Providers of OHS professional education may apply to the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board to have their programs accredited. Accreditation recognises that the program and the learning, teaching and assessment processes meet certain standards.
The accreditation is accorded to the education program not to the award title or to the school or faculty. Education programs are either accredited or not; there are no ranking or merit grading of the programs. Accreditation is awarded for a five year period with providers submitting an annual report.
OHS professional education programs eligible to apply for accreditation are those at the AQF Level 7 or above (excluding graduate certificate) and can demonstrate
- OHS as defined in the OHS Body of Knowledge constitutes more than 50% of the credit points and a minimum of one year equivalent fulltime study
- Objectives and learning experiences in the program directed to the achievement of agreed student learning outcomes derived from the OHS Body of Knowledge and demonstrated through assessment performance to agreed standards
- A process for ongoing consultation with industry-based personnel.
Providers of OHS professional education with accredited programs benefit through
- Enhanced reputation and standing with potential students and employers
- Possibly increased access to research funding
- Display of the Accredited Program logo on program literature in line with conditions of use of the logo
- Programs being listed in the on-line list of accredited courses
- Graduates of accredited programs being deemed to have met the knowledge requirements for entry to professional certification
- Institutions providing accredited programs being eligible to nominate students for the SIA national OHS education awards and educators for the SIA Academy teaching and learning awards
- Increased recognition of the value of OHS professional education within the university community.
Principles underpinning accreditation process
The OHS education accreditation process is based on the following principles.
- The accreditation process acknowledges that fundamentally, the academic quality and standards of programs for education of professionals are primarily secured by the internal quality assurance processes of the institutions. Thus the accreditation process does not prescribe detailed program objectives or content but requires providers to have in place their own mechanisms for validating outcomes and continually improving quality.
- The accreditation process recognises that each institution and each program is unique and this is to be valued. Thus the criteria for accreditation are outcome-based allowing institutions the maximum flexibility in achieving the required standards.
- The accreditation process is intended to be constructive and to respect the expertise and academic autonomy of institutions providing OHS professional education.
- The accreditation process will, as far as is possible, be aligned with institution quality processes with minimal complexity in the application process.
- The accreditation process will be open to external scrutiny; conducted in a consultative and consensus-building collegiate fashion, transparent and fair, and balance academic priorities with those of the OHS profession;
- The accreditation process will be based on self- and peer-assessment for the purpose of publicly and openly assuring adequate standards of education and training of OHS professionals and the constant improvement of quality in OHS professional education.
- Only full programs will be accredited. The accreditation does not apply to individual courses or part programs
- Completion of an accredited OHS program is deemed as providing satisfactory evidence of having completed the knowledge component of the requirements for entry-level OHS professional certification as a minimum.
Accreditation is awarded on the basis of an assessment of the course design, course resourcing, admission criteria, quality of teaching and learning, assessment practices and course monitoring processes.
Download the accreditation criteria.
Download the Information Pack for Universities Applying for Accreditation of Programs for Education of Generalist OHS Professionals.
Application for accreditation
Download the Application Pack for Universities Applying for Accreditation of Programs for Education of Generalist OHS Professionals.
Download the Fee Schedule for Accreditation of University level OHS Programs.
Information on accreditation and program development
Briefing on accreditation and the application
The Registrar of the Accreditation Board conducts briefings for universities on the accreditation criteria, the process of accreditation and the application. These briefings are conducted individually for each university and take the form of a presentation and discussion. It is preferable that these briefings occur early in the application process. Usually attended by the program leader, lecturers, teaching and learning advisors and in some cases Head of School, all universities who have applied so far have found the sessions constructive, informative and helpful in completing the application.
Universities wishing to arrange a briefing or discuss other aspects of accreditation should contact the Registrar. Click here to email the registrar.
OHS Professional Capability statements have been developed which reflect the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) learning descriptors for each qualification level. While these capability statements describe what the graduate should be able to do when they enter the workforce they should also inform program development and design of assessment activities.
Click here to download OHS Professional Capabilities (coming soon)
Body of Knowledge learning outcomes
The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks. To optimise its value from an educational perspective, learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter. These learning outcomes describe what the new graduate should be able to do in the workplace. It is not expected that the learning outcomes will be specifically stated in the program documentation but they should inform program development and assessment.
Click here to download OHS Body of Knowledge Learning Outcomes