By BSI Group South Africa

HSW Training and System Certification Q&A with BSI

Futureproof your organisation with ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety.

Futureproof your organisation with ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety.

Q: Why is training and certification important?

A: Training and system certification is crucial for Health and Safety as it provides individuals with essential knowledge and skills to work safely, reduce accidents and errors, and enhance workplace culture. Certified systems, qualified staff and trained personnel can identify and mitigate risks, supporting overall workplace safety and compliance with regulations. Training and qualifications build agility and creativity in the workforce. It strengthens your team’s ability to respond to challenges and take advantage of opportunities. An organisation with a clear training and qualifications strategy also ensures their share of a competitive employment marketplace. Individuals benefit from clear communication and employee confidence, leading to increased morale resulting in fewer incidents, enhanced productivity, and reduced downtime. Training, qualifications and system certification contribute to a safer and more efficient work environment for both employees and organisations. System Certification is crucial for organisations looking to prioritise safety, reduce risks, comply with regulations, enhance your reputation, engage employees, and achieve long-term success in a competitive global marketplace. It is a proactive step toward creating safer and more sustainable work environment.

Q: What training and certification services does BSI offer?

A: BSI provides a comprehensive range training, qualifications, assessment and systems certification solutions related to Health and Safety and Psychological health and safety at work based on international standards such as ISO 45001, ISO 45003 and best practice. We also offer on-demand training on common workplace hazards, health and safety technical areas such as risk assessment and incident investigation. We also offer services in related areas such as business continuity, sustainability and digital trust. Whether from an internal perspective or looking at the supply chain, we help you assure you prioritise your people by embedding a culture of trust.

Q: Within industry, people often refer to training and certification separately, but how do these two disciplines tie together?

A: Training and system certification work together to enhance safety and organisational performance. Training imparts knowledge and skills to individuals, making them capable of implementing safety protocols. Certification validates that an organisation’s systems and personnel meet specific standards, ensuring consistent conformity and competence. Both contribute to a culture of continuous improvement and risk reduction. Training and qualifications ensure your employees understand and adhere to safety and health best practice, crucial for certification and legal compliance. It fosters employee engagement and supports documentation and reporting requirements essential for certification maintenance. Together, training and certification create a comprehensive health and safety approach, promoting a safer and healthier work environment.

Q: What challenges do companies face regarding certification and training? And how does BSI help them to overcome these?

A: Some of the challenges organisations face are:

  • Ensuring compliance and alignment with the latest requirements.
  • Maintaining consistent H&S standards and training practices across different regions, languages and cultures.
  • Maintaining accurate and comprehensive records and reports for certification.
  • Ensuring that employees actively engage with H&S training and adhere to safety protocols.

Certification and training processes help organisations understand and navigate the compliance landscape. We provide training and qualifications which align with your unique needs, ensuring employees receive relevant and effective knowledge and skills. With our global presence, we help you achieve consistent practice across various locations, facilitating compliance on a global scale by providing training in local languages for instance.

Q: Do you have any advice for people/companies that require certification and training? Especially on how they can streamline necessary training and the certification process.

A: Our advice is to:

  • Review the scope of your certification – separate certifications across multiple sites can be complex – adapting your scope so that multiple sites are covered by one certification can make the process more streamlined.
  • Ensure that your internal audits and auditors are covering all areas, so that when you have your independent third-party certification audit, you are well prepared.
  • If you have more than one certification, such as ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 – you can move toward an integrated management system approach.
  • Consider a company-wide training needs analysis to identify areas for improvement or skill gaps to fill. If you have a high staff turnover, or there is industry wide shortage of key staff, a training and qualifications programme will ensure you get and retain your share of the talent pool.
  • Consider the sector in which you work, the faster moving external environment probably means you need to update skills and knowledge regularly.
  • Encourage trained and qualified employees to focus on your company’s challenges and opportunities.

Q: What should companies do after they’ve received training or get certified?

A: Remember training and certification is only the start of the journey – you need to work on embedding it into the business and driving continual improvement by:

  • Applying the knowledge gained from training and ensuring that the principles and best practices are integrated into daily operations.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the training and system certification to make sure your processes are operating as intended.
  • Assess and identify areas for improvement in training and system certification.
  • Stay up to date with the latest knowledge and best practices through ongoing training.
  • Ensure that the organisations remain compliant with current regulations.
  • A recent study by Harvard Business School showed that organisations that are certified to health and safety standards have 20% less reportable accidents than non-certified organisations – so maintaining certification is proven to improve performance.

Q: Are there any trends within the training and certification spheres that excite you? Please elaborate.

A: ISO 45001 is the fastest growing international certification standard demonstrating an increased focus on occupational health and safety as organisations realise that prioritising their people is vital to business success and resilience. The leading organisations are also focused on psychological health and safety and mental well-being, which is driving take up of ISO 45003 on psychological health and safety.

In South Africa, the mining sector is a key contributor to the country’s economy, and the safety and health of workers in the sector is of paramount importance. ISO 45001 can help mining companies in South Africa to improve their OHS performance, reduce their OHS risks, and comply with relevant OHS regulations and legislation.

The adoption of digital platforms and e-learning modules is on the rise. Online training allows for greater flexibility, accessibility and scalability, making it easier to reach a distributed or remote workforce.

The accelerated adoption of hybrid auditing and assessment processes for certification. These virtual approaches allow organisations to continue certification activities while minimising physical interactions and contributing to sustainability goals.

To get started on your Health and Safety certification and training journey, contact BSI South Africa: bsi.za@bsigroup.com

To learn more about training and certification for Health and Safety, visit www.bsigroup.com/en-ZA/occupational-health-and-safety-iso-45001

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