Enhancing the OSH profession: an update (August 2022)
In May 2022, we confirmed that IOSH had received formal approval from the Privy Council to implement changes to our membership grades.
The new membership grades are a simplification of the current structure, with more clearly defined entry routes, more transparent progression from one grade to another and an experiential route to membership.
So, what happens next?
The new membership grades will be implemented in 2023, along with self-serve, personalised journeys for upgrading membership.
We have planned detailed communications for all members to explain how/if their membership grade will change. These communications will start to roll out shortly to provide plenty of preparation time, so please check your inboxes.
Let us support you with your professional journey
In November we’ll be launching a new and enhanced Blueprint, which will replace the existing version, to support your professional journey. Our updated Blueprint includes:
- a self-assessment tool – plot your own career path
- continuing professional development (CPD) resources – upskill using our new suite of resources
- CPD record – easily record your learning to stay compliant
- IOSH’s Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment – demonstrate that you’re trained in the ethics of the OSH profession.
All new features in Blueprint link directly to our competency framework to ensure you’re assessing against, and strengthening your knowledge in, the technical, core and behavioural competencies that all OSH professionals need.
We will continue to provide regular updates on further developments and progress. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or read through the FAQs below.
How will the changes affect membership status?
No. Whatever grade you are at now, please don’t stop what you are doing as all the knowledge and skills you acquire will be relevant. For more information on how to upgrade your membership, please email email@example.com or call us on +44 (0)116 257 3200.
Only if you don’t complete your 30 hours of CPD annually, along with the IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment.
No. Entry to Certified Membership will be via an appropriate OSH qualification (Level 6 or 7) and relevant experience OR Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) through evidence of relevant knowledge and experience. The process to Chartered Membership builds on the Certified Member’s current knowledge, understanding and experience through a supported professional development assessment process (replacing current IPD). In addition, members with significant current knowledge, understanding and experience can take the proposed experiential route for Certified or Chartered Membership.
Associate Members currently represent a very small proportion (just over 1 per cent) of IOSH members, and the grade is not widely recognised or understood. Most Associate Members would be eligible to upgrade to Technical Member or Certified Member, based on qualifications and experience.
We are doing this because widespread feedback from members, employers and recruiters indicated that the name is misleading, suggesting a lower level of OSH professional. In fact, many Graduate Members are highly experienced. We would therefore expect a significant proportion of current Graduate Members to be eligible for Chartered status. We proposed Certified Member as one of several alternatives in our May 2020 survey and most respondents agreed that it was a suitable replacement.
Yes. If you wish to continue practising, you will need to maintain your CPD and IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment. We’ll provide you with a transition plan and support you through this during the 12-month transition period.
No. Retired membership will continue as it stands today, and you will be recognised as a retired member who is no longer active.
Transition is the process of moving from the current to the new membership grades structure. From the date on which the new grades are launched, there will be a 12-month transition period to enable members to progress through their membership professional journey.
When the new membership grades structure is implemented, every member will receive a communication outlining their personal transition plan. This plan will set out their individual requirements for the 12-month transition period.
‘Companion of IOSH’ is, in fact, an award, not a grade. In the past there has been confusion between Chartered Fellow and Honorary Fellow. We want to make a clear distinction between the grade – Chartered Fellow – and the honorary position of ‘Companion'. It was not easy to identify an alternative to ‘Honorary Fellow', but our benchmarking found that several professional bodies use ‘Companion’, and we feel it is an effective title.
Yes, Honorary Fellows will be transferred automatically to Companion.
Assessing competency and experience
Competency will be assessed through our new and enhanced Blueprint, the next generation of our self-assessment tool, which will be mapped to the updated competency framework. When you’ve worked through the self-assessment, you’ll receive a personal development plan (PDP) to help you prioritise your learning. You’ll also be signposted to guides and resources to support your CPD learning and development. Ultimately, our updated Blueprint will be central to a greatly improved professional journey.
Blueprint is already mapped to the new membership grades, ready for implementation in 2023. You will be assessing against the competencies at each grade.
We will be launching our enhanced version of Blueprint in November 2022. This will enable you to assess against the competency framework and access a large range of resources to start you on your professional journey and prepare you for the new membership grades being implemented in 2023.
Blueprint is already mapped to the new membership grades so your personal development plan (PDP) will set out the competency requirements that you need at each new membership grade.
Not necessarily. The answer will depend on the current grade you’re at or targeting. In most instances, the standard will require a combination of ‘essential’ and ‘complementary’ competencies. You’ll need to be able to demonstrate the ‘essential competencies’ on entry to the grade. ‘Complementary competencies’ will be for development, to prepare you for the next grade, if you wish to progress.
This refers to the Regulated Qualifications Framework that categorises qualifications in England, based on the level of challenge or difficulty. Other countries or regions such as Malaysia, South Africa and the UAE have regulated frameworks and these have comparisons with the English and European qualifications frameworks, so it is easy to see where IOSH fits locally. Links to information about qualification levels in Scotland, Wales and Europe can be found via www.gov.uk.
The changes to our membership grades, which will launch in 2023, are all about improving and maintaining standards and enhancing the sector, and we’ve carefully considered the assessment of experience. The approval of a new experiential route to Certified and Chartered Membership is designed to remove a barrier to entry for OSH professionals who are already operating in a senior strategic role in OSH management and have extensive on-the-job experience but might not have an OSH qualification. The assessment process will combine the new Blueprint self-assessment with CPD and completion of IOSH’s Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) assessment. This rigorous approach will ensure that only candidates with evidence of the appropriate knowledge, competence and experience are approved for entry.
The experiential route will be launched alongside the new member grades in 2023.
The Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) is our approach to assessing experience. It is a process where credit is given for learning that has not been previously assessed and accredited by an academic institution (typically a university) or professional organisation such as IOSH. It is learning acquired from a range of experiences and is often unstructured, personal and unconsciously gained. Skills, knowledge and abilities that come with this type of learning, however, can be equal to those gained by students following traditional courses at formal educational institutions.
We are currently working on this detail. Typically, a candidate’s knowledge is assessed via an exam, work portfolio and professional discussion paper and interview with a subject expert.
IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment
Ethical practice is extremely important for all OSH professionals in ensuring public trust and upholding the reputation of the profession. We are making this a requirement for our Chartered Members and Chartered Fellows, as we expect them to lead the profession by demonstrating the highest standards of professional conduct at work and in their dealings with the public. But we would encourage all members to take the assessment.
The IOSH Code of Conduct commits members to the IOSH vision for a world of work that is safe, healthy and sustainable. It provides an ethical foundation for members working towards this vision. The IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH assessment, which is supported by e-learning, will provide members with up-to-date and relevant content on ethical considerations that affect organisations and the OSH profession in the widest sense.
No, the IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment will be free of charge as part of our CPD package.
Only in a positive way. As part of our work to enhance the way we support professional development, we will soon be launching a new CPD scheme and system, aligned with our updated competency framework. CPD must be completed by members whose grades have a mandatory requirement of 30 hours per year.
You will have access to the competency framework, CPD resources, CPD record and the IOSH Ethical practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment. Read more.
Members who are registered on the IPD Scheme will be required to maintain and record their CPD records on the existing Skilsure platform via MyIOSH. This will continue until we close the Skilsure platform 12 months after the launch of the new member grades (launching in 2023).
The new and enhanced version of Blueprint will help you to focus on your learning, development and progression. You’ll need to complete 30 hours of CPD annually, including reflective statements. If you are a Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow, your CPD will also include passing or maintaining the IOSH Ethical Practice in OSH e-learning and Assessment. This will all be held in the new and enhanced Blueprint.
We will support all members through their transition plan to complete the required CPD. However, to maintain standards, there will be sanctions for members who do not maintain their CPD record. In the new, approved structure, Technical Members, Certified Members, Chartered Members and Chartered Fellows who do not complete the required CPD will revert to Affiliate Membership unless there are mitigating circumstances.
CPD is a professional requirement for Technical Members, Certified Members, Chartered Members and Chartered Fellows, as set out in IOSH’s byelaws and regulations. It remains mandatory and, in the new structure, involves 30 hours of development time every year. To maintain the standard, members at these grades who do not comply with CPD requirements will need to revert to a level of membership where it is not a mandatory requirement, hence Affiliate. Of course, if a member is struggling to complete their CPD for personal reasons, we would encourage them to get in touch before it becomes an issue, so we can provide support and discuss the way ahead.
Our benchmarking research indicates that the CPD time commitment for other bodies ranges from 20 to 50 hours a year. Every organisation structures it slightly differently, but we believe 30 hours is a suitable commitment to ensure continuing professional development.
No. CPD is a lifelong process of improvement through recognising, recording and reflecting on learning experiences. Relevant CPD will be different for each member. Guidance and support will be provided with the launch of the new CPD scheme and there’ll be a range of free CPD resources to support the new competencies, many of which will be available through the new version of Blueprint.
Yes, you can still register on the existing IPD process. To ensure you are given the fullest opportunity to complete the process, and to minimise disruption to members registering and working through IPD, a final deadline date will be set. If you’re not able to complete by the specified date, you will need to be assessed against the new standard, using the new and enhanced version of Blueprint.
As we are launching the enhanced Blueprint in November 2022, we’ll be sending out detailed communications to all members shortly about the changes to IPD. Please keep an eye out in your inboxes.
Yes. So, if you’re studying a course aligned with your level of membership, don’t stop! We are currently reviewing all accredited qualifications, but no member will be penalised.
We currently recognise international qualifications as entry points to membership, as our accredited education partners are based all over the world. If there is a call for additional qualifications to be recognised, this will be looked at as part of the implementation phase of our new membership grades.
Many professional bodies already have professional registers. The IOSH Professional Register will replace IOSH’s current Member Directory and will provide professional recognition on a wider scale for individuals who choose to opt in. It will also assist recruiters and employers when they review a member’s professional status.
No – there will be clear opt in/opt out options for members who do not wish to be included in the register.
The IOSH Professional Register is for all IOSH members and will typically show their name, membership number, location, membership grade, CPD compliance (if relevant to their membership grade) and current IOSH ethics module status (for Chartered Members and Chartered Fellows).
OSHCR, the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register, is a database hosting registered OSH consultants from several professional bodies. The consultants listed are required by their own professional body to maintain ethical and professional standards. This register gives assurance that the consultants listed are certified professionals who hold chartered status (or equivalent) membership within their professional body and are committed to ongoing professional development.
Consultants who are Chartered Members or Chartered Fellows of IOSH may publish an entry on each register.
The IOSH Professional Register is likely to be introduced 12 months after the launch of the new member grades (launching in 2023).
General questions about membership
The Board reviews membership fees annually, so they may be subject to change.
Check out our current fees, including concessionary membership.
Not initially. It is something that we may consider in future, but our priority will be to establish the new membership grade structure and ensure that it is understood by employers, recruiters and other key stakeholders such as accredited partners.
The review and consultation process
We’re launching our new and enhanced version of Blueprint soon – an all-in-one tool to self-assess, learn, and record your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – to enhance your professional journey. Learn more.
The new membership grades will follow next year, in 2023. We’ve planned detailed communications for all members to explain how/if their membership grade will change. These communications will start to roll out in shortly, so please check your inboxes.