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Dear OHS Educators and Researchers

In addition to our e-newsletter the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board puts out a quick update when there are news items that may be of interest. This Quick Update includes information on the current status of accredited programs and the outcomes of the review of the implementation of accreditation. It also includes an invitation to participate in two important forums: one on the review of the accreditation criteria and process and one on OHS research in Australia. If you do not wish to receive these updates then email the

OHS professional education in Australia hits new heights – accreditation

Professionalism of occupational health and safety hit new heights this week with the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board announcing the current status of accredited university-level OHS education in Australia. Since the implementation of accreditation in 2012, 10 of the 14 universities with eligible programs have attained accreditation for one or more programs. Another two universities are engaging with the process, leaving only two yet to commit to accreditation. For potential students considering OHS professional education this offers a choice of 3 accredited undergraduate programs and 10 post graduate programs at Graduate Diploma/Master levels including two universities only offering accredited Graduate Diplomas.

Since the last update Edith Cowan University have achieved accreditation for their Bachelor of Health Science (OSH major), Curtin University for their Graduate Diploma/Master in OHS and University of Wollongong for their Graduate Diploma/Master in WHS. (See media releases at

See for a list of accredited programs. The 2014-15 Annual Report gives more information on the Accreditation Board activities. See

Review of accreditation

As part of our quality processes the Accreditation Board undertook an extensive review of the implementation of accreditation in 2014. The outcomes of the review indicate that accreditation is impacting positively on the quality of OHS professional education in Australia. This impact varies from providing a stimulus for minor review and ‘tweaking’ to revision of whole courses within programs. Accreditation also creates leverage for obtaining resources within the universities and for implementing change. Major areas of change were made to content through mapping to the OHS Body of Knowledge and in tightening assessment processes. For a number of universities, the accreditation process also enabled them to articulate and build on strengths to establish their profile in the Australian OHS education context. Accreditation is seen as an important step in giving students confidence in the program and in improving the professionalism of the profession.

While the general consensus was that accreditation has had a positive impact on OHS professional education in Australia and that the criteria and process are fair and valid, a number of actions for improvement were identified. As part of the implementation of the review and to seek further input from interested groups, an Accreditation Forum will be held in Melbourne on the 26th November. While face to face participation will be encouraged online attendance will be available.

Thursday 26th November Accreditation Forum, 2pm to 4.30pm RMIT and also online via Collaborate

The outcome of the accreditation review has been very positive indicating some shall changes. However this review signals the end of the implementation period when each university has met a certain standard. There are a number of questions that require broader input from areas that may include: other professional accreditation processes, OHS educators, OHS professionals and employers. These questions could be: Should the standard be raised? What sort of changes in standard or criteria are required? Should there be changes to the process? What might be the implications of such changes for the universities and for the AOHSEAB.

Put the date in your diary. Registration details and the program will be circulated in September. For more information contact the registrar.

OHS research

There are many issues facing OHS researchers in Australia not the least of which is the challenge of creating a community of practice for OHS researchers with communication and collaboration to optimise research outcomes. This community of practice needs to extend beyond those of us who sit in recognised centres of OHS research and education to include researchers from disciplines that can expand our multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary view of OHS.

WorkCover NSW and the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board are working together to foster communication and engagement among OHS researchers including those in related disciplines. The first of a number of planned joint activities is a Research Forum. This Forum will be held on the 26th November 11.00am to 1.00pm at RMIT University preceding the Accreditation Forum to be held on the same day at 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

At the Forum Peter Dunphy, Executive Director, NSW WorkCover will discuss a regulator’s view of the need for OHS research and what WorkCover NSW is seeking to achieve. Pam Pryor and Emeritus Professor Mike Capra of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board will discuss the concept of an “ OHS Research Road Map” for Australia and seek input on the design and implementation of such a map. Input will also be sought on the development of a new chapter for the OHS Body of Knowledge on The OHS Professional as a workplace researcher.

The Forum will be conducted as a face to face workshop but arrangements will be in place for online participation for those who cannot travel. Put the date in your diary. Registration details and the program will be circulated in September.

If you would like to include information in the next Update contact Pam Pryor. Information may include: position vacancies, research updates, key references, invitations for collaboration, or anything you think may be interesting to your OHS educator and researcher colleagues.

Pam Pryor, Registrar

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