Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

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JohnLemon
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Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by JohnLemon » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:33 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and don't mind me asking this question! :)

Can a non-chartered GradIOSH level health and safety practitioner provide a health and safety guidance/consultancy service?

I currently work for what is essentially an environmental consultancy, and our clients occasionally ask us whether we are able to provide any help with Health & Safety matters.

I have been wanting to do the NCRQ Diploma qualification for a long time and am currently writing a proposal to our management team about the benefits of the course and having a qualified health and safety practitioner on the team.

Other than the management of our own health and safety practices and auditing our suppliers' health and safety management systems, I would like to know whether offering a health and safety assistance/guidance/consultancy service is something that I might be able to do after undertaking the NCRQ Diploma.

I have seen that in order to be eligible to become a registered consultant on the Occupational Safety and Health Consultant Register (OSHCR), you must be CMIOSH, or equivalent with other similar institutes.

Does this therefore mean that it would be against the rules to provide the type of service I have mentioned above, qualified to GradIOSH level?

Any knowledge you would be willing to impart would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,

JohnLemon

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Safe&Sound
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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by Safe&Sound » Tue Aug 07, 2018 10:32 am

Hi John,

A good question and one that I'm sure will get many answers.

In theory yes, a non-chartered GradIOSH can provide consultancy and advice to clients and there are a lot of people out there who do this...whether this is right or wrong is up for debate but it will all depend on your qualifications and experience.

Let me use myself as an example, I am a TechIOSH working as a juniour consultant for a H&S consultancy and training group whilst completing my NCRQ diploma. During my initial months I shadowed a senior consultant and am now confident and competent enough to go solo on smaller risk activities but even then all my reports and work are heavily reviewed by the senior consultants who are Chartered and registered to OSHCHR.

I would never dream to pretend to know something I don't so when I am asked for advice that I cannot competently give I always inform the client I will get back to them on that particular subject and seek advice from my senior colleagues.

What I'm getting at here is only advise and consult on what your confident and competent on.

Regards

S&S

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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by JohnLemon » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:06 pm

Hi Safe&Sound,

Thank you very much for the information and the good advice!

John

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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by bernicarey » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:37 pm

hello John

S&S has given quite a good response. They have the benefit of working in an established consultancy and being guided and educated as they progress.

But lets cut to the chase.
Legally, there's nothing to stop anyone doing anything as a 'H&S Consultant/Advisor'. The onus for Due Diligence is placed on the Employer under the Management Regs
Health and safety assistance

6.—(1) Every employer shall ...... appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions
But that's not to say a 'Consultant' can't be held responsible if something goes wrong. See Richard Golding

I've been running my business for 7 years, starting it as GradIOSH looking to become CMIOSH as soon as I could. The first 3 years I was GradIOSH, simply because it took me that long to put together the required development portfolio and get past the Peer Review Interview.

Ever since I started, I have repeatedly come across the work of other 'Consultants' that I can only describe as poor to downright incompetent. I've found 'consultants' that have provided a supposed complete service to employers which has consisted only of random risk assessments of highly dubious standards, but no attempt at a H&S Policy.

One potential client I visited, gave me some random documents that their previous 'consultant' had provided and the sole 'Audit report' they had mentioned a 'Compliant Staircase' to their mezzanine floor. Curious as to why it deserved mention, I took a look and found a domestic house, factory built wooden staircase secured with a few screws to the wall, supported by a length of 4"x4" and a single handrail with no infill or other prevention to people falling under it.
It was only compliant with a child's drawing of a staircase, certainly not building regulations or any H&S requirements.
I say they were a potential client because those chose to go elsewhere, presumably because they didn't like the price of competent advice and wanted something that was going to tick boxes and not cost them much.

That's not to say that the Cowboys are always cheap; some of them charge the earth and still deliver a bad service, sometimes it's the larger companies that provide a cut and paste service of generic documents that are no real use to anyone. But it's the old adage of 'BS Baffles Brains', so the client is happier the bigger the pile of paper they get.
I could write reams here about the terrible work I have encountered from some consultants, but there is good and bad at all levels. It's really down to the individual's integrity and acceptance of their limitations.
The problem is, the lower the knowledge level, the more likely they will exceed their limitations, because they, like their clients, 'Don't know what they don't know'.

So there's nothing wrong with offering Consultancy at GradIOSH; the difference between Grad and CM is only proving the personal development and impressing your Peers that you should join them. If you collect and retain enough evidence while working towards GradIOSH, then the portfolio is easy. I hadn't got any evidence saved, so it took me 2 years to compile it.
http://www.belvoirsafety.co.uk Tomorrow - your reward for being safe today...
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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by Safe&Sound » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:18 pm

Great response from Bernicarey ./thumbsup..

Thought I'd jump back in and just mention that IOSH give out a code of conduct booklet (found here: https://www.iosh.co.uk/Membership/Becom ... nduct.aspx)

It's certainly worth reading this and keeping to hand ../.

Regards

Craig


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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by AdamJ » Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:49 pm

As above, Chartered status or otherwise is no guarantee of quality. As it happens I used to be CMIOSH (since it first started when I was whatever came before the CMIOSH designation but I’m too senile to remember). For reasons too long and boring to go into I really don’t like IOSH as an organisation so a couple of years ago, after something like 25 years, I ditched any membership of IOSH so I now have nothing in terms of professional memberships. But I can work as a consultant quite happily and do so, so yes, you can work without CMIOSH or equivalent.

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Re: Newly Qualified H&S Advisor Delivering Consultancy?

Post by JohnLemon » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:30 pm

Bernicarey, AdamJ & S&S,

Thank you all for your insightful comments and links to interesting further reading.

This is all really good to know and will help me with my proposal.

I really appreciate it!

John (real name Theo)

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