About the Register
The development of the HASANZ Register has been made possible through establishment funding provided by ACC and WorkSafe New Zealand.
Why has HASANZ developed the Register?
After the Pike River Mine disaster, the Government put together a Taskforce to investigate the reasons for New Zealand's poor health and safety record. The Taskforce spent about 10 months investigating and made a number of recommendations to Government. One of the issues the Taskforce found was that we have a huge capability and capacity problem in New Zealand in terms of our health and safety workforce.
On the supply-side, the Taskforce found that advice from external health and safety advisers and other professionals is of variable quality and approaches, and that there is limited availability (supply) of expert advice from those health and safety professionals.
The lack of any requirement to meet standard competence or qualification levels before professionals can offer their services was seen as a key contributor to the lack of quality advice. The Taskforce also noted that, with the exception of medically trained professionals (e.g. nurses, doctors, occupational therapists and physiotherapists), registration is not compulsory. In addition to this, many health and safety advisers operate outside any registered professional body, thus avoiding all requirements to demonstrate qualifications or competencies.
"Concerns were raised about the quality and availability of external health and safety advice. There is a high degree of variability among consultants in terms of their approaches, methods, competence levels and risk tolerances. It was noted that there is no standard competence level or qualification set required for consultants."
On the demand-side, businesses, particularly small businesses, struggle to identify appropriately qualified workplace H&S professionals. With the variability in quality of advice comes a lack of trust on the part of businesses – how do they know who to choose and how can they rely on the advice they receive?
The Taskforce recommended the industry work on improving its accreditation standards and on putting in place a voluntary registration system. HASANZ has led the work to put in place the voluntary registration system - the HASANZ Register.