Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Professional Competencies - Draft Framework

In 2015, the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC entered an industry-led Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP) agreement with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training to assess the manufacturing sectorÔÇÖs needs regarding occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals.

One crucial need identified is for standardized competencies for OHS professionals working in manufacturing. Specifically needed is a clear definition of what activities OHS professionals should be capable of performing for a manufacturing employer. This would cut through the confusing variety of OHS certifications and designations available in Canada. 

The Competency Framework has been developed as a first step towards improving the OHS profession through a recognition of the wide array of skills and competencies possessed by OHS professionals. It has been validated through consultation with business leaders, OHS professionals, and hiring personnel, throughout BC. We are now expanding this consultation to individuals who were unable to participate in the longer validation study conducted previously, and to professionals working outside of BC.

Project Goals

The Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC and its industry partners have developed the Competency Framework for employers and OHS professionals specifying what types of skills an individual in an OHS role can offer a company. The Framework is not intended to determine who is or is not qualified to be an OHS professional. Rather, by clearly laying out the skills and competencies that OHS professionals can bring to the table, the Framework will facilitate communication between employers, workers, OHS professionals, and OHS education and training institutions.

Sector Labour Market Partnership

Learn more about the research from the
Sector Labour Market Partnership.

Who is this for?

OHS Professionals

OHS professionals often face challenges in communicating with hiring managers and employers in the hiring process. This Framework aims to help bridge this gap in communication by highlighting the diverse skills and competencies that an OHS professional brings to the table. The Framework also provides guidance professional development for OHS professionals as their careers advance.

HR Professionals/Hiring Managers

Finding qualified and experienced OHS professionals can be difficult due to the diverse types of qualifications. This Framework is intended to act in a similar manner to other professional standards. The Framework outlines the scope of practice for an OHS profession, defines the types of skills and competencies which might be included in a job posting, interview process, or professional development program for OHS professionals.

Business Leaders/Executives

Business leaders/executives frequently hire experts in a field which is not their own: accountants, HR professionals, and skilled labour, to name a few. It can be especially challenging for businesses to recruit appropriate OHS expertise due to varied expectations about that role, different types of qualifications, and the diverse career paths of many OHS professionals. This Framework of standardized competencies will enable business leaders to clearly communicate their OHS needs, thereby ensuring that both employer and employee expectations are aligned.