International update from INSHPO

By NZISM Secretary


Greg Dearsly represents NZISM on the international stage as President of the International Network of Safety & Health Professional Organisations (INSHPO). INSHPO's Board of Directors recently met in Barcelona (3-5 Oct 2022) for its Interim Board meeting and Workshop and Greg was able to give us first-hand feedback on key points of this important meeting.

As part of this event the INSHPO membership body from Spain, Asociación de Especialistas en Prevención y Salud Laboral (AEPSAL), coordinated a technical scientific session and industry forum including a visit to the Fundacion Laboral de la construction and a formal meeting with presentations from key organisations across INSHPO, ENSHPO, AEPSAL and health and safety organisations representing Latin America and Africa. This event was the first time the INSHPO Board had met face-to-face since October 2019 in Milan, of course during 2020, 2021 and early 2022 all Board Meetings and Interim Board meetings were held online.

INSHPO workshop

Earlier in 2022 INSHPO engaged Dr Tristan Casey of Work Science to coordinate a review and update of the INSHPO Capability Framework. INSHPO had determined that the framework should undergo a review every 5 years and therefore this time period had been met since the launch of the Framework at the 2017 World Congress of Safety and Health and the signing of the Singapore Accord.

Dr Casey is conducting a literature review and stakeholder engagement discussion and the intent of this workshop was to enable INSHPO member association representatives to contribute to the review process. The full day review process was facilitated by Dr Marilyn Hubner, a Safety Education Professional based in Melbourne who was engaged by Dr Casey to undertake this work.

The review included three aspects looking at the past, present and future of the capability framework. Exploring the past was important as the INSHPO Board is in a period of transition with a number of new representatives joining the group and others leaving. A small number of participants had been associated with INSHPO during the early development of the framework from 2011 – 2017 and it was important that they were able to share some of the context around meaning and decision making during the development phase.

Aligned to this was a need to refresh our knowledge of the present and how the Framework was being used. During 2022 INSHPO ran a short initiative to profile organisations that were using the framework in its current form. Short video profiles were produced detailing the work by the University of Fredericton (Canada) and Victoria University (New Zealand). We plan in 2023 to expand on this project and profile other organisations sourced primarily from the suite of 50+ organisations who were signatories to the framework.

Looking to the future we ran several breakout sessions to review the content of the framework described in the Position Profiles for both Practitioner and Professional. We also conducted a SWOT Analysis of the framework. This feedback will form part of the Work Science review process.

Key takeaways from this session included

  • The need to simplify the document, while being mindful not to lose the intent.
  • Being very careful about the use of language, on the basis that as a worldwide document there can be significant difference in interpretation.
  • Titles put on certain roles across the hierarchy tend to confuse the reader
  • Ensure we prepare a document that talks to relevant audiences. In New Zealand we might refer to the supply and demand side, i.e. the health and safety profession and the users of health and safety services from the business community.
  • The need to consider the changes in the world of work over the last five years.
  • Consider a focus on a clearer link to guidance such as ISO 45001, ESG Concepts, ILO Guidance and the UN Sustainability Goals.
  • The document has been written largely by representatives from English speaking countries. The interpretation of the document from countries where English is not a first language is somewhat different.
  • Possibly providing a translated version into Spanish, Mandarin or other languages may be relevant in the future.
  • Similar to the above, the majority of INSHPO member associations are in a situation where legal mandates for OSH professionals to have certain levels of education does not exist. In other countries there are legal mandates, for example to Practice as a Health and Safety Professional in Spain, the law requires a master’s degree. This introduces a different context for how countries such as Spain might view and use the framework, given their educational requirements and the associated competencies are defined in law.

INSHPO interim Board meeting

As part of its normal governance activities INSHPO has two Board meetings per annum. This meeting served as what we call the Interim Board meeting, traditionally held towards the end of each year with our Annual Board Meeting held earlier in the year. I won’t highlight all of the discussion here, what follows is an overview of our activity during 2022 to deliver on our strategy.

Strategy related activity update

The INSHPO Strategy (signed off in 2021) is split into four areas of focus and our activity is based on delivering progress in these areas.

1. Promotion of the Framework

  • Case Study Videos produced and populated on social media
  • Formal review of the framework being completed 2022/23

2. Supporting research

  • Design of a research project to look at the Value of Health and Safety Professionals
  • Financial Contribution of $USD40K towards collaborative research project.
  • The above was supported to the tune of an additional $USD45K from our members ASSP, BCRSP & BCSP
  • RFP issued mid-2022 and successful applications awarded the research funds – 12-month term to complete the project.

3. Outreach and collaboration

  • We have expanded our membership to now include new members from NZ (NZSC & HASANZ), UK (RoSPA) and Spain (AEPSAL).
  • There was much discussion about expanding further and this can be done through a closer relationship with ENSHPO which could see membership from Europe, Africa and Latin America.
  • During the AEPSAL Technical session there was also an opportunity to engage with the ILO Representative who attended and a meeting to discuss further collaboration with the ILO is on the cards to be scheduled. This would include representation from INSHPO, ENSHPO and the ILO Geneva.

4. Branding and promotion

  • Relaunched INSHPO on social media late 2021 (LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter)
  • Profiled member associations during 2022 (a couple more to come before the end of the year)
  • Promoted other significant safety related initiatives throughout the year.
  • Abstract to be submitted for a presentation at the 2023 World Congress on Collaboration
  • Promotional opportunity at the upcoming APOSHO Conference in Melbourne November 2022


  • Earlier this year INSHPO provided opportunity for all members of our member associations to apply for an INTERN position on the INSHPO Board. Applications are currently being processed. The position is expected to start in January 2023.
  • The 2023 Annual Board meeting will be held either in Halifax Canada or in San Antonio Texas, the latter being in conjunction with the Annual American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSP) Conference.
  • The reader may be aware that the World Congress for Safety and Health will be held in Sydney in November 2023 and INSHPO will hold its regular workshop and meetings at this event. It is hoped that NZISM will have a presence at this event and will be invited to participate in INSHPO discussions.

AEPSAL / INSHPO / ENSHPO International Scientific Technical Meeting

This event was a mini conference of sorts with the events running over most of the day. It started with INSHPO member reps visiting the Fundacion Laboral de la construction. The best way to describe this organisation from a New Zealand perspective is a combination of CHASNZ, Site Safe, Safety N Action and Vertical Horizons all in one site and run as one business, there is no competition and workers must hold requisite certifications from this organisation. They are a 26 member Not for Profit foundation operating across 17 Regional Councils in Catalonia. They have funding of €70 million.

The foundation provides across the board training for those working in construction, typically a trainee spends about 4 months undergoing various training to equip them with skills to work on a standard construction site.

The business has 50 training centres with approx. 1400 trainees. They have 7 diploma courses, 139 certificate courses and 900 general courses. They provide advice to their members free of charge and have a jobs portal where companies can place adverts and trainees can apply.

A construction site is set up where trainees can learn operational and safety skills such as working at height, confined space entry. They have a suite of vehicle simulators and also a room where a range of typical items of PPE are available to enable training in its use.

Following this visit we attended the seminar part of the event. Here we heard from a range of speakers including representatives from members of INSHPO.

The first session was more general in nature, we had an address from the Spanish Director of the ILO, the Executive Director of the National Institute of Safety and Health at Work (INSST), the EU-OSHA, myself as President of INSHPO, the President of ENSHPO and the President of AEPSAL.

In addition we heard from Health and Safety Global Director from ACCIONA a company that operates in the sustainable energy and renewable energy space along with representatives from the Latin American Association of Safety and Hygiene at Work and OSHA Africa. And previously mentioned all INSHPO Representatives also got to speak including myself with an opportunity to showcase key aspects of NZISM and also an overview of the health and safety professional environment in New Zealand. We were asked to answer three questions related to training requirements for the health and safety sector, what type of roles were held in the sector and what a health and safety professional typically did as part of their role.

Relevance to NZISM

NZISM is clearly invested in its position as an INSHPO Member and having its representative on the INSHPO Executive Council.

  • The framework and its associated supporting resources form part of what NZISM offers to its members as benefits (Job Description Builder and Gap Analysis)
  • There are opportunities to engage with similar organisation across the INSHPO membership.
  • There are learnings to be gained from organisations such as AIHS, NEBOSH, BCSP and BCRSP if New Zealand is to proceed down a path of embedding health and safety in in the educational and training systems at all levels (as called for by the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety).
  • NZISM is quite invested in the Capability Framework and needs to keep abreast of changes that may result from this review.
  • The speaking sessions at the AEPSAL Technical session were live streamed globally so there was international exposure for NZISM during my presentation. I believe it is positive that NZISM is seen on the world stage holding a leadership role within the global Health and Safety industry.


Greg Dearsly

INSHPO President

NZISM Representative on the INSHPO Board