COS reader panel - Credentials checkWritten by Canadian Occupational Safety 14 January 2002
In our latest reader panel survey, we asked COS readers about their educational and training background and what they are doing, or would like to do, to upgrade their skills as oh&s professionals. Here's what our 152 respondents had to say:
Since starting your safety profession, have you ever taken a night course or a correspondence course to upgrade your education credits or complete a degree or college diploma?
Of those who said yes, a little more than half felt those added courses were a career necessity. The rest said they could have done fine without it.
Would your employer allow you to take an "education leave" of a few months or a year, to upgrade your skills and knowledge as a health and safety professional?
An impressive 44 percent said yes! The other 56 percent either said no or had no idea whether their employer would grant them an education leave.
We asked these respondents what they would study if they could take a leave to upgrade their credentials. Among the topics on their education wish lists were management, environmental studies, risk management, business management, industrial hygiene, chemical engineering, compensation claims management, ergonomics, behavioural science, and law.
Which professional designations do you have, or are you currently working on getting?
Forty-four percent of our panelists are Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP).
Other respondents were graduates of health and safety diplomas or degrees, or certified health & safety consultants, ergonomists, human resource professionals, industrial hygienists, registered nurses, engineering technologists, construction safety officers, or occupational health nurses.
How would you rate the availability of occupational health and safety-related courses courses in your province or territory from 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent)?
We received responses from every Canadian jurisdiction except Nunavut and Northwest Territories. Their ratings were all over the map. Even within each province, some people were happy with their education system, and some were not.
Thirty-five percent gave their oh&s education system a high rating (8 to 10). Forty-three percent rated it between 5 and 7. The remaining 22 percent gave it a low rating (1 to 4).
- "Courses regarding Health and Safety are few and far between in Ontario's Niagara Peninsula (ie. community colleges)."
- "I have continually taken courses, attended short trainings, workshops, conferences and seminars on many topics over the last 17+ years. Some of them are becoming repetitive. I am looking for more in-depth study of topics."
- "The field of oh&s is changing more rapidly than the school system can keep up with."
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