Chair's Message November 2019

September and October are a time to get outside and see the fall colours, enjoy feasts and family time for Thanksgiving and get dressed up for Halloween celebrations.  I hope you all had some time to enjoy this time of year.

The BCRSP Governing Board met in September for two days and some of the topics discussed were accreditation of educational institutions, feasibility of an executive level designation, Enterprise Risk Management, advocacy and government relations, qualifications review and the National Framework.

In September, BCRSP was at the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) Professional Development Conference (PDC) in Winnipeg. As part of the conference, BCRSP participated in two President’s Stream panel discussions, one on the future of the safety profession and regulation of the profession, and the other on the importance of global collaboration. The panel on the future of the profession and regulation included representatives from BCRSP, CSSE, the Alberta Society of Health & Safety Professional (ASHSP), and SAFE Work Manitoba, and was a very collaborative and dynamic discussion. The panel on the importance of global collaboration included representatives from BCRSP, CSSE, the Institution of Occupational Health & Safety (IOSH), and the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), and panelists discussed the importance of sharing of information and ideas across organizations in support of the OHS profession.

Recently, you received an email from the BCRSP on the topic of professional regulation which requested feedback from certificants. I want to thank those that reached out with their feedback on this communication. It provided an opportunity to chat with certificants about their thoughts, impressions and feelings on this topic as it is a complicated issue that elicits strong opinions both ways.  It raised some great points including one issue that we are going to pay some serious attention to and that is how to better communicate. We are planning BCRSP Connect events in Ontario and BC soon so stay tuned!

In our continuing effort to expand the discussion with respect to the regulation of OHS practice, on October 23 and 24, Governing Board Past Chair Kevin Dawson hosted two BCRSP Connect events in the Calgary and Edmonton areas.  Attendees were given an overview of the BCRSP position on what defines a profession and how that thought process flows into our call for a national framework for the practice of OHS in Canada. The presentation also outlined the purpose and function of the four components outlined in the framework and why it is important to have a clear separation of the functions while at the same time ensuring that each act in a coordinated manner. This is the main purpose of the framework – to define a system of organization to ensure coordinated efforts as the regulatory conversation takes place across the country. The presentation was followed by open Q&A session where certificants were given the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the concepts presented. The sessions concluded with the commitment to increase communications to continue the dialogue on regulation.  In 2020 we expect to see extensive stakeholder consultation, particularly in Alberta where the ASHSP is working diligently on advancing regulation of the OHS profession. Certificants can do their part by raising the discussion topic with colleagues and employers – the more discussion and consultation that occurs, the better positioned the profession will be to move forward.  BCRSP and CSSE will be meeting again with ASHSP in February 2020 at a workshop to discuss opportunities for collaboration in Alberta.

Please continue to reach out with any questions that you may have - I would be happy to set up a call to catch up with you on your thoughts and feedback.

Monica A. Szabo, BES, OHST, CRSP, ROH, CMM III
Chair, BCRSP Governing Board