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New Independent Register of Health and Safety Consultants

Last year’s Government-commissioned report on health and safety legislation in the UK – Common Sense, Common Safety – recommended a new professional qualification requirement for all health and safety consultants, so that they are accredited by a professional body.

Last year’s Government-commissioned report on health and safety legislation in the UK – Common Sense, Common Safety – recommended a new professional qualification requirement for all health and safety consultants, so that they are accredited by a professional body.

This is an attempt to limit the number of non-qualified people offering advice without experience and/or qualification or training. Such advice is very often over the top, unnecessary, and expensive to implement because it can fail to consider the legal test of reasonableness and instead suggests that businesses eliminate all risk.To this end, health and safety consultants are now being invited to sign up to a new independent register, the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR), which is intended to become a new benchmark for standards in the profession. The register is free to use and available at http://www.oshcr.org.

The OSHCR has been established by a number of professional bodies representing general safety and occupational health consultants across the UK, with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It is open to individuals who provide commercial advice on general health and safety management issues and who have achieved at least one of the following:

• Chartered status with IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health); CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health); or REHIS (Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland) with health and safety qualifications;
• Fellow status with IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management) with degree level qualifications;
• Member or Fellow status with BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society) Faculty of Occupational Hygiene; or
• Registered Member or Fellow status with IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors).

In addition, all consultants wishing to join the register will be asked to declare that they will:

• demonstrate adequate continuing professional development;
• abide by their professional body’s code of conduct;
• provide sensible and proportionate advice; and
• have professional indemnity insurance or equivalent to cover the nature of their duties.

The application process will include a check of an individual’s membership status with the relevant professional body.

The aim of the independent register is to offer businesses that do choose to employ a health and safety consultant a level of assurance that those listed have met set standards within their professional body. It is also hoped that it will encourage consultants who have not yet met these standards to do so.

About the author

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James Johnston

James is a Senior Associate and Head of the firm’s Dispute Resolution team.

Published: Monday 15th August 2011
Categorised: Health & Safety

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