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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 first Quick Update for 2016 is packed with information. It includes exciting news announcing a joint project with IChemE Safety Centre to develop a new chapter for the OHS Body of Knowledge on Process Safety, accreditation of the double degree in OHS and health promotion provided by Curtin University, brief reports and links for the accreditation and research forums held in November, information on the safety culture symposium to be held in April and two new books.

OHS Body of Knowledge

New chapter on Process Safety

The Safety Institute of Australia and the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board, together with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Safety Centre, have announced a joint project to develop a chapter on process safety for the OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals. Trish Kerin, director of the IChemE Safety Centre said that the collaboration is “an opportunity to improve the approach to Process Safety generally”, as the content of the chapter will be built around the process safety competences for generalist OHS professions – developed as part of larger process safety competency framework.

The scope and content of the chapter will be produced by a technical panel, comprising process safety engineers and generalist OHS professionals.

Pam Pryor, Registrar of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board, custodian of the OHS Body of Knowledge, said that this development is exciting as it “recognises the role of the Generalist in supporting process safety and will provide a conceptual knowledge base for the generalist, including effective liaison with engineers.” CEO of the Safety Institute of Australia David Clarke welcomed the joint work on the new chapter. “Some generalist OHS professionals have an engineering background. However, analysis of recent process engineering disasters has shown that all generalists operating in high-risk environments should have this foundation knowledge. The ability to identify issues, contribute a unique perspective, and engage with process safety specialists is essential to for managing safety in such environments” he said.

Work will commence in February, with a workshop for the technical panel. The publication is planned for late 2016.

See media release attached. For Updates follow LinkedIn and twitter @OHSBoK

Process safety webinars

The IChemE Safety Centre has as series of interesting webinars on process safety which can be accessed at These webinars are of interest to OHS educators, professionals and students. They provide a basis for interesting discussions as student activities. Topics cover Pike River – leadership, culture and design; Lead metrics in process safety; Process safety culture (BP Texas City); Normalisation of deviance; and Remember Bhopal – what have we learnt?


Accreditation of first OHS double degree in OHS and Health Promotion

The Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board today announced accreditation of the first Bachelor of Science double degree in OHS and Health Promotion. This qualification, delivered by Curtin University, offers students the opportunity to develop skills to deliver an expanded role for OHS in the workplace compatible with the current approach to OHS by regulators, Safe Work Australia and a number of industry bodies and employers where health promotion principles are integrated with health and safety.

Pam Pryor, registrar of the Accreditation Board said that “in accrediting the double degree the Board required that the study of the second discipline add materially to the graduate outcomes of an entry-level OHS professional in the workplace”. The accreditation assessment panel were impressed with the ability of the students interviewed to express themselves and their positive comments about the program overall. The students explained that their assessment activities and work experience were richer for being able to apply the OHS principles to health promotion activities and vice versa, even mentoring other students who were studying a single discipline. Students interviewed believed that the extra year of study was more than returned in the increased employment opportunities as employers considered graduates of the double degree as having a broader set of skills in the workplace.

Accreditation Forum, 26th November, 2015

A successful forum was held at RMIT University attended by a number of OHS educators both in person and on line. With the exception of one university, all universities in Australia teaching OHS were represented and it was pleasing to see Charles Darwin University and Massey University from New Zealand present. Two people had technical issues on logging into the Forum which we will address in future forums. Those at the Forum heard an interesting presentation from Gary Brook on the role of TEQSA how TEQSA sees the relationship with professional accreditation. The outcomes and recommendations of the recent review of the implementation of accreditation of OHS education were discussed in the light of the changes to the Higher Education Standards to be effective within universities from January 2017. The recording of the Forum and the presentation slides are available at

The discussion and input from the Forum were reviewed at the Accreditation Board meeting the following day and have informed the development and implementation of the updated accreditation process to be implemented from January 2017. More about the changes later in the year.

To keep up to date on OHS education matters follow twitter @ohs_education.

Joint Universities Australia and Professions Australia Statement of Principles for Professional Accreditation formally endorsed

Professions Australia recently announced formal endorsement of the Joint Statement of Principles for Professional Accreditation. This was the result of an extensive process of consensus-building between both organisations facilitated by extensive member consultation of both bodies. The Statement signifies an important milestone in the longer-term collaboration between Professions Australia and Universities Australia. It is a robust example of self- regulation and cooperation between professional accrediting bodies and universities and complements the Higher Education Standards Framework.
The OHS accreditation criteria and process reflect the principles agreed to in the joint statement.

OHS research

Research Forum 26th November, 2015

The OHS Research Forum was held on 26th November. Dr Perri Timmins of Safe Work Australia presented on the SWA research agenda and the Research and Evaluation action area of the WHS Strategy 2012-22. Peter Dunphy, Executive Director, Safe Work NSW gave a regulator’s view of the need for OHS Research. This was followed by some rigorous discussion on the role of collaboration in OHS research, the need for a research register and communication of OHS research to inform practice. The OHS Body of Knowledge was seen to have an important role in translating and disseminating research to inform practice. We thank RMIT University for making their facilities available including the use of Collaborate.

The recording of the Forum and the presentation slides are available at research-forum-26th-november-2015/

We will announce more about the outcomes of the Research Forum later in the year.

Safety culture from the regulators’ perspective

The symposium “Safety culture from the regulators’ perspective” will be held in Melbourne on the 28th of April 2016. There is no charge for the symposium.

Highlights of the symposium include:

  • Keynote presentations by distinguished researchers: Professor Mark Griffin, Centre for Safety, University of Western Australia and Dr Frank Guldenmund, Safety Science Group, Faculty of Technology, Policy & Management, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
  • Networking opportunities with OHS regulators, researchers and practitioners.

Information on the symposium is available at papers-the-first-community-of-practice-safety-culture-and-climate-symposium . Any questions about the symposium can be directed to

OHS Professional

Global Framework for practice

The International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (INSHPO) launched the Global Capability Framework for Occupational Health and Safety Professionals at the FLUORO Conference in Perth in November. The result of 3 years development and consultation across 11 countries with input from OHS professionals, OHS educators and OHS professional and certifying bodies. The Framework describes the activities that an OHS professional can be expected to undertake and the required underpinning knowledge. It also details the personal, professional and technical skills required for effective OHS practice along with performance criteria for each skill. This emphasis on skills addresses a gap often noted in technically-oriented OHS professionals.

See media release attached. Go to to download the OHS Professional Capability Framework.
The Safety Institute of Australia and the OHS Body of Knowledge conducted a webinar on the INSHPO framework in early December. A recording of the webinar can be accessed at under the heading 3: The Generalist OHS Professional in Australia.

University alumni and access to university libraries

Part of the role of universities and of the Accreditation Board is to promote evidence-based practice. OHS Professionals often comment that once they leave university they no longer have access to a library and peer- reviewed journals. It has come to my attention that most universities offer their alumni ongoing library membership. This usually requires membership of the alumni and payment of small fee. Does your university offer this facility? Have you tried accessing the library through alumni membership?

New Books

Quiet Outrage – The Way of a Sociologist
Andrew Hopkins

$34.95 (print and e-book)
You have read the books analyzing disasters now read about the man. Due for publication March 2016

Human Safety and Risk Management – A Psychological Perspective, Third Edition

Ian Glendon and Sharon Clarke

This book incorporates a decade of new research and development to provide readers with a comprehensive and contemporary guide to the psychology of risk and workplace safety. It focuses on the concepts of risk and recent developments in understanding workplace safety from a psychological perspective. It includes theory reviews, research findings and practical applications to enhance understanding of human psychology in the context of risk and safety.


This release is also available as a PDF.

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