What is the Accreditation Board?
The Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board was established in August 2011 under the By Laws of the Australian Institute of Health & Safety.
It is an independent body in relation to setting of standards and decision-making related to accreditation.
Why was the Accreditation Board established?
In 2007, the Health and Safety Professionals Alliance (HaSPA) identified the need for generalist OHS professionals to be professionally certified.
Development of such a certification program required definition of the knowledge base (the OHS Body of Knowledge) and recognition of approved education programs. However, research, together with anecdotal information, showed that there was substantial variation in OHS education provided by Australian universities and gaps in the coverage of some important OHS topics.
The Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board is a direct outcome of the OHS Body of Knowledge project developed to accredit OHS professional educational programs and support and promote OHS professional education.
What does the Accreditation Board do?
The core activity of the Board is to review university-level OHS professional education programs and provides recognition for those programs that meet the Accreditation Criteria.
The Accreditation Board also engages with government agencies involved in OHS policy and regulation, the Higher Education sector and supports recognition awards as an important part of promoting OHS education.
The Accreditation Board is ‘custodian’ of the OHS Body of Knowledge and is responsible for ensuring its currency and further development. It is also involved in an international network where one of the activities is developing a Global Framework for OHS Practice.
How does the work of the Accreditation Board support health and safety of Australian workers?
The Board has the vision that OHS professional education is based on strong scientific and technical concepts, evidenced-informed, delivered by suitably competent persons and so recognised by the profession, government, industry and the community.
This vision is reflected in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022 Healthy Safe and Productive Working Lives which includes the strategic outcome that those providing work health and safety education, training and advice have the appropriate capabilities.
The activities of the Accreditation Board directly support this national strategic outcome by ensuring that OHS professional education is based on educational design and review processes, and delivery of learning appropriate to develop graduates equipped with the knowledge and skills to enter the workplace as effective entry-level OHS professionals.