Q&A � Consultants by 5G3SdE

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									Q&A – General

What is the register designed to do?
The Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR) is a first step
to resolving the problems identified by the Common Sense, Common Safety
Report. While many businesses develop in-house competence to manage their
health and safety risks, and do not need to use health and safety consultants,
some will need help. Those that use a consultant who is on the register can have
confidence that such a person belongs to a professional body and has had their
experience and qualifications assessed, they are undertaking a continuing
professional development scheme, are committed to providing sensible and
proportionate advice and also should be properly insured.

Who is involved in the scheme?
HSE is supporting a number of participating professional bodies and other
stakeholders as they establish OSHCR as a not-for-profit company. The intention is
that once the register is up-and-running, HSE will no longer need to continue acting
in its current role of facilitator. The participating bodies and stakeholders are:
      British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)
      British Safety Council
      British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF)
      Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
      Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
      Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI)
      Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF)
      International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM)
      Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
      National Exam Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH)
      Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS)
      Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)

What is wrong with certain safety consultants?
Some consultants may overcomplicate health and safety, assess risk poorly or
miss important hazards. They can contribute to misperceptions about what is really
needed to protect people at work. This means that employers may sometimes
spend time on unnecessary things while not realising that they need to address
significant work-related risks. In a small number of cases, HSE has prosecuted
consultants for advice that has put people at risk.

Who can sign up?
The scheme is voluntary for individuals who provide commercial advice on general
health safety management issues. Consultants who meet the following criteria are
eligible to join the register:
     Chartered status with IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health);
        CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health); or REHIS (Royal
        Environmental Health Institute of Scotland) with health and safety
        qualifications
     Fellow status with IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety
        Management) with degree level qualifications
      Member or Fellow status with BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society)
       Faculty of Occupational Hygiene
      Registered Member or Fellow status with IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics and
       Human Factors.

In addition, all consultants will be asked to confirm that they will:
     Demonstrate adequate continuing professional development;
     Abide by their professional body’s code of conduct;
     Provide sensible and proportionate advice; and
     Have professional indemnity insurance or equivalent to cover the nature of
       their duties.

Why can't people who are not members of a professional body sign up?
The eligibility criteria have been set by the range of professional bodies and
stakeholders involved in developing the scheme, some of whom have membership
schemes and some of whom do not. It has been agreed that one way of identifying
those consultants who meet certain standards of expertise is to verify them through
a professional body. Other consultants may regard themselves as well qualified;
OSHCR is a voluntary scheme and they are not prevented from continuing their
business. Consultants not yet affiliated to a professional body may wish to join one
and once the required status is achieved, they can apply to register on OSHCR.

Why should consultants want to be registered?
The benefit for health and safety consultants is that this will establish a new
benchmark for standards in the sector. The register will be a means by which
consultants can demonstrate their professional standing and experience in
occupational health and safety. It will be freely accessible and searchable by the
public, including potential clients. Consultants on the register will be entitled to
inform others that they are OSHCR registered.

Why are occupational health consultants now included in the scheme?
In developing the scheme, the network of participating professional bodies and
stakeholders recognised that many occupational health consultants give advice on
managing risks relating to general occupational health and safety issues.
Therefore, consultants who meet the eligibility criteria for BOHS or IEHF are also
able to apply to join the register.

What benefit is the register to businesses?
Businesses will be able to use the register to find a consultant to give them advice
on general health and safety issues. All those consultants on the register will
belong to a participating professional body and will have met set standards.
Businesses can be confident that the consultant they use, has had their experience
and qualifications assessed by their professional body.

Businesses will be able to search for a consultant by county, industry and topic.
This is the first register for general health and safety consultants that HSE and
Local Authority Inspectors will be able to refer businesses to. The register also has
the support of a wide range of health and safety professional bodies.
The scheme is being operated on a not-for-profit basis and all searches will be
freely available.

Why is this not a statutory scheme? Will it become a statutory scheme in
future?
The intention has been to create a mechanism by which the professional bodies
can work together to ensure that standards are raised. The Common Sense,
Common Safety Report has been clear that if this is not achieved, then a statutory
scheme cannot be ruled out.

How will any dissatisfied users complain about members of the register?
Any complaints about an individual consultant will be handled by their relevant
professional body, which will have its own procedures to investigate complaints
about professional conduct. If necessary, this may lead to the removal of a
consultant from OSHCR.

How is this scheme different to the SEQOHS accreditation scheme that was
launched in December 2010?
OSHCR is for individual consultants who give general health and safety advice to
businesses. SEQOHS is a new accreditation scheme for occupational providers
that is managed by the Faculty of Occupational medicine.
Q&A – Consultants

Who decided on the eligibility criteria and why?
The network of professional bodies and stakeholders involved in developing the
register has decided on the criteria. By meeting the criteria, consultants will have
been professionally assessed in their qualifications and experience. They will also
be committed to undertaking continuing professional development schemes and
giving sensible and proportionate advice. They will also hold professional indemnity
insurance or equivalent to cover their work.

Who can sign up?
Consultants who meet the following criteria are eligible to join the register
   Chartered status with IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health);
     CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health); or REHIS (Royal
     Environmental Health Institute of Scotland) with health and safety
     qualifications
   Fellow status with IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety
     Management) with degree level qualifications
   Member or Fellow status with BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society)
     Faculty of Occupational Hygiene
   Registered Member or Fellow status with IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics and
     Human Factors.

In addition, all consultants will be asked to confirm that they will
     Demonstrate adequate continuing professional development;
     Abide by their professional body’s code of conduct;
     Provide sensible and proportionate advice; and
     Have professional indemnity insurance or equivalent to cover the nature of
       their duties.

Why does a consultant have to be undertaking continuing professional
development (CPD)?
By undertaking a CPD scheme, a consultant is demonstrating their commitment to
keeping up to date with the latest training, guidance and legal requirements relating
to health and safety. This is good practice among many professional organisations.

What does sensible and proportionate advice mean?
HSE encourages the giving of sensible and proportionate advice. In the context of
this register, this means:
     Helping clients understand what health and safety law requires;
     Helping clients understand how the consultant can help them;
     Ensuring that clients understand how to raise any concerns relating to the
       advice that they have received;
     Exercising their professional judgement to decide what action must be taken
       in a particular situation. For example, an employer might be required to do
       what is reasonably practicable to ensure safety, and that will mean
       considering both the extent of the risk and the resources involved in averting
       the risk (whether in money, time or trouble); and
      Distinguishing between legal requirements and best practice (i.e. the ‘must
       do’ and the ‘could do’).

Why does a consultant have to have Professional Indemnity Insurance or
equivalent?
When joining the register, consultants will have to declare that they have
Professional Indemnity Insurance or equivalent for the nature of their duties. This
will reassure businesses that if they use a consultant from the register, they should
be properly insured.

How do I sign up?
The register will be open for applications from 31 January 2011. Applications can
only be made online by visiting
www.occupationalsafetyandhealthconsultantsregister.org

Can companies sign up?
As the eligibility to join the register is based upon an individual’s status within their
professional body, only individuals can apply to join. Companies cannot apply.

Is this register voluntary?
Yes, it is the decision of a consultant whether they wish to apply to be included on
OSHCR.

Why is it only for general health and safety consultants?
This register is aimed at helping those businesses who have difficulty in finding a
health and safety consultant. This mainly applies to small and medium sized
businesses who have not used a consultant before and are looking for advice on
how to meet their health and safety duties. Where a business needs specialist
advice, such as on asbestos, there are specialist bodies who can help guide them
to getting that advice. The HSE website gives more detail
www.hse.gov.uk/business/sources-advice

What are the costs?
The application fee will be £60.00, but applications received by 30 April 2011 will
be subject to a discounted fee of £30.00. The fee, which is non-refundable, covers
the cost of processing the application and is payable annually on renewal of
registration.

The register will be made available to the public in the early spring, as soon as the
database is populated. Individuals who apply to join the register during the
discounted period from 31 January to 30 April 2011 will be given a registration
renewal date of 30 April 2011.

How long can I stay on the register?
You can stay on the register for as long as you meet the criteria and want your
details to be registered. There will be an annual renewal process.
Can I leave OSHCR at any time?
Yes, simply notify the OSHCR administration team and your details will be removed
from the database. If you do leave the register, there will not be a refund of the
application fee.

Do I have to renew each year to remain on the register?
Yes, this is to ensure that the register remains current.

If I leave OSHCR or do not renew my application, can I apply to re-register at
a later date?
Yes, providing you still satisfy the eligibility criteria for OSHCR.

If my application is not approved can I have a refund?
No, the fee is for the application process. It is important that anyone wishing to join
the register checks their eligibility and, if necessary, discusses their application with
their professional body before completing the application process.

How can I pay?
Payment is by credit/debit card only through a secure internet banking site RBS
Worldpay.

Who will check the qualifications of the consultants?
The individual’s professional body will confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria
which includes an assessment of their qualifications.

How will HSE promote OSHCR?
HSE is currently reviewing its guidance and will identify OSHCR as one option for
employers to access health and safety advice from qualified and experienced
consultants.

Will HSE/LA inspectors refer businesses to the register?
Yes, this is the first time HSE and LA Inspectors will be able to refer businesses to
OSHCR. It remains the responsibility of the dutyholder to ensure both the suitability
of the consultant they select and that they obtain competent advice. However, this
register will help them find a consultant who belongs to a professional body and
has achieved a certain status within that professional body.

When will businesses be able to search the register?
The register will start to be populated as soon as applications are received and will
be released for businesses to search against in early spring 2011.

Does this mean that if I am not a member of a professional body I cannot
work as a consultant?
No, this register is voluntary and does not restrict your ability to carry on your
business as before.

What information will be held on the register?
Each consultant will have their personal name, trading name, contact details,
member of professional body and areas of expertise by topic and industry shown.
There will also be an opportunity to provide a short paragraph to give any relevant
additional information.

Can I apply using a paper application?
No, the application process is only available online.

I’m not eligible to join, but would like to apply. What should I do?
You must be a member of one of the participating professional bodies to join. You
should consider which body offers you the opportunity to develop your existing
qualifications, skills and experience. If you are already a member, contact your
relevant professional body and ask them how you can progress to meet the
eligibility criteria.

What parts of the country does OSHCR cover?
OSHCR is intended for health and safety consultants who can work in Britain and
Northern Ireland. Consultants who are currently based overseas will also be able to
join if they have a UK based address.
Q&A Businesses

Do I need a consultant?
As an employer, the law says that you must appoint one or more competent people
to help you meet your health and safety duties. This could be yourself, one or more
of your workers, or someone from outside your business. Where there is an
employee with the necessary competence, that person should be appointed, but
where that isn’t the case, businesses may use a consultant to get the advice they
need.

The consultants who will be on the register will be committed to giving sensible and
proportionate advice. This means that they should be:
    Helping clients understand what health and safety law requires;
    Helping clients understand how they can help them;
    Ensuring that clients understand how to raise any concerns relating to the
      advice that they have received;
    Exercising their professional judgement to decide what action must be taken
      in a particular situation. For example, an employer might be required to do
      what is reasonably practicable to ensure safety, and that will mean
      considering both the extent of the risk and the resources involved in averting
      the risk (whether in money, time or trouble); and
    Distinguishing between legal requirements and best practice (i.e. the ‘must
      do’ and the ‘could do’).

Where else can I get advice?
There are a number of different ways you can get advice. The HSE website has a
dedicated section on its website www.hse.gov.uk/business/competent-advice on
how to get advice, from doing assessments for low level risk management through
to obtaining specialist advice on specific topics. Other sources include:
     Health and safety training providers
     Health and safety equipment suppliers
     Local councils
     Safety groups
     Trade associations; and
     Trade unions.

Can I do risk assessments myself?
Yes. Many businesses find that they are able to manage health and safety without
external advisers. There is no set way of undertaking a risk assessment but a
simple and straightforward approach is set out in the HSE leaflet ‘Five Steps to
Risk Assessment’, which can be found on the HSE website
www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163. Example risk assessments and an online
assessment tool are also available on the HSE website.

Who will be on the register?
The following consultants will be eligible to apply to be included on the register
    Chartered members of IOSH (Institution of Occupational Safety and Health);
       CIEH (Chartered Institute of Environmental Health); or REHIS (Royal
       Environmental Health Institute of Scotland) with health and safety
       qualifications
      Fellow members of IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety
       Management) with degree level qualifications
      Members or Fellows of BOHS (British Occupational Hygiene Society)
       Faculty of Occupational Hygiene
      Registered Members or Fellows of IEHF (Institute of Ergonomics and
       Human Factors.

Is it free for me to search the register?
Yes.

Who has assessed the consultants?
Each consultant on the register will have achieved the relevant status within their
professional body on the basis of their qualifications and experience. When they
apply to join the register, their professional body will verify that they have met the
eligibility criteria.

What are those criteria?
The eligibility criteria decided by the network of participating professional bodies
and stakeholders are as follows:
    Degree level qualification;
    Two years experience; and
    Active engagement in a continuous professional development (CPD)
       scheme.

In addition they will be committed to:
     Demonstrate adequate continuing professional development
     Abide by their professional body’s code of conduct;
     Provide sensible and proportionate advice; and
     Have professional indemnity insurance or equivalent to cover the nature of
       their duties.

Which organisations have been involved in the development of this register?
   British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)
   British Safety Council
   British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF)
   Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)
   Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
   Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI)
   Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF)
   International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM)
   Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
   National Exam Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH)
   Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS)
   Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA)
Why aren’t companies on the register?
The register is for individual consultants. If an individual works for a company, its
trading name can be included in the consultant details.

If I choose a consultant from this register, is it a guarantee that their advice is
competent and I won’t be prosecuted if something goes wrong?
No, the responsibility remains with the dutyholder to ensure that the consultant they
use is competent and suitable, based upon their particular business needs. The
register will indicate a consultant’s area(s) of expertise and experience, and it
should therefore help businesses find a consultant who is suited to their needs.

I need specialist advice on a particular topic, where can I get this?
This register is aimed at helping those businesses who have difficulty in finding a
general health and safety consultant. It is most likely to help small and medium
sized businesses who have not used a consultant before and are looking for advice
on how to meet their health and safety duties. Where a business needs specialist
advice, such as on asbestos, there are specialist bodies who can help them obtain
that advice. The HSE website gives more detail www.hse.gov.uk/business/sources-
advice

I use a Trade association to get advice, can I still do that?
Yes, Trade associations can be a very useful source of advice.

I already use a consultant but they are not on the register – can I still use
them?
Yes, the register is a voluntary scheme and it is for each business to decide where
to get advice.

								
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