NZ Safety Council sets a Benchmark for Associate Safety Professional and Registered Safety Professionals (ASP/RSP NZ)

Chair NZSC Registration Board

John Beattie MNZSC RSP (NZ) ASA

HASANZ Professional

New Zealand business has a major problem when seeking to employ the services of an occupational safety & health [OHS] practitioner. Whether recruiting for a permanent staff member or seeking an OHS Consultant, where do seekers begin?
Is the potential OHS practitioner registered by any NZ professional body?
If not you should ask why not?

In 2004 the New Zealand Safety Council launched the Register of Safety Professionals [RSP]. 

We formulated a competency standard in conjunction with International OHS organisations because we believed that the NZ alternatives did not correctly identify the individual core OHS Practitioner competencies or have a rigorous enough selection process to fit the New Zealand business model.
To prepare the RSP Standard we researched globally and also used an ex-president of the American Society of Safety Engineers [ASSE] and a Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia [SIA] as mentors.
We use a structure to guide our assessment of competence considering the INSHPO framework, AS/NZ and internationally recognised Standards for Safety and Risk Management.

Registered Management Consultant (RMC) Associate Safety Professional (ASP) or Registered Safety Professional( RSP)

We remind applicants that if they don’t have sufficient experience, demonstrated knowledge and/or relevant qualifications then we reserve the right to provide 7 grading outcomes. Our intention is also to work with the applicant to find alternate ways to demonstrate competency and experience, where this is achievable or appropriate.

1. Further information requested before grading can be completed (RMC, ASP or RSP)

2. Insufficient evidence to grade applicant as a safety practitioner (RMC)

3. Registered Management Consultant (RMC) grading awarded

4. ASP grading awarded ( Insufficient evidence / experience to grade applicant at RSP level)

5. Registered Safety Professional (RSP) grading awarded.

6. Further information requested from ASP / RSP before application for HASANZ Register can be completed

7. HASANZ Registration grading Practitioner or Professional awarded


After application grading to ASP / RSP is achieved then the ASP / RSP can apply for HASANZ Registration at Practitioner / Professional as appropriate.

When you apply to be graded, your portfolio of evidence is comprehensively reviewed by our Registration Panel and is then checked by an Independent Registrar [a Professional Engineer, Global Exemplar Lead Quality and Safety Auditor and Trainer]
Applicants have a panel interview by current RSPs and this may also involve an OHS lawyer and an educator where there is further clarification of qualifications required.
We have a formal, annual cycle process of Continuing Professional Development [CPD] with an independently monitored moderation process.

If you do not meet the required standard we recognise you will need help so we have set up an educational and mentoring panel with highly competent educators, three with Masters degrees, to advise on your future educational, competence and experience requirements. Further our RSP`s are required to provide mentoring to assist others` reach their career aspirations. On successful grading we issue an Annual Practicing certificate.

Apply now to have your qualifications, competencies and experience as an H&S Professional endorsed by our Registration Board. Successful registration with NZSC will allow the applicant to apply for listing on the HASANZ register.

Please contact, John Beattie, to discuss becoming a RSP:


John Beattie MNZSC ASA RSP (NZ)

Chair NZSC Registration Board
Registered Safety Professional

HASANZ Professional
OSH&E Advisor to the New Zealand Safety Council

RSPs have proven competency to:
Implement OSH Systems; Interpret and advise on OSH Laws; Identify workplace Hazards and Manage Risk; Identify and advise on Occupational Health issues; Collect OSH Data; Communicate OSH information; Investigate Accidents; Implement Emergency Response Systems; Carry out OSH Systems audits; Carry out OSH training.
Competence is defined as:
• the ability to complete a task to the required standard of performance under specific conditions
• generally, competence involves the effective and efficient application of knowledge, work skills, experience and personal attributes
• it must be measurable
A prospective RSP must be able to demonstrate the above combination of knowledge [academic qualifications] work skills, practical experience and personal attributes in all ten core competencies.

2017 RSP Standard Review
As Chair of the RSP Registration Board, in launching the updated RSP Standard, my introduction said:
“The New Zealand Safety Council is proud of the pioneering work we carried out in both formulating and improving the Registered Safety Professional (RSP) initiative that we introduced in 2004. Currently, our team of New Zealand’s highly experienced Safety Professionals, are employed on major projects in mining, quarrying, oil exploration, construction, manufacturing, chemical and service industries, throughout Australasia and the Pacific.
The 2017 RSP Registration Standard sets a new Benchmark Performance Standard for H&S Professionals to aim at and is without doubt the pre-eminent OSH Practitioner Standard in New Zealand. In line with the Government’s NZ Injury Prevention Strategy, the NZSC RSP Registration Process is a strategy to improve the standard of safety, health and environmental professionals in New Zealand.
Entry to the RSP Register gives formal public recognition to Health and Safety professionals in New Zealand who satisfy the Standard. In doing so all NZSC registration grades of RMC (Practitioner), ASP and ASP (Professionals) can apply to be listed on the HASANZ register.

John Beattie MNZSC ASA RSP (NZ)
Registrar of Professional Standards, NZSC

 10 Core Competencies

Registration as a Safety Professional

The Ten Core competencies required to demonstrate competency as a Safety Professional

The minimum Standard for a “Safety Professional” in New Zealand working as a Safety Adviser/ Manager is ( Associate Safety Professional ~ NZSC grading )

Applicants must have passed all ten, Competency Standards, as listed below, either by assessment of current competency (through portfolio document review, CV and experience review), relevant qualifications and courses or undertaking a course of study and completing work related projects:

Competency One ~ Understanding the Legal Framework of New Zealand

The applicant is required to demonstrate an understanding of the legal and regulatory framework of OHS in New Zealand. They will demonstrate provision of advice regarding the OHS legislative responsibilities of an OHS practitioner (duty holders PCBU’s and officers), company director, manager, supervisor and employees.

Competency Two ~ Emergency Planning and Response

Demonstrates and describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to Plan for Emergencies and implement emergency response procedures.

Competency Three ~ Demonstrate a systematic approach to managing Occupational Health & Safety [OHS] in the workplace.

Competencies include: (a) understanding the strategies, policies and procedures necessary to systematically manage all facets of an OHS Program and (b) measuring and evaluating all aspects of organisational performance, to ensure that the workplace is, as far as practicable, safe and healthy, with the risk exposures to employees and other stakeholders managed As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP), but enabled to SFAIRP – So Far As is Reasonably Practicable.

Competency Four ~ Demonstrate management of OHS information and data systems

Has demonstrated the provision of necessary information and performance data (including technical and legal information) to management and other stakeholders informing of OHS issues.

Applicants must also show ability to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of OHS Systems by accessing and providing OHS information, collecting, collating and analysing data and ensuring that this information and data is distributed throughout the workplace in timely and regular intervals.

Competency Five ~ Demonstrate participation in the design and development of OHS participative arrangements.

Show involvement in the consultative design, development, implementation, monitoring and review of practices, and decision making with employees and others in OHS activities. This unit standard also takes into account the responsibilities for managing OHS, as well as participative consultation and communication processes within an organisation or business unit.

Competency Six ~ Demonstrate the application of the principles of OHS Risk Management

The applicant must demonstrate a generic approach to both identifying hazards and assessing and controlling OHS risks and then how to manage them in the workplace. This requirement addresses the underlying knowledge and skills required to provide a systematic approach to hazard identification, risk assessment, risk and barrier control and their subsequent management and monitoring.

The emphasis is on identifying significant and critical H&S risks and on eliminating risk or, where this is not possible, minimising and mitigating risk through other appropriate means.

Once significant or critical risk barriers are identified and implemented, the applicant must demonstrate they have scheduled and carried out barrier control audits, review and monitoring. Thereafter they must demonstrate the ongoing generic management and monitoring of hazards and risks both within the business (people) and generically through systems and processes.

Competency Seven ~ Demonstrate the identification and management of hazards in the work environment through the assessment and control of risks.

This includes knowledge of energy and disease sources* and focuses on the processes and techniques necessary to control specific hazards. Hazards may involve the potential of uncontrolled energies including: *gravity (falls from heights, kinetic, electrical (includes stored energy and light energy as electromagnetic radiation) mechanical, chemical (hazardous substances and dangerous goods), dusts and fibres, thermal environment, pressure, acoustics, (noise and vibration), radiation (natural environmental and industrial radioactive sources), biomechanical hazards (e.g. manual handling ~ pushing, pulling, carrying and lifting). Includes disease scenarios, microbiological (fungi, viruses, bacteria) or psychosocial hazards and/or hazards arising from general work environment and other processes.

 Competency Eight ~  Demonstrate the Management of Hazards associated with plant, machinery and equipment.

Identify specific requirements required to meet OHS legal compliance in relation to workplace plant and equipment. These obligations are based on the Australian Standard for Safety of machinery, AS 4024 1-2006, which is the foundation for compliance with occupational safety and health legislation. Note: other standards also apply e.g. various electrical and mechanical standards. See also: for further guidance on machine safety.

Competency Nine ~ Demonstrate the ability to apply the prevention principles of Occupational Health** to control OHS Risks.

Test applicant’s ability to apply OHS principles to control occupational health risk(s) in the workplace. OHS practitioners are required to work with occupational health professionals who seek to identify chemicals and other substances that have the potential for interference with the body's normal energy exchange, metabolism or physiology.

Note: ** Occupational Health ~ is devoted to the anticipation, recognition, evaluation and control of those factors or stresses, arising in or from the workplace processes, which may cause sickness, impaired health and wellbeing, or significant discomfort and inefficiency.

Competency Ten ~ Demonstrate participation in the investigation of incidents and accidents

Has demonstrated the ability to lead teams conducting investigations into the reporting ofincidents/accidents, that has resulted in, or had the potential to result in, injury to people, damage to property, plant, equipment or the environment.

Understands the principle and methodology of Root Cause analysis investigation, including Systems Failure and Human Factor analysis. Demonstrates effective incident investigation through recognised tools eg. Fault Tree Analysis or other systems such as Tripod, SCAT, Triadic Flawed Analysis or ICAM’s.

 NOTE - To list on the HASANZ Register there are some additional requirements

What is Competence?

1. The ability to complete a task to the required standard of performance under specific conditions

2. Generally, competence involves the effective and efficient application of :

a. knowledge
b. skills
c. experience
d. personal attributes

3. Must be measurable