There's lots of OHS based courses available but everybody's needs are different.
Chris Harris explains how he chose the the right one for him.

February 2018

Chris Harris

Over the last few years, I’ve seen a greater expectation of employers for H&S professionals to have higher formal qualifications, as well as relevant experience. This is what prompted me to pursue a Diploma at this time. I had started a Post Graduate Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health through a different provider several years ago, but I found the assessments were at a fairly basic level and I was passing easily with minimal effort – but I wasn’t learning anything. So I switched focus to complete a more general business qualification instead at that time. Later, I observed a colleague completing a diploma through another provider, and again the assessments seemed to be at a very low level. If all I wanted was a piece of paper and letters after my name, that would be fine – but I wanted to learn as well. Still another colleague is currently completing the IOSH International Diploma – which is expensive and requires a fairly significant time commitment which I was reluctant to take on at the moment. That course is also suited to people who don’t necessarily have an extensive background in H&S and so I was also concerned that I’d be “re-learning” again. So considering these options, I found the format of the Capable NZ Graduate Diploma perfect for me. It is completed within a year with a moderate time commitment.

By its nature, you begin this course by reflecting on what you know and what you don’t, based on previous training and work experience. The self-assessment tool (available in the Member’s area of the NZISM website) would be useful for all members, regardless of whether you are proceeding on to formal study, or simply defining CPD goals for the year. You then choose what you want to study, and how – with guidance from your assigned Capable NZ Facilitator – to produce a Learning Agreement. This means you can choose to focus on a subject you have little or no prior knowledge or experience of, are interested in, and ideally is also relevant to your current employer. I chose to look at the psychology around collaboration, and linked this with maturity models to align with company strategy. The bulk of the work is then self-directed study, at a graduate level, in the chosen subject area to produce a 10,000 word written report and presentation to a panel. Another valuable outcome for me from the experience was exposure to the Occupational Health and Safety Body of Knowledge (OHS BOK), assembled by the Safety Institute of Australia. I will continue to refer to this resource for my ongoing Continuing Professional Development.