Plans for a universal qualification and training framework for health and safety professionals across Europe have been unveiled, with the aim of improving international recognition of practitioners’ skills.
The new EU-funded EUSAFE project was launched at an event in Brussels in late 2010, organised by the European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO).
The Network’s vice-chair, Richard Jones, policy and technical director at IOSH, said: “Having a single set of European qualifications, which can be equated to each member state’s existing standards, is fantastic.
“By opting into the European qualifications, health and safety professionals who work across the EU are able to prove their credibility to employers, and employers are also ensured that they are employing a professional of a high calibre.”
The EurOSHM (European Occupational Health Safety and Health Manager) standard, which was launched by ENSHPO in September 2008, will be incorporated into the qualifications that are created as a result of the EUSAFE project.
EurOSHM holder, Peter Andrew, applied for the qualification to make himself more credible in the eyes of his employer. Peter is international (European) environment, health and safety manager for The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd, the producers of gardening products such as Miracle-Gro. He said: “Applying to have the EurOSHM qualification could not have been easier – as a chartered IOSH member, I automatically qualified for the status.
“My current job role involves me looking after the health and safety of approximately 1000 members of staff across the European Union, so being EuroSHM-qualified seemed the logical thing to do. [It] indicates, a level of competence to people I work with across the EU. The Scotts Company takes health and safety extremely seriously, as good health and safety is good for business, and my EurOSHM qualification reflects well on the company as a whole.”
ENSHPO chair, Giancarlo Bianchi, added: “Creating a standard set of health and safety qualifications for OSH professionals across Europe will have a positive impact on businesses that operate on a multi-national and European level.
“Professionals who possess the qualification standard will demonstrate to employers that they have the professional skills, knowledge and experience to conduct their job within any country in the EU. Multinational businesses will not be the only ones who benefit from the qualification standard; individual health and safety professionals will also gain, as they will be commended and recognised for their skills at an international level.”
This article originally appeared in “Safety & Health Practitioner,” the official magazine of the UK-based Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). Visit www.iosh.co.uk.