversation started."

People Mentioned:
David Calvert; Andy Loader
Organisations Mentioned:
New Zealand Safety Council; NZISM
Reference No:

From Alert24 - Safeguard Update

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