Safety Organisations Raising the Bar on Ethical Practice

Date Posted: 
January 27, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 27, 2020

In 2018 the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) and the Australian Institute of Health & Safety (AIHS) launched a joint project to develop a chapter on Ethics and Professional Practice for the OHS Body of Knowledge (OHS Bok). The BCRSP/AIHS collaboration was a global collaboration as part of the Body of Knowledge project and the chapter was published in late 2019. A copy of the chapter can be accessed from the Body of Knowledge website at: https://www.ohsbok.org.au/.

Pam Pryor, Manager of the OHS Body of Knowledge for the AIHS said today that “approaching the development of this chapter of the as a joint, cross-country project brought a richness to the outcome that could not have been achieved working within a single country. We all face similar ethical challenges in our professional practice and for the OHS profession to mature and gain broad recognition we need to work together to share our experience and resources to present a unified international face. The OHS BoK/AHIS found working with the BCRSP as rewarding experience and look forward to undertaking further joint projects.”

To our knowledge, this work is a first for the OHS profession as it is not just about codes of ethics and signing off on a code of ethics. It focuses on the OHS professional as an ‘ethical professional’. It takes the position that OHS professionals have an inbuilt desire to be an ethical professional but there are individual factors such as biases, ethical blind spots and moral disengagement that can impact the professional practice and decision-making of OHS professionals.  The chapter presents ethical theory as a basis for identifying ethical issues in OHS practice with guidance for OHS professionals in making ethical decisions with some case studies to promote discussion.

The chapter on Ethics and Professional Practice will be used by the BCRSP as reference material for BCRSP examinations and will be promoted to certificants as a valuable resource to inform their ethical practice.

As the certification board for the OHS profession in Canada, the BCRSP is also promoting an emphasis on ongoing ethical practice in relation to changes to the BCRSP Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program. Effective January 1, 2021 all individuals who hold a BCRSP certification will be required to complete at least 2 hours of ethics training during each CPD cycle. In order to assist training providers, develop courses acceptable to the BCRSP, an Ethics Program and Provider Standard has been developed. For more information on this requirement, and the program standard visit: https://bcrsp.ca/about-us/programs-services/continuous-professional-development-cpd-program-information/cpd-mandatory  

About the BCRSP www.bcrsp.ca
The Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals is a public interest, not-for-profit, federally incorporated self-regulating organization which sets the certification standards for the OHS profession. BCRSP strives to advance the body of knowledge, the competency of the profession, and the value our certificants bring to society. The BCRSP grants the CRSP® and CRST certifications to individuals who successfully complete the certification process through application assessment, interview, and examination. The Board governs its certificants in order that the public interest may be served and protected. Contact the BCRSP at info@bcrsp.ca 905-567-7198.

About the OHS Body of Knowledge www.ohsbok.org.au

The OHS Body of Knowledge for Generalist OHS Professionals was developed in response to an identified need to define the collective knowledge that should be shared by Australian generalist OHS professionals as a basis for understanding the causation and control of work-related fatality, injury, disease and ill-health. This Body of Knowledge is required as a basis for professional certification and for accreditation of education programs giving entry to a profession as well as to provide a benchmark for continuing professional development. While initially developed for Australian OHS professionals it is increasingly being used internationally. The OHS Body of Knowledge is not intended to be a definitive statement, fixed in time. Rather it is subject to continual reinterpretation and evolution as people engage with it, apply it, and extend it by research. New chapters are being developed on a number of topics. The OHS Body of Knowledge is freely available to individuals for their personal professional use. Organisations and training bodies are encouraged to obtain a license for use. Contacts for the OHS Body of Knowledge: manager@ohsbok.org.au +61 411 193 370.

About the Australian Institute of Health and Safety https://aihs.org.au

The Australian Institute of Health and Safety is Australia’s peak body for the health and safety profession. Established more than 60 years ago, it has a membership of over 4,000 individuals interested in health and safety in the workplace. It conducts the OHS professional certification program for OHS professionals and OHS practitioners and through the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board accredits university-level OHS professional education. Contact for the AIHS: natadmin@aihs.org.au +61 3 8336 1995.