PSPLA Decision

By NZISM Master account


Kia ora koutou members and supporters. Members will recall that we have highlighted an ongoing investigation by the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority (PSPLA) into whether or not external health and safety auditors and investigators need to be licensed under their legislation. A detailed legal submission was made on behalf of HASANZ whilst NZISM also made its own, presented in person by Robyn Bennett. Karl Berendt and I joined online whilst Jodi Wright from NZSC also attended.

There was an excellent debate with the Authority members about the nature of the work of auditors and investigators and they seemed genuinely engaged in understanding the points that were made. We had not anticipated a speedy response but, quite unexpectedly, this appeared last week and contained excellent news.

The Authority acknowledged that there were aspects of the work of health and safety investigators that could be seen in a similar light to that of private investigators and hence felt that the Act did apply to them - but not to auditors. However, they agreed that the Licensing Authority could add little value in terms of oversight, given this was not their area of expertise, and that HASANZ member bodies, with their codes of ethics and complaints procedures, were best placed to deal with any issues that might arise.

You are welcome to read the full decision. However, for ease, the three findings are as follows:

"[44] We conclude:

a) Health and safety auditors do not fit within the definition of private investigator in s 5 of the Act and accordingly are not required to be licensed or certified under the Act.
b) Health and Safety professionals who are in the business of carrying out health and safety investigations are private investigators as defined by s 5 of the Act and, subject to the proviso below, should be licensed or certified with the PSPLA. This finding extends to health and safety investigator employees as defined in s13 of the Act.
c) HASANZ and its member organisations are better placed than the PSPLA to regulate and have oversight of health and safety professionals. Therefore, any person who is on the HASANZ register or is a member of a HASANZ member organisation is not required to also hold a licence or certificate with the PSPLA, and complaints against them for failing to do so will not be accepted by the Authority."

This is a significant victory for the professions and demonstrates the value of working together, as well as being able to articulate our unique position as an adjunct to the HASANZ overall view.

For any consultants carrying out investigations, who are reading this who are not yet members of NZISM, the message is clear. Join us now or you will need to be licensed by the PSPLA.

Ngā mihi

Mike Cosman

Governance Board Chair, NZISM