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									                                                    OHS Professional Capabilities (Draft 5-7-12)
                  Graduate attributes: For new graduates of OHS Bachelor (AQF 7), Graduate Diploma (AQF 8) and Masters (AQF 9) programs

This outline of attributes for new graduates of OHS professional education programs is just one part of a project that extends the OHS Body of Knowledge for
Generalist OHS Professionals. In Australia graduate attributes are generally considered to be the core achievements of a university education (HEC, 1992)
describing the knowledge, skill and abilities, beyond disciplinary content applicable in a range of contexts and acquired as a result of a university degree
program(Barrie, nd). A commonly used definition of graduate attributes is that by Bowden et al.,:
         Graduate attributes are the qualities, skills and understandings a university community agrees its students should develop during their time with the
         institution. These attributes include, but go beyond, the disciplinary expertise or technical knowledge that has traditionally formed the core of most
         university courses. They are qualities that also prepare graduates as agents for social good in an unknown future.(Bowden, Hart, King, Trigwell, & Watts,

In Australia these graduate qualities are described and defined differently in different universities and education systems and a bewildering array of terms has
resulted (Barrie, nd). However there is the potential to bring some consistency to the description of graduate attributes while maintaining the ‘flavour’ of the
particular university or profession, by using the level summaries and learning outcomes criteria that are an integral part of the Australian Qualification
Framework (AQF) (Australian Qualifications Framework Council), endorsed by the Australian Government in 2011.

Such an approach has been applied here. The level summaries and learning outcomes criteria of the AQF have been used as a basis for defining the expectations
of graduates of OHS professional education programs and highlighting the difference in knowledge levels, cognitive and technical skills, and application of the
outcomes of AQF 7, AQF 8 and AQF 9 qualifications.

It is anticipated that the graduate attributes will inform the development of learning and assessment activities in OHS education programs; that they will assist
recruiters and employers in selecting OHS advisors and inform performance appraisals and professional development plans. For current OHS professionals they
provide a useful benchmark for reflective processes.

The process for developing these graduate attributes has involved: a workshop with 30 OHS educators, OHS professionals and representatives of OHS
professional bodies to develop a draft followed by a second workshop with 20 OHS educators and OHS professionals to refine the draft.

The next stages in refining the OHS graduate attributes will be:
        Comment on current draft by workshop attendees

See also specific learning outcomes for each chapter of the OHS Body of Knowledge (HaSPA, 2012)
                                                                                                                                                Comment on current
        draft by members of the Health and Safety Professionals Alliance (HaSPA)
       Posting of current draft on the Accreditation Board web site for broad feedback
       Discussion and feedback by OHS regulators, Safe Work Australia, unions and employer bodies.

To provide comment note that:
       The blue text is derived from the AQF descriptors and so cannot be changed
       The attributes are in five sections: (1) knowledge; (2) cognitive, technical and communication skills to access and analyse information; (3) cognitive,
        technical and communication skills to solve problems, (4) cognitive, technical and communication skills to transmit knowledge, skills and ideas; and (5)
        application. Thus, you may need to scan the five sections to gain an integrated view of the attributes.
       The attributes should reflect the technical and cognitive levels of the relevant AQF descriptor
       The descriptors are ‘attributes’ and as such are content free and so do not refer to specific OHS skills or knowledge, nor are they task or action lists. [It
        may be useful to refer to the OHS Body of Knowledge: Model of Practice for more detail on professional practice skills (HaSPA, 2012).]
       General feedback may be provided or comments may be recorded using ‘track change’ with the document saved as [OHS graduate attributes feedback
        (surname or name of organisation)]
        Comments should be emailed to by 25 September 2012.


Australian Qualifications Framework Council. (2011). Australian Qualification Framework South Australia: Australian Qualifications Framework Council.

Barrie, S. (nd). Understanding what we mean by the generic attributes of graduates [Electronic Version], from

Bowden, J., Hart, G., King, B., Trigwell, K., & Watts, O. (2000). Generic capabilites of ATN University graduates: Teaching and Learning Commitee, Australian
       Technology Network.

HaSPA (Health and Safety Professionals Alliance). (2012). The Core Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals. from

HEC (Higher Education Council). (1992). Achieving Quality: National Higher Education Council.
OHS Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors: Qualification

                          Bachelor                  OHS Bachelor              Graduate Diploma               OHS Grad Dip             Masters by Course work            OHS Masters
                        AQF Level 7                                               AQF Level 8                                              AQF level 9
Purpose of       Qualifies individuals who                                Qualifies individuals who                                  Qualifies individuals who
qualification    apply a broad and                                        apply a body of                                            apply an advanced body
                 coherent body of                                         knowledge in a range of                                    of knowledge in a range
                 knowledge in a range of                                  contexts to undertake                                      of contexts to undertake
                 contexts to undertake                                    professional work and/or                                   professional work and as
                 professional work and as                                 highly skilled work and as                                 a pathway for further
                 a pathway for further                                    a pathway for further                                      learning
                 learning                                                 learning

1         Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors: Knowledge(refer also to detailed learning outcomes)
                          Bachelor                  OHS Bachelor              Graduate Diploma               OHS Grad Dip             Masters by Course work            OHS Masters
                        AQF Level 7                                               AQF Level 8                                              AQF level 9
KNOWLEDGE        A broad and coherent         Demonstrable familiarity   Advanced theoretical and      Demonstrable                  Advanced and integrated      Demonstrable capacity to
Graduates will   body of knowledge, with      with and understanding     technical knowledge           understanding and             understanding of a           draw together relevant
have             depth in the underlying      of a broad range of        within a systematic and       capacity to systematically    complex body of              concepts and sub
                 principles and concepts as   concepts and sub           coherent body of              apply the concepts and        knowledge in one or more     concepts from the Body of
                 a basis for independent      concepts within the OHS    knowledge                     sub concepts of the OHS       disciplines or practice      Knowledge and relate
                 lifelong learning            Body of Knowledge with                                   Body of Knowledge across      areas                        them to situations in a
                  Cognitive and technical    depth of understanding in  Specialised technical        a range of diverse             Cognitive skills to        diverse range of
                   skills to demonstrate a    some hazard areas             and creative skills in a   environments/situations.        demonstrate mastery        environments. This may
                   broad understanding                                      field of highly skilled                                    of theoretical             include specialized
                                                                                                       Demonstrable technical                                     theoretical understanding
                   of knowledge with                                        and/or professional                                        knowledge
                                                                                                       competence and the                                         of some topic areas.
                   depth in some areas                                      practice
                                                                                                       capacity to apply OHS
                                                                                                       knowledge and
                                                                                                       understanding to
                                                                                                       problems and unfamiliar
                                                                                                       situations in OHS practice.
                                                                                                                                      Knowledge of research         Knowledge of
                                                                                                                                       principles and methods         research principles
                                                                                                                                       applicable to a field of       and methods
                                                                                                                                       work or learning               applicable to OHS
OHS Graduate Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors: Skills

2        Analyse and evaluate information

                         Bachelor                OHS Bachelor              Graduate Diploma               OHS Grad Dip               Masters by Course               OHS Masters
                        AQF Level 7                                           AQF Level 8                                            work AQF level 9
SKILLS           Analyse and evaluate        Access and evaluate      Critically evaluate and        Access and critically     Analyse critically reflect    Access and critically
Graduates will   information to complete      knowledge from a         transform information to        evaluate information      on and synthesise              evaluate the
have well        a range of activities        range of sources         complete a range of             from a range of           complex information,           contribution to OHS
developed           Cognitive skills to      relevant to OHS          activities                      sources as part of        concepts and theories          practice of complex
cognitive,           review, critically       practice                    Cognitive skills to         evidenced informed            Reflect critically on     information from
technical and        analyse, consolidate    Critically analyse and       think critically and to     OHS practice                   theory and                workplace, national and
communication        and synthesise           consolidate                  generate and               Challenge information          professional              international sources
skills to            knowledge;               information from such        evaluate complex            and current thinking as        practice                  including academic
                                              range of sources             ideas                       it relates to                                            literature
                                             Synthesise the                                           professional practice                                   Reflect critically on OHS
                                              information to inform                                                                                             theory and research and
                                              OHS practice                                                                                                      its relevance for practice

                 `                                                      Cognitive skills to          Access, analyse and        Generate and                Evaluate complex ideas
                                                                         review, analyse,              draw together relevant      evaluate complex             and concepts to
                                                                         consolidate and               knowledge to inform         ideas and concepts at        generate theoretical
                                                                         synthesise knowledge          OHS practice                an abstract level            perspectives with
                                                                                                                                                                potential application to
                                                                                                                                                                OHS practice
                                                                                                                                  Investigate, analyse        Investigate, analyse and
                                                                                                                                   and synthesise               synthesise complex
                                                                                                                                   complex information,         information, concepts
                                                                                                                                   concepts and                 and theories and
                                                                                                                                   theories and to apply        demonstrate their
                                                                                                                                   established theories         applicability to different
                                                                                                                                   to different bodies of       areas of the Body of
                                                                                                                                   knowledge or                 Knowledge and/or
                                                                                                                                   practice                     specialised aspects of
                                                                                                                                                                OHS practice
OHS Graduate Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors: Skills

3        Solve problems

                           Bachelor                      OHS Bachelor               Graduate Diploma            OHS Grad Dip          Masters by Course work              OHS Masters
                         AQF Level 7                                                  AQF Level 8                                          AQF level 9
SKILLS           Analyse, generate and                Apply critical           Analyse, generate and         Apply critical         Analyse critically reflect      Apply critical thinking,
Graduates will   transmit solutions to                 thinking, information    transmit solutions to          thinking,              on complex problems              information gathering
have well        unpredictable and                     gathering and            complex problems               information             Investigate, analyse           and communication
developed        sometimes complex                     communication skills        Cognitive skills to        gathering and            complex problems and           skills to identify and
cognitive,       problems                              to identify and              identify and provide       communication skills     to apply established           analyse complex OHS
technical and       Cognitive and creative            analyse sometimes            solutions to complex       to identify and          theories to solve the          problems and identify
communication        skills to exercise critical       complex OHS                  problems                   analyse complex          problems                       emerging issues
skills to            thinking and judgment             problems                                                OHS problems                                           Synthesise information
                     in identifying and               Generate practical                                     Generate practical                                      and established theory
                     solving problems with             evidence-informed                                       evidence-informed                                       from a variety of
                     intellectual                      solutions taking                                        solutions taking                                        sources to generate
                     independence                      account of legislation                                  account of                                              practical evidence-
                                                       and industry                                            legislation and                                         informed solutions to
                                                       standards and                                           industry standards                                      OHS problems taking
                                                       defend the proposed                                     and defend the                                          account of legislation
                                                       solutions                                               proposed solutions                                      and industry standards
                                                                                                              Prioritise practical                                    and defend the
                                                                                                               evidence-informed                                       proposed solutions
                                                                                                               solutions to OHS                                       Prioritise practical
                                                                                                               problems within a                                       evidence-informed
                                                                                                               business                                                solutions to OHS
                                                                                                               environment, taking                                     problems within a
                                                                                                               account of                                              business environment
                                                                                                               legislation and                                         taking account of
                                                                                                               industry standards                                      legislation and industry
                                                                                                              Develop a business                                      standards and defend
                                                                                                               case as part of                                         the alternatives
                                                                                                               improving practices                                     proposed
                                                                                                               and processes and                                    Develop a business case
                                                                                                               solving OHS                                           as part of improving
                                                                                                                                                                     practices and processes
 Bachelor     OHS Bachelor   Graduate Diploma    OHS Grad Dip   Masters by Course work             OHS Masters
AQF Level 7                    AQF Level 8                           AQF level 9
                                                problems                                      and solving OHS
                                                                 Evaluate, implement,       Engage in evidence-
                                                                  analyse and theorise        informed reflective
                                                                  about developments          practice and professional
                                                                  that contribute to          discussion including the
                                                                  professional practice       contribution of new
                                                                                              research findings and
                                                                Research and apply           Access and critically
                                                                established theories to a     review academic
                                                                body of knowledge or          literature and apply
                                                                practice                      findings from research to
                                                                 Extend knowledge and        inform professional
                                                                  /or solve complex           practice
                                                                  problems                   Design, implement,
                                                                                              evaluate and report on
                                                                                              structured activities with
                                                                                              a view to
                                                                                              the OHS Body of
                                                                                             Approach the resolution
                                                                                              of complex problems in a
                                                                                              critically reflective
                                                                                              matter drawing upon
                                                                                              extant theory and
                                                                                              appropriate evaluative
OHS Graduate Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors: Skills

4        Communication skills to transmit knowledge, skills and ideas

                          Bachelor                  OHS Bachelor             Graduate Diploma                OHS Grad Dip           Masters by Course work           OHS Masters
                        AQF Level 7                                              AQF Level 8                                             AQF level 9
SKILLS           Transfer knowledge, skills     Select and               Transmit knowledge,           Convey technical          Interpret and transmit      Interpret and tailor
Graduates will   and ideas to others             appropriately apply a    skills and ideas to others     information and           knowledge, skills and        technical information,
have well           Communication skills to     broad range of            Communication skills         theoretical concepts in   ideas to specialist and      complex concepts and
developed            present a clear,            communications skills      to demonstrate an            a clear, concise and      non-specialist audiences     theories to
cognitive,           coherent and                and formats to explain     understanding of             logical manner giving      Justify and interpret      communicate
technical and        independent exposition      technical information      theoretical concepts         underpinning                propositions,              knowledge and ideas
communication        of knowledge and            and concepts to                                                                     methodologies,             to a range of specialist
skills to            ideas.                      workplace audiences                                                                 conclusions and            and non-specialist
                                                                                                                                     professional decisions     audiences using a
                                                                           Communication skills        Interpret and tailor                                   range of
                                                                            to transfer complex          information to              to specialist and non-
                                                                                                                                     specialist audiences       communication
                                                                            knowledge and ideas          communicate                                            strategies
                                                                            to a variety of              knowledge and ideas
                                                                            audiences.                   to a range of                                         Select the most
                                                                                                         audiences using a                                      effective
                                                                                                         range of                                               communication
                                                                                                         communication                                          strategy and format for
                                                                                                         strategies                                             a specific audience
                                                                                                                                                                with a view to
                                                                                                        Select the most                                        developing knowledge
                                                                                                         effective                                              and understanding by
                                                                                                         communication                                          those involved
                                                                                                         strategy and format
                                                                                                         for a specific audience                               Demonstrate written,
                                                                                                         with a view to                                         oral and non verbal
                                                                                                         developing knowledge                                   communication skills
                                                                                                         and understanding by                                   with empathy for the
                                                                                                         those involved                                         audience

                                                                                                        Demonstrate written,                                  Provide the evidence-
                                                                                                         oral and non verbal                                    base and logical
                                                                                                         communication skills                                   reasoning to explain
                                                                                                         that reflect empathy                                   the risks and benefits
                                                                                                                                                                of a range of options
 Bachelor     OHS Bachelor   Graduate Diploma      OHS Grad Dip    Masters by Course work         OHS Masters
AQF Level 7                    AQF Level 8                              AQF level 9
                                                for the audience                               and justify relevant
                                                                                               propositions and
                                                                   Communication skills to   Engage in evidence-
                                                                   theorise about            informed reflective
                                                                   developments and that     practice, evaluative
                                                                   contribute to             activities and
                                                                   professional practice     professional discussion
                                                                                             with a view to testing
                                                                                             hypotheses through peer
OHS Graduate Attributes compared with AQF learning outcome descriptors:

5        Application
                        Bachelor                   OHS Bachelor               Graduate Diploma                OHS Grad Dip              Masters by Course               OHS Masters
                       AQF Level 7                                               AQF Level 8                                            work AQF level 9
APPLICATION       Apply initiative and     Recognise the limits of        Make high level,           Make high level               With high level of     Operate with a high level of
OF                 judgment in               one’s own knowledge and         independent                 independent judgements         personal autonomy       personal autonomy to
KNOWLEDGE          professional              skills and seek specialist      judgments in a range        regarding technical OHS        and accountability      conceptualise, plan,
AND SKILLS         practice                  advice as appropriate           of technical or             issues and plan,                                       implement and evaluate major
Graduates will                              Recognise and apply the         management functions        implement and monitor                                  OHS related projects
be able                                      distinguishing features of      in varied specialised       OHS-related projects                                  Recognise limits of one’s own
demonstrate                                  professional practice:          contexts                   Recognise the limits of                                knowledge and skills and seek
application of                               ethics, respect for privacy                                 one’s own knowledge and                                specialist advice as
knowledge                                    and confidentiality within                                  skills and seek specialist                             appropriate
and skills to                                a legal framework                                           advice as appropriate                                 Work with integrity, honesty,
                  Adapt knowledge          Recognise the implications                                 Work with integrity,                                   objectivity and impartiality
                   and skills in diverse     of different work                                           honesty, objectivity and                               while working within a legal
                   contexts                  environments and work                                       impartiality while working                             framework
                                             cultures and the                                            within a legal framework                              Identify when
                                             implications for OHS                                       Identify when                                          disclosure/whistle blowing
                                             practice                                                    disclosure/whistle                                     may be appropriate and take
                                                                                                         blowing may be                                         appropriate action and be able
                                                                                                         appropriate .                                          to foster work environment
                                                                                                                                                                elements that are conducive to
                                                                                                                                                                open expression of worker
                  With responsibility      Work independently and         Initiate, plan,            Work independently and        With creativity and    Work with people from many
                   and accountability        as part of a team in            implement and               as part of a                   initiative to new       disciplines and backgrounds,
                   for own learning          addressing a range of OHS       evaluate broad              multidisciplinary team         situations in           across a range of work groups
                   and practice and          problems                        functions within varied    Be accountable for             professional            including at the highest
                   collaboration with       Recognise the value of          specialised technical       technical and conceptual       practice                decision-making levels,
                   others within broad       professional, enterprise        and/or creative             underpinning of own                                    demonstrating leadership
                   parameters                and industry collaboration      contexts;                   practice across arrange of                             capacity
                                            Be accountable for the                                      areas of practice and                                 Work in diverse, complex and
                                             technical and conceptual                                    diverse contexts                                       unfamiliar contexts
      Bachelor                 OHS Bachelor              Graduate Diploma                OHS Grad Dip               Masters by Course              OHS Masters
     AQF Level 7                                            AQF Level 8                                             work AQF level 9
                          underpinnings of one’s                                   Ability to operate across a                           Be accountable for technical
                          own practice                                              range of activities that                               and conceptual underpinning
                       Be reliable in meeting                                      create different demands                               of own practice at a high level
                        commitments in accord                                       in implementation while                                including currency with recent
                        with agreed time lines                                      meeting agreed delivery                                research across arrange of
                                                                                    time lines                                             areas of practice and diverse
                                                                                                                                          Bring an international
                                                                                                                                           perspective to professional
 Plan and execute        Contribute to and           With responsibility and    Take a leadership role to      Plan and execute a    Identify priorities and develop
  project work             implement an agreed          accountability for          operationalise and              substantial            strategies for addressing OHS
  and/or a piece of        problem-solving strategy     personal outputs and        implement strategy              research-based         problems that require the
  research and            Take individual              all aspects of the work    Apply project                   project, capstone      involvement of others for
  scholarship with         responsibility for a         function of others          management skills to            experience or          successful implementation
  some                     component of a small         within broad                conduct projects to             professional-based    Apply research principles to
  independence.            research project or          parameters.                 implement change                project                design projects to investigate
                           evaluative study of OHS                                                                                         issues within the workplace
                           practice                                                                                                       Apply project management
                          Apply project                                                                                                   skills to implement successful
                           management skills to the                                                                                        significant projects in the
                           conduct of OHS projects                                                                                         workplace
                           of limited scope

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