OHS Generalist Career Pathway Project

Working together with industry partners to address the growing need for more Occupational Health & Safety professionals.

NZISM, along with New Zealand Safety Council (NZSC), Health and Safety Association of NZ (HASANZ) and the Government Health and Safety Lead (GHSL) worked collaboratively to develop guidance material to support individuals, managers and recruiters to better understand the career pathway of the OHS Generalist profession.

Significant input has been provided by a large number of key stakeholders and individuals from across New Zealand’s public and private sectors and we want to acknowledge their valuable contribution. We would like to thank WorkSafe for funding this Workforce Development Initiative and Margaret van Schaik and her team for leading this project.

This guide informs a wide audience about the role of OHS Generalists. It compares the role with other H&S disciplines, discusses the current market demand, and describes what “good looks like” across the various OHS Generalist roles. The aim of these guides is to ensure consistency across Aotearoa for those working as a generalist in OHS, those employing OHS practitioners and professionals and provide guidance to the HR profession.

(Image: Selena Armstrong - CEO NZISM; Jodi Wright - CEO NZSC; Robyn Bennett - President NZISM)

These documents aim to:

  • address the current market confusion for the H&S Generalist profession;
  • provide an overview of what a H&S Generalist does, and what options are available along their career path;
  • clarify what “good looks like” across the different roles in the H&S Generalist Career Pathway; and
  • provide a reference for current and future H&S Generalists, hiring managers, and recruitment agents to understand what technical and supporting skills are required to succeed in the industry

Below, we invite you to explore the three main guidance documents of the H&S Generalist career pathway initiative.

Health & Safety Generalist Pathway

This is an overview of the pathway, and supports people looking to start out, transfer to or expand an existing career in health and safety.

A Guide for Individuals

This is to support clarifying what a health and safety generalist does, and the core skills and attributes needed for individuals to be successful. It also clarifies what good looks like across different roles.

A Guide for Recruiters and Managers

This supports line managers with health and safety responsibilities, or health and safety teams; as well as those responsible for recruiting health and safety roles into an organisation.