A new global model for defining competency in occupational safety and health (OSH) was presented today at an international conference in London.
Developed by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and a cross-sector group of industry experts, IOSH Blueprint is a competency framework, designed for both the OSH professional and any organisation.
For the first time, individuals and businesses will have a shared framework for safety and health skills and capability, available online and free to access, delegates at IOSH 2016 heard.
The first component of Blueprint – a self-assessment tool enabling OSH professionals to assess their competencies and produce professional profiles and development plans – was released earlier this year to IOSH members. In 2017, the profession will be able to use IOSH Blueprint to access new knowledge and skills training through a ‘knowledge bank’ of resources.
And organisations worldwide will for the first time be able to assess their current skills and capability and determine their future needs, enabling them to deliver their vision for safety and health.
IOSH executive director of policy Shelley Frost said: “There’s a clear and growing wave of change that we’ve been seeing for several years, where safety and health is becoming more recognised as a material issue for organisations.
“Increasingly, organisations are taking a more positive approach, ensuring health and safety has increasing influence on their values and culture.
“With the framework more focused on engagement, influence and strategic planning, Blueprint will ensure the safety and health professional is better equipped to deliver their role with a greater understanding of this business context.
“The profession has been testing it since March this year and their feedback has been really positive and we’re delighted that we’re able to announce this game-changing development today.
“For organisations, IOSH Blueprint will set the standard for ‘what good looks like’ in OSH competence, enable the benchmark of best practice and establish a common language in OSH globally. Multinational businesses and other organisations will be able to adopt IOSH Blueprint, establishing the model as the standard-setter and framework for safety and health competency worldwide.”
Karl Simons, head of safety, health and wellbeing at Thames Water, is one of a number of senior managers to have helped IOSH design and test Blueprint.
He said: “IOSH is a global professional body that supports members across all continents – this tells us the diversity of health and safety professionals we have should not be underestimated. IOSH Blueprint will enable each member to now actively understand their own personal development areas, which are much wider than simply being a technical health and safety professional as it encompasses the development areas that should be considered for a rounded business professional.
“In addition it also will enable the health and safety professional to look at the development areas within the organisation, which is very exciting.”
Announcements will be made later this year on the phased roll-out of IOSH Blueprint.
Source: IOSH News