The New Zealand Institute of Safety Management (NZISM) has launched its professional grading system.
This requires occupational health and safety professions to be independently assessed against best practice guidelines from IOSH (UK). Once graded, the professional must maintain or improve this grade by participating in a continuous professional development (CPD) programme.
For the first time in New Zealand, individuals will have a career pathway to follow.
“It is unbelievable that some businesses are engaging non-professional people to manage huge occupational health and safety risks,” said Neville Rockhouse, national operations & CPD manager, NZISM.
“There seems to be no requirement to belong to a professional body, nor have any formal OH&S qualifications.” The new system will take some time to introduce and become fully active, but the first hurdle has been crossed, he said.
“We put in a lot of time and effort explaining the system around the country so when it came time to formally endorse it, most of the problems had been resolved,” said Mr Rockhouse.
“The universities also embrace this positive move and they can now develop courses that are linked together and provide students with creditable learning outcomes that are best practice and internationally recognised.”
The Department of Labour (DoL) has also formally accepted this process and now will require their inspectors to participate in the CPD programme along with their normal DoL warranted training. “This is a huge benefit for all concerned, as it will allow both the regulator and business to be on the same page and to speak the same language.
“We expect over time that businesses will only employ professional staff and only engage professional consultants.
“As a major employer and facilitator of tenders and contracts, it is hoped that the government will begin to require advice from suitably qualified professional consultants who are members of NZISM, having reached a professional grade that is endorsed by the National Professional Association,” concluded Mr Rockhouse.
For further information visit nzism.co.nz