3. Assess the competence of occupational health professionals
Occupational health professionals can work as independent professionals or as part of an occupational health provider service, and can include doctors and nurses.
Occupational health professionals have duties under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which covers the general duties of employers and self-employed to people other than their employees.
These duties require occupational health professionals to carry out their undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that they don’t expose people not in their employment to risks to their health and safety.
The following information will help you assess the competence of an occupational health professional to carry out health surveillance. You should:
- choose an occupational health professional with the right skills and competence for the roles that you need them to undertake
- ask to see their professional qualifications relevant to the duties you need them to undertake
- see evidence of a system of continued professional development and clinical governance
|Occupational health physician (consultant) or Occupational health nurse (advisor, practitioner)||Medical or nursing professional with additional qualifications - occupational medicine (doctor) or occupational health (nurse)||
Check registration with the relevant governing body using personal identification number:
Doctors General Medical Council
Nurses Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Check for specific competency requirements and see evidence as outlined in the applicable health and safety regulations, for example certificates of competency for hand-arm vibration syndrome assessments, spirometry or audiometry
|Appointed doctor (AD)||A doctor approved by HSE to undertake medical surveillance under certain health and safety regulations for example asbestos, lead, ionising radiation||HSE has information on ADs including a list of ADs in your area|
|Occupational health technician (support worker)||A non-medical or nursing professional||
There is no governing body or recognised qualification for occupational health technicians.
|Responsible person||Carry out simple screening as part of your health surveillance scheme||
A responsible person is someone you appoint who is competent to carry out simple screening and report any positive findings to an occupational health professional. You can appoint someone from your own workforce to be a responsible person.