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HSE – Consultants register to improve safety advice

A new national register of occupational safety consultants will be set up to help employers access good quality, proportionate advice, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed.

The Occupational Safety Consultants Register (OSCR) will go live in January 2011. It will provide firms with details of consultants who have met the highest qualification standard of recognised professional bodies and who are bound by a code of conduct that requires them to only give advice which is sensible and proportionate.

The register has been developed by HSE and a network of professional bodies representing safety consultants across Britain. Employers will visit a single website that help them to find local advisers with experience relevant to their sector.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE chair, said:

“Lord Young quite rightly recognised that businesses find it difficult to know when they need expert safety advice and where to go to get it. The Occupational Safety Consultants Register will make it easier to identify consultants who meet the highest standards within their professional bodies.

“There are already many very good safety consultants who give sensible advice to employers – the register will help recognise their professional skills and also encourages those who do not yet meet these standards to do so. It will help to raise the standard of advice available to employers and increase their confidence in the advice they receive.”

To be eligible to join the register, individual consultants will need to be either Chartered members of the safety bodies IOSH, CIEH or REHIS or a Fellow of the IIRSM.

Membership will mean they have a commitment to continuous professional development, a degree equivalent qualification, two years’ experience, professional indemnity insurance and are bound by a code of conduct to only providing sensible and proportionate advice.

The scheme will be managed by the professional bodies themselves through a not-for-profit company, with HSE providing support.

Membership of OSCR will be voluntary. There will be an annual administration fee to be paid, although the level has yet to be set. A further announcement on the detail of the scheme will be made later in the year.

via Consultants register to improve safety advice.

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