HIstory to OSHCR Consultants Register

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Presentation made at BOHS conference 2011 introducing the history behind the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register

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  • Steve suggested I give a brief history behind the consultants register. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t want me to start too far back in time. However I do think it’s worth mentioning that our profession is where it is today as a result of the work by a great number of dedicated individuals. Health and Safety has been developing for millennia and particularly so in the past two centuries. Over that time progress has been consistently positive and what is more, it has continued to accelerate. However, we now appear to be standing at a point in time where progress is likely to slow down and some may argue that it will plateau or perhaps it has already peaked.Ironically the economic and political climate means that both HSE and the Government are now having to revise what they consider to be reasonably practicable in terms of Regulation and its Enforcement.
  • So my story really begins with more recent history.Sometime in the 1980s and throughout most of the 1990s a part of the Government’s unofficial, unwritten policy on Health and Safety was to “Keep it Quiet”. That is to say; leave the HSE to get on with it, accept what comes our way in terms of European Legislation. Keep people safe, we don’t want another Flixborough or Windscale but at the same time there was no political gain to be made in advertising what a good job we were doing or in proposing that we cut back. This probably suited our developing profession as we were still trying to come to terms with our own competence and at the same time driving up standards.MthysSomewhere after the turn of the millennium Health and Safety Myths started to emerge.As most of them are myths and not fact, it is difficult to say precisely when this happened but by 2004 when the Times printed an article with title “Bonkers Conkers ruling” the sport of Health and Safety bashing was already well established.
  • Debunking MythsThe myths developed to such a point that efforts had to be made to address them. HSE spent some of its budget on cartoons and chief executives writing letters to national newspapers in an attempt to stave off the continuing tide of shoddy journalism. Meanwhile IOSH developed a “stop taking the myth” campaign and sponsored the world conker championships.
  • Public attitudeIt’s also worth pointing out that all of this took place at a time when the general public exhibited an increased expectation to be looked after, to be kept safe. Conversley, they also showeda decreased willingness to accept restrictions on their freedom to expose themselves to risks.In addition to this, at sometime during recent history, for a large proportion of the population, getting up and going to work became both safer and healthier than staying at home. This cannot help but have influenced people’s perceptions of our profession.Cameron Speech On 1st December 2009 David Cameron made a speech Indicating how a future conservative Government would reduce the burden and impact of health and safety. In it he referred to some of the myths as well as producing other evidence to justify his proposals. He indicated that once in power he would instigate a review of Health and Safety in the UK. This he did by appointing Lord Young for the job some 6 weeks after the general election.Lord Young Review It’s difficult for me to say anything about Lord Young’s review since his eventual report indicates nothing of the methodology for the “forensic analysis” which David Cameron called for. I think it is safe to say that he wrote letters to interested parties asking for their opinion and probably held meetings with some of them.Rise of Incompetent consultantsOne of the areas that Lord Young was keen to look at was the actions of some health and safety consultants. As he said “many are without any professional qualifications, and have a perverse incentive to take an overzealous approach to applying the health and safety regulations”.
  • When Lord Young was challenged at a press conference about where he got the evidence for overzealous consultants he responded by saying“I have been told”.Having slight academic tendencies and having “been told” things before, I attempted a literature review looking for evidence of this problem. I found not one single case of consultants being overzealous. This may be due to my poor research skills but I am slightly suspicious that I couldn’t find one documented case. I did come up with a few cases of bad practice, mostly revolving around competence but it certainly isn’t of epidemic proportions.I’m also given cause to wonder how many of the cases I’ve found are covered by the scope of consultants register let alone would have been prevented by it.
  • ResearchClearly somebody saw things coming; as back in January 2010 IOSH and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health undertook some research which was funded by the HSE. The research looked into the feasibility of a consultants register. Whilst the research got off to a rocky start; they did gain some evidence to show that around half of SMEs felt they might use a register and half of those felt that might place more trust in a registered consultant.Lord Young ReportAfter self leaking elements of his report in September last year Lord Young finally published it in October. In it he recommended, amongst other things that a consultants register be set up. Immediately following his report the Occupational Safety Consultants Register was announced. Whilst this announcement meant that some boxes were ticked quite rapidly there were still some issues to address. In particular, regardless of how big the issue overzealous and incompetent consultants is; or whether indeed it is a real or a perceived issue, the register needs to consider requirements for, and definitions of Competence.
  • As a practising occupational hygienist I wrestle with the vagaries of both the BOHS and the IOSH CPD schemes. Whilst I don’t seem to struggle getting enough points, It’s debatable that either system appropriately drives nor adequately measures my level of competence.
  • As a teacher I strive to develop a curriculum which allows students to become competent. I study papers on the subject such as the Cheetam and Chivers Professional Competence model. When I examine these I realise that only part of the requirements is taught on professional courses, a greater proportion is being taught at the University level. However, a significant proportion cannot be taught and can only be obtained by the students own reflective professional development.What this tells us is that competence is both difficult to attain and just as difficult to measure. The Register has handled this by taking the simple, pragmatic and economic approach of specifying that consultants must be members of an appropriate professional body. Some might argue that this is too simple. Not I, for when I apply the same criteria to myself as a member of both BOHS and IOSH I am content in the knowledge that I must be twice as competent as most.
  • OSHCR announcedIn October 2010 a Safety Consultants register was announced despite Lord Young calling for a Health and Safety Consultants Register. This was corrected in January this year when OSCR morphed into OSHCR. I’m not entirely sure what went on in the intervening months. However, what I am sure of is that if I tried to express any of it verbally my choice of words would be clumsy. With that in mind I have chosen to describe this bit piece of history with some clumsy graphics.
  • Now looking at this it’s good to see that Safety has found something reliable to lean on. However this does seem slightly reminiscent of Christmas. We have managed to gather everyone round the table, but one wonders whether the family will get on and which dim and distant cousins may turn up on the door step next.  
  • OSHCR open for businessIn February this year OSHCR opened its web site for consultants to apply and to date the scheme has approved over 1600 applications.
  • Chris GraylingThen just two weeks ago Chris Grayling the Minister for Employment made me redraw my presentation in order to fit in his announcement about the Governments plans to Reform Britain’s Health and Safety System. These plans place great emphasis on OSHCR and he stated that it represented the “gold standard” going on to say that “if you are not in it you shouldn’t be in the game”So this brief history lesson raises some questions.
  • The really interesting questions are about what happens next.The team who put this session together have canvassed you and the rest of the hygiene community to pose these questions.We’ve also assembled some learned people to answer them. Personally, I’m looking forward to some informative and engaging debate.
  • HIstory to OSHCR Consultants Register

    1. 1. Accreditation of Consultants <br />&<br />Demonstration of Competency<br />Adrian A Hirst<br />
    2. 2. Hippocrates 400BC<br />Sir Humphrey Davy 1815<br />Lady Inspectors 1893<br />Ramazzini<br />1700<br />Haldane <br />1890s<br />BOHS 1953<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Pre-Industrial<br />19th Century<br />20th Century<br />Agricola 1556<br />Factory Inspectors 1833<br />Alice Hamilton 1910<br />HSAWA 1974 &<br />HSE 1975<br />Industrial Revolution C1800<br />Thomas Legge 1898<br />
    3. 3. “KEEP IT QUIET”<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Development of Myths<br />
    4. 4. “KEEP IT QUIET”<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />
    5. 5. David Cameron Speech<br />“KEEP IT QUIET”<br />Lord Young Review<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />Expectation of being looked after<br />Willingness to accept restrictions on self<br />
    6. 6. Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />“I have been told”<br />Safety Consultant produced superficial risk assessment of respirable crystalline silica in quarry<br />http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/detail.aspx?NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=393622&SubjectId=16&AdvancedSearch=true<br />Surveying Company fined after inaccurate asbestos survey leads to exposure <br /> http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2009/coise050309.htm<br />Independent Fairground ride examiner prosecuted for failing to identify maintenance inadequacies<br />http://www.hse.gov.uk/PRESS/2009/e4009.htm<br />Fatality at construction site happened through inadequate risk assessments by a consultant structural engineer<br />http://www.hse.gov.uk/press/2005/e05016.htm<br />
    7. 7. David Cameron Speech<br />“KEEP IT QUIET”<br />Lord Young Report<br />OSCR announced<br />Lord Young Review<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Research<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />Expectation of being looked after<br />Willingness to accept restrictions on self<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9. Meta-competancies<br />Communication, Self Development, Creativity, Analysis, Problem Solving<br />Core Components<br />Knowledge/Cognitive competence<br />Functional competence<br />Personal or Behavioural competence<br />Values/ Critical competence<br />Personal<br />e.g. Adherence to law, social moral sensitivity, religious adherence, adherence to personal moral code etc.<br />Professional<br />e.g. Adherence to professional code(s), self regulation, environmental sensitivity, client centredness, ethical judgement etc.<br />Personal<br />Social vocational e.g. Self confidence, think on feet, calmness, control of emotions, interpersonal listening, task centredness, stamina, presentation etc<br />Intraprofessional e.g. Collegiality Sensitivity to peers, <br />Conformity to professional norms etc.<br />Occupation Specific(many profession specific tasks )<br />Organization process e.g. Planning, monitoring, implementing, delegating, evaluating etc. <br />Cerebral e.g. Literacy, numeracy, diagnosis etc, evaluating etc<br />Tacit/Practical<br />i.e. linked to specific functional or personal competencies<br />Technical/Theoretical (linked to underlying knowledge base) includes synthesis and transfer of knowledge, theory application.<br />Procedural, how what who, when etc.<br />Psychomotor e.g. Manual dexterity, keyboard etc<br />Contextual e.g. Sector, industry, organization, profession etc.<br />Professional competence<br />Outcomes – (macro/Micro/partial)<br />Observed/Perceived:<br />By Others<br />By Self<br />Reflection<br />Cheetam & Chivers Professional Competence model 1996<br />
    10. 10. David Cameron Speech<br />“KEEP IT QUIET”<br />Lord Young Report<br />OSCR announced<br />Lord Young Review<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Research<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />OSHCR announced<br />Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />Expectation of being looked after<br />Willingness to accept restrictions on self<br />
    11. 11. H<br />O<br />S<br />CR<br />
    12. 12. David Cameron Speech<br />“KEEP IT QUIET”<br />Lord Young Report<br />OSCR announced<br />Lord Young Review<br />Chris Grayling<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Research<br />OSHCR open for business<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />OSHCR announced<br />Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />Expectation of being looked after<br />Willingness to accept restrictions on self<br />
    13. 13. David Cameron Speech<br />“KEEP IT QUIET”<br />Lord Young Report<br />OSCR announced<br />Lord Young Review<br />Chris Grayling<br />2000s<br />2010<br />2011<br />THE FUTURE<br />1990s<br />80s<br />Research<br />OSHCR open for business<br />Debunking of Myths<br />Development of Myths<br />OSHCR announced<br />Incompetent/over zealous consultants<br />Expectation of being looked after<br />Willingness to accept restrictions on self<br />
    14. 14. Thanks to:<br />Tracey Boyle<br />Steve Perkins<br />Roger Alesbury<br />David O’Malley<br />THE FUTURE<br />Images from:<br />www.oshcr.org<br />www.bohs.org<br />www.commons.wikimedia.org<br />www.hse.gov.uk<br />www.ohlearning.com<br />www.iosh.co.uk<br />www.unionhistory.info<br />Contact: adrian@hirstconsulting.co.uk<br />

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