Update on the development of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) skill standards

In April 2023, Toitū te Waiora announced its plans for the development of new skill standards that will – over time – replace unit standards listed in the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) subfield:

  • Hazardous Substances and Materials (21 standards)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Practice (31 standards)
  • Workplace Health and Safety Management (9 standards).

Skill standards will be developed to align with New Zealand qualifications in Workplace Health and Safety Practice:

New Zealand Certificate in Workplace Health and Safety Practice (Level 3) [Ref: 3533]

New Zealand Certificate in Workplace Health and Safety Practice (Level 4) [Ref: 3534]

New Zealand Diploma in Workplace Health and Safety Management (Level 6) [Ref: 3645]

As part of this work, consideration will also be given to possible micro-credentialing.

OHS Skills standards project structure:

Reference Group

Toitū te Waiora has established a reference group to advise on the:

  • Approach to the skill standard development
  • Engagement/consultation strategy.

Technical Advisory Group

Toitū te Waiora has also established a technical advisory group who are looking for a range of different frameworks, including INSHPO, Haumaru Tāngata and other relevant research that will be used to help determine the approach to developing the skill standards. The advisory group is identifying the core knowledge and skills required for graduates of the Level 3, 4 and 6 qualifications. They are also looking at the current Workplace Health and Safety qualifications to identify any gaps.

Development Panels

We are also in the process of establishing two development panels (one for the Hazardous Substances domain and one for both the Occupational Health and Safety, and Workplace Health and Safety domains). These panels are scheduled to be established in September/October 2023 and will be responsible for developing the skill standards, according to the recommendations made by the Technical Advisory Group.

Panel membership will be selected on the advice of the reference group.

Panel members will be made up of people with a mix of the following:

  • subject matter expertise
  • understanding of workplace and safety qualifications
  • understanding of health and safety frameworks (e.g. INSHPO framework), and current research in health and safety
  • experience with assessment standards, programme design and delivery.

Thank you to everyone who has expressed an interest in being part of this work. For those of you who have not yet, we invite you to join our email network. Send us an email to [email protected]

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