Health and Safety Executive
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Consultants invited to sign up to new benchmark register for health and safety

Health and safety consultants are being invited to sign up to a new independent register from today (Monday 31 January) that is intended to become a new benchmark for standards in the profession.

The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is being set up in response to recommendations in the Government-commissioned report on the UK health and safety system − Common Sense Common Safety.

It aims to increase employers' confidence in accessing good quality, proportionate advice and also to address concerns that some employers - especially SMEs - can find it difficult to know how and where to get external health and safety advice.

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).

The register, which is voluntary, 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
  • 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.

Speaking on behalf of all the organisations involved in developing OSHCR, HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said:

"There are already many very good health and safety consultants who give sensible and proportionate advice to employers, but there are also those who may overcomplicate health and safety, miss important hazards or contribute to misperceptions about what is really needed to protect people at work.

"This register offers a level of assurance to businesses that those consultants on the register have met set standards within their professional body. It will be an independent way of demonstrating professional competence in occupational health and safety consultancy and should also encourage those who have not yet met these standards to do so."

The application fee will be £60, but applications received by 30 April will be subject to a discounted fee of £30. The fee, which is non-refundable, covers the cost of processing the application and is payable annually on renewal of registration. Individuals who apply to join the register during the discounted period will be given a registration renewal date of 30 April 2012.

To apply to join the register visit www.oshcr.org link to external website1

The register will be freely accessible and searchable for employers from early spring.

Notes to editors:

  1. The organisations involved in developing OSHCR are:
    OSHCR is also supported by Local Government Regulation (LGR)
  2. The Government-commissioned  report on the UK health and safety system, Common Sense Common Safety, prepared by Lord Young of Graffham, was published on 15 October 2010. OSHCR meets several of the report's aspirations for improved competence in external health and safety advice.

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