More than 1,600 consultants in the UK have already signed up to the online Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR). It has been created to increase employers' confidence that they are receiving good quality, proportionate health and safety advice should they need external help.
Before consultants can join the register they must prove they can meet strict eligibility criteria. Each must belong to a professional body, have a degree-level qualification, at least two years' experience and have demonstrated a commitment to continuing their professional development.
Many employers do not need external consultants to help them comply with their legal obligations. The register is aimed at those businesses that want extra support from a trusted source - and will make it easy to find a local consultant with relevant industry and topic expertise.
Chris Grayling, the Employment Minister, said: "We have launched an official Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register for those health and safety practitioners who are properly accredited to one of the professional bodies in the industry. Those who do not have the requisite expertise and experience will be excluded from the register, making it easier for employers to access reliable, reputable advice."
OSHCR has been established by a number of professional bodies representing general safety and occupational health consultants, with support from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in response to the Government-commissioned Common Sense Common Safety report into Britain's health and safety system, which called for improved competence in health and safety advice.