For leading organisations, health and safety programmes are a means of ensuring business continuity, brand equity, driving competitiveness and producing and creating new sources of value.
This, according to IOSH's Head of Product Jonathan Nobbs, means the health and safety profession "has a tremendous opportunity".
He said: "We are increasingly seeing examples of organisations experiencing real value-adding business benefits from their safety and health programmes. It is imperative that the safety and health profession is at the vanguard of these developments. This is why enhancing the profession is one of the three pillars which make up IOSH's five-year strategy, WORK 2022.
"IOSH has to ensure its members are equipped with the latest knowledge and well-honed skills to drive business change, whether it be their first role or a very senior role.
"Through WORK 2022, we've got an ambitious vision for the profession in terms of its influence on the direction of organisations, regions, economies and supply chains. This vision means we've got to make sure that we are training and providing development for professionals."
There are many ways in which IOSH intends to enhance the health and safety profession. A key component is introducing CPD courses for its members.
IOSH recognises that its members are at different stages of their careers, from graduates just starting their first jobs to managers and senior directors who work at the highest levels of organisations.
"What we've done in response to this," says Jonathan, "is split our CPD portfolio into three categories. One provides executive education, for professionals with senior leadership roles within organisations, such as directors. There's management education, which is focused on managers and supervisors. Then we have core skills, which is the core knowledge that all professionals require to maintain competence."
In addition to supporting WORK 2022, there has been significant demand from members for more formal CPD training.
"Whenever we undertake a membership survey, number one or two on the list of what members want is CPD courses," said Jonathan. "The development of Blueprint, a competence framework for the profession, is also a factor. We have developed a way of helping individuals and organisations establish what skills they need. But it's important we then provide them with the kind of courses and the solution to meet that need."
The pilot phase, which begins in October, will see six different CPD courses made available.
The topics will be: Board Masterclass for OSH Professionals; Modern CoSHH Management; Behavioural Safety; Legionella Management; Noise Measurement and Management; and Conducting General Risk Assessments.
"We've looked at a range of indicators -- member needs, member feedback, Blueprint -- and we have prioritised a list of six courses that will run as part of the pilot programme."
Each of the pilot courses will run three times between September and March. The length of the courses will range between half a day and four days.
"This is just the start," added Jonathan. "During the pilot, we will analyse the feedback with a view to expanding the programme, which means increasing the range of courses and offering support to professionals globally.
"We are also going to make sure the feedback is focused on the outcome, so we'll be asking people what they think they'll be able to do differently when they go back to the workplace."
The institution is working on ensuring that recording the course and the reflective feedback as part of a member's CPD is as easy as possible.
Details of the pilot courses and how members can get involved will soon be posted on the IOSH website's events section, while email contact will also be made.
"We are very excited about this development," added Jonathan. "We are confident it really will help to enhance the profession and position it for further success."