NATIONAL EDUCATION SYMPOSIUM - Supporting the Future of OHS Education in Canada

On May 13 & 14, 2019, 40 representatives from Canadian educational institutions that offer occupational health and safety studies in post secondary undergraduate, graduate, continuing education and distance learning environments met in Ottawa for the 6th annual National Education Symposium (NES).

NES is hosted every second year by the BCRSP and has the following objectives:

  • Develop a network to foster continuing dialogue between the BCRSP and academic institutions through the sharing of ideas, concerns, and solutions to challenges facing students in OHS programs.
  • Review the Examination Blueprints to enhance content awareness and understanding.
  • Find commonalities by identifying core subject matter essential to the development of sound OHS practices and principles.
  • Explore new trends and opportunities to address a changing global marketplace and the integration of OHS programs.
  • Recognize the need to modify existing methods of professional development to meet the changing profile of the Canadian work force.

Some of the highlights from this year’s NES program were:

  • A workshop with educators on the development of an OHS Program Accreditation Framework, which will outline a voluntary process whereby an OHS academic program will be assessed to identify whether it meets the approved standards and criteria for recognition of the program. The development of an accreditation framework is in partnership with CSSE and you can read more about it here
  • A panel discussion on The OHS Profession in the 21st Century, focused on the future of the OHS profession and the role of education – both traditional and non-traditional in this evolution. Panelists included: Glyn Jones, MASc, P.Eng., CIH, CRSP, Partner, EHS Partnerships, Faculty, University of New Brunswick OHS Program, Nimmi Nayyer-Dua, Team Lead-Program Coordinator, Faculty of Extension - Health Safety Environment & Planning Unit, University of Alberta, Thomas Tenkate, DrPH, MAppSc, MEd, FEHA, FRSPH, Associate Professor & Director, School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University and Barry Wilkes, BSc, PGDip, Director of Strategy, NEBOSH, and President, INSHPO
  • Erin Oliver, CRSP, Vice President of Employee Health & Safety, Modern Niagara Group Inc. shared an employer’s perspective with educators on what they are looking to see in new program graduates. Erin was joined by her colleague Shannon Bishop who is currently enrolled in an OHS program. Erin spoke of the need for program graduates to understand business, possess integrity, the ability to collaborate, and a desire for life-long learning. 

Other sessions included mapping an OHS program to the INSHPO Framework, an update from Minerva Canada, and a session on integrated program approaches.

The BCRSP also solicited feedback from educators on the CRSP® Examination Blueprint which is being revised this year for release in 2020. 

The next NES will be held in 2021. If you are a program director or lead faculty at a college or university with an OHS program and would like more information on the next NES, please email.