IOSH has been asked to take on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register Ltd (OSHCR) as one of its companies and help make it a more widely recognised source of competent, independent and proportionate OSH advice.
OSHCR was first established in 2011 in response to the Government’s ‘Common Sense, Common Safety’ report which recommended that all OSH consultants be accredited to professional bodies and that a web-based directory be established.
Following analysis from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which confirmed the value of a robust register of OSH consultants that allows the business community (particularly SMEs) to find trusted and proportionate advice, those organisations that formed OSHCR reviewed its purpose, governance and operation.
The outcome of that review is that all parties involved have agreed that OSHCR Ltd will come under IOSH with immediate effect and so enable it to benefit from the IOSH infrastructure. The planned transition means that there will be no impact on existing customers of OSHCR.
'The key strength of OSHCR will continue to be the breadth and depth of expertise available to it through the way it’s governed and advised by the sector'
The register will maintain its independence through the creation of a new advisory committee, which will represent all those organisations referring their members to OSHCR as potential users of the service, plus representatives of HSE. OSHCR remains an independent platform that assures the quality of health and safety consultants and their services and is the only source of assured OSH advice to be backed by the HSE.
The new OSHCR structure is focused on setting new standards of health and safety advice, robustly guaranteeing the quality of service given by all consultants on the register. Each registered consultant is required by their own professional body to maintain particular ethical and professional standards, while the register gives assurance that consultants are certified professionals who hold chartered-level (or equivalent) membership within their professional body and are committed to on-going professional development. Service improvements to support consultants that are customers of OSHCR are planned for introduction over the coming 12 months.
Richard Orton, IOSH director of strategy and business development and a director of OSHCR, said: 'The key strength of OSHCR will continue to be the breadth and depth of expertise available to it through the way it’s governed and advised by the sector.
'IOSH was delighted to be invited to help reinforce the register’s position as the only resource backed by the UK regulator and that features assured, independent consultancy OSH advice.'
An HSE spokesperson added: 'We welcome the reassurance robust new governance arrangements should provide. If a small or medium-sized business seeks help from a health and safety consultant, it needs to be sure it will get competent and proportionate advice – and so does [the] HSE.
'We look forward to working with other like-minded organisations and professional bodies such as IOSH, to strengthen and cement OSHCR as the universal source of assured advice.'
Users can search OSHCR – www.oshcr.org – for a consultant by location, industry or topic, helping to ensure they find the right consultant for their business needs.