With the restructuring of the National Qualifications Framework and the resultant turmoil and uncertainty regarding education and training, there is no clear-cut career path for many professions in India
At present, registered qualifications in the health and safety field are fragmented at best, and lack the core competencies required by safety professionals.
In the absence of a suitable developmental framework, as well as the lack of mandated professional registration for safety professionals in India, the UK model can be utilised as a frame of reference.
The National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) is an independent examination board which sets the syllabi and methods of assessment for vocational qualifications.
It was founded in 1979 as an examining and awarding body with charitable status, and is accredited by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual). In excess of 30,000 people take a globally-recognised NEBOSH qualification every year.
Qualifications start at award level – with the Health and Safety at Work qualification currently in pilot phase – and culminate at Diploma level. Qualifications are accepted by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), with the NEBOSH National and International Diplomas meeting the academic requirements for admission to Chartered Membership.
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is a British organisation for health and safety professionals. It has over 36,000 members, including 12,000 Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners.
While principally a UK-based organisation, the Institution also has an expanding international membership, with members in over 50 other countries.
The Institution was founded in 1945 and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. As well as setting professional standards, the Institution supports and develops members and has publications providing advice and guidance on health and safety issues.
In the current global economic downturn the development of national competency requirements for safety professionals and the mandating of professional body membership requires serious consideration.
Lord Mackenzie, UK Minister with responsibility for health and safety stated at the IOSH 2009 conference in Liverpool, “The economic downturn does not mean the statutory duty or moral obligation to protect workers and others from work activities has gone away – far from it.”
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