By Eldeen Pozniak
I received a joint communiqué recently from the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE) and the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP), and it inspired me to blog.
This joint communiqué gave an update on one of the CSSE and BCRSP major areas of work — on collaboration and co-ordination of efforts to support the regulation of the safety profession in Canada. As some of you may know, I am a huge supporter for our profession. I believe in competency/capability based practice, so we can be effective and efficient at our jobs and work with individuals, groups and organizations that ensure those people in our lives and in our workplaces get to go home at the end of the day. This email caught my attention. Especially in a time where some jurisdictions have been having serious conversations about this — some have even organized and are moving forward — as in Alberta with the Alberta Society of Health and Safety Professionals, and I have been asking myself how will this affect how I will practice.
It made me think of my past life in the medical field and what I needed to do to license in my own province and in others where I wanted to work, as I had a farther geographical reach than local, and how I had to write exams in each location and pay additional fees. It made me think of my family members who needed to become Red Seal interprovincial journeymen and the processes that are jointly administered by the federal, provincial and territorial governments, and how because of their agreement the Red Seal endorsement qualifies the, to work in all provinces and territories without further examination. Because in reality, don’t we all tune into the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) channel. What hoop am I going to have to jump through to practice? Is my National Construction Safety Officer designation enough? Will I have to be a CRSP? What if I am a chartered member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (CMIOSH) or Certified Safety Professional (CSP)?
In the email it stated, “A central belief that CSSE and BCRSP share is that, while regulation of professions is within provincial/territorial jurisdiction, regulatory efforts must have a sound underpinning in a national framework. To ensure that there are no barriers to practice, and no hindrance on employers whose work spans multiple jurisdictions, it is of paramount importance to approach the regulatory effort in a holistic and consistent manner.” Again, as a safety professional that works in multiple jurisdictions, this is important to me.
I believe that we need to be a “real profession,” like within the medical, accounting or engineering professions. Do you? Why or why not? I believe that we have to have a national strategy for this. Do you? Why or why not? I would love to hear your opinion before I express my “why’s” of these personal beliefs in the follow-up blog.
BCRSP and CSSE have reached out to their members and certificates to have a conversation around regulation – if you want to be involved in the conversation get in contact with these organizations. Have your say.
Eldeen Pozniak is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional, a Certified Health and Safety Consultant, a certified health and safety management system auditor, and a chartered member of the U.K.-based Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. She is a past president of the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organizations and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering. She is also the president and owner of Diggins Safety Consulting, and the director of Pozniak Safety Associates. She can be reached through www.pozniaksafety.com.