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NZITO wanting clarity about roles of WorkSafe

Press release

NZITO wanting clarity about roles of WorkSafe in relation to education and training

7 August 2013

The New Zealand Industry Training Organisation is the designated Standard Setting Body for Occupational Health and Safety unit standards and qualifications.

We welcome the Government response to the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety that was released this morning and believe a systemic approach will improve workplace health and safety outcomes for New Zealanders.

However, we are unclear about the role the new agency will play in setting standards and qualifications for Occupational Health and Safety practitioners causing further delays to the review of OHS qualifications that commenced in 2011. The review was placed on hold whilst the Taskforce and Government determined the future direction for OHS.

Our submission to the Taskforce suggested the Standard Setting Body role would be best accommodated by Government as this is an important pan-sector role. Unfortunately signals around this matter are not explicit in the blueprint released earlier today.

Included in the blueprint is the requirement for all qualifications at levels 1-6 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework to be embedded with OHS. This may require a significant amount of rework for Industry Training Organisations who have been developing their own industry specific qualifications under NZQA’s mandatory review.

We urge Government and the new agency to engage with Industry Training Organisations and education providers to ensure that workers and employers have the appropriate competencies to enhance workplace health and safety.

The use of consistent standards in a partnership framework will help achieve the stated aims of clearer, simpler and lower compliance and we look forward to clarifications from the regulator.

-ENDS-

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