INSHPO Developing Global Competency Framework for OSH

GFC_INSHPOInternational Network for Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (INSHPO) held its annual business meeting and workshops in Montreal, Quebec, this year during the Canadian Society for Safety Engineering’s (CSSE) annual conference. While meeting in Montreal, INSHPO invited CSSE’s board of directors to join in a workshop as part of INSHPO’s ongoing effort to develop a global competency framework for the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession. ASSE President Kathy Seabrook also participated in the workshop.


ASSE’s Terrie Norris (center) and colleagues discuss the global competency framework.

ASSE is secretariat and a founding member of INSHPO, which was established in 2001 and represents 14 member and affiliate organizations worldwide. INSHPO works to advance the profession through the development and promotion of professional competency-related standards and the exchange of evidence-based practices. Through its work with INSHPO, ASSE is working to improve the profession for its members by better defining it at the global level, recognizing that professionals and their work are ever-increasingly global in scope. In the U.S., complementary work is being done by ASSE’s Framing the Profession Task Force.

Better defining the OSH profession, locally and globally, is integral to the profession’s future health. Well-defined, highly recognized professions enjoy greater job growth, better promotions, higher compensation levels and greater upward mobility. In contrast, poorly defined professions are more vulnerable to competition from other professions in related fields and suffer from a lack of barriers to entry for the unqualified. This means that unqualified professionals and unaccredited certifications are allowed to enter the marketplace, confusing employers and damaging the profession’s reputation.

ASSE and INSHPO are working to improve the playing field for competent, qualified practitioners through the global competency framework, which includes developing a common OSH body of knowledge and core competencies that will help define learning outcomes in baccalaureate programs and the standards underpinning certification and other qualification schemes.

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