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Long term training needs for H&S enforcement officers – Development of a competence framework

Over the last 18 months a project management board drawn from:

has overseen work to produce a common competence framework for all Health and Safety Regulators.  The aim is to ensure ongoing training and development needs for HSE Inspectors and LA Health & Safety Enforcement Officers can be identified and met and that their authorisation to enforce reflects their own personal competence set, when viewed against a standard benchmark.

The need for this type of agreed framework emerged from the Local Authority Health and Safety Enforcement Officer’s Perceptions of their Support, Information and Training Needs (SITNA) report of November 2005 (HSE Research Report 418).  One of the key drivers for the production of this report was to support the LA/HSE partnership.

The competence framework - that will enable LAs and HSE to demonstrate that their regulators are not only qualified but competent to undertake their regulatory duties - will key into the Section 18 Guidance being revised by Gerry Kasprzok of the HSE Local Authority Unit, i.e. the Section 18 Guidance will specify a general requirement for competence/training and this work will fill in the detail.

A competency framework model has been developed.  It consists of three elements: General, Regulatory and Professional in a Reflective Practice 'wrapper', i.e. everyone must have the ability to assess what they are doing, why they are doing it, what impact they are having and what lessons they can learn to improve.

CIEH, REHIS, HSE and the Employment National Training Organisation (ENTO) as significant training providers for health and safety regulators have undertaken to review their training provision to support the new competency framework.

A workshop was held on 9th July 2007 at the CIEH to launch the model framework.  Those present included representatives from professional bodies, LAs, HSE, academia and various government departments.  A communiqué was issued following the workshop highlighting the main points. 

A web based Community of Interest (CoI) has been set up to facilitate quick exchange and distribution of information.

If you have any questions and/or comments or perhaps you wish to join the CoI, please contact the project board.

Sound advice

A Music and Entertainment Industry working group, supported by HSE, has been developing practical guidance on the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, for when they come into force for this sector on 6 April 2008. Employers in this sector should continue to comply with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 until this date.

Consultation within the sector, including local authority representatives, on the draft guide, runs from 23 July to 12 October 2007. The final guide is due for publication in February 2008.

Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) upcoming health and safety events this autumn

Noise as a nuisance:  Training on the new provisions

This workshop will consider issues from both a legal and a technical angle in order to help you to improve noise enforcement in your area.  Time will be taken to go through the powers available in the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and explain how these relate to the Noise Act 1996, in light of the recent changes expected to come into effect shortly. 

This workshop is accredited with five hours and 45 minutes of CIEH CPD points

The new private water regulations:  Meeting the challenges

2008 will see radical changes to the way PWS are dealt with by environmental health departments.  The European Drinking Water Directive will bring a different approach to different supplies with risk assessment allied to formal enforcement becoming standard procedure.  This one day workshop will provide you with thorough technical training and legislative updates, whilst explaining the new supply classifications, monitoring regimes, parameters, reporting and charging systems to you.

This workshop is accredited with five hours and 45 minutes of CIEH CPD points

Best of the Best – back to basis

An event for anyone practicing environmental health

Stop slips in kitchens - Update

Girl slipping and about to put hand in hot oil

Since the launch of the initiative, in June of this year, requests for over 30,000 packs have been received from Local Authorities. Informal feedback hints that the packs are being distributed through a variety of means: - handed out at visits by Food Hygiene Inspectors and EHO’s, utilised at events and posted out to identified Dutyholders. The packs will continue to be available to order until March 2009 and can be obtained by contacting HSE books quoting MISC773.

The next stage of this initiative involves advertising and events. Watch out for initiative advertisements in key catering and hospitality magazines in January 2008. Three events are also being planned, they will take place between January and March next year and will be aimed at health and safety and associated managers working within larger organisations. Topics covered at the event will be Slips and Dermatitis. The aim is to provide more detailed information on preventing slips and dermatitis, provoke discussion on preventing accidents and ill health and the factors that inhibit change.

We welcome any feedback you wish to provide on how you are using the packs and what you and Dutyholders think of the contents. We are also keen to hear whether employers have taken any positive action on preventing slips as a result of your contact or receiving the pack.

Farewell note from Allan Davies

I have now completed my five year contract with HSE, it ended on 1st September and I am moving on to my next challenge. I can hardly believe that five years has gone by so quickly and yet I am acutely aware of a significant difference in the relationship between HSE and LAs now as compared to 2002 when I started. In my view this is an exciting time for LAs in health and safety terms, indeed for LA regulation as a whole, I have always thought that now is the time to grasp those opportunities, they may not come around again.

It has been a great five years for me, I have made many new friends in LAs across the country as well as within HSE where I have been impressed by colleagues desire to learn and understand how HSE and LAs can work together more effectively. I am also very grateful to all my colleagues, HSE, LAs and others who have worked alongside me, tolerated my quirky ways and ideas but given me support and trust throughout. I think the results speak for themselves but show how having an open mind and being receptive to new ways of working can achieve so much.

My pastures green are back to the commercial world, indeed back to a previous employer, Tesco but this time in Southern Ireland, based just outside Dublin. It is more than fifteen years since I last worked in the private sector but I am hoping that my Local Government and Civil Service experience will hold me in good stead.

I wish you all the best and would welcome contact from colleagues whilst I am working in Ireland, whether by electronic means or indeed in person. Good luck and Pob Hwyl.

Allan Davies.

Updated 2019-01-31