The SA Construction Regulations of 2014 set up duplicate private structures for health and safety registration, training validation, and site inspection.
SACPCMP professional construction health and safety registration will be enforced on HS Agents (and HS Managers and HS Officers according to some interpretations and the intention of the DOL and Registrar, see contradictory Comments) from August 2015.
However four voluntary bodies also offer professional registration, and their designations are accepted as “highly advantageous” for gaining some CPD points in meeting the new competency criteria.
Training authorities duplicated
The SACPCMP is rolling out validation of health and safety training courses, recognition of prior learning (RPL), videos and exams for continued professional development (CPD), as well as workshops on how to register, however five or six voluntary bodies are accredited or recognised for various training, information and advocacy functions; SAIOSH, IOSM, SAIOH, ACHASM, BBCBE, NUM, Master Builders, SAFCEC, some others, and perhaps soon an engineering council too.
The statutory SA Council for Project and Construction Management Professions (SACPCMP) was officially appointed as the construction health and safety registration agency of the Department of Public Works and the Department of Labour on 10 February 2014, but is itself using consultants such as CPD on Demand, Joep Joubert and others for some of these functions.
Various training validation functions of the NQF, Setas, SAQA, QCTO, NLRD and others, as well as training delivery, assessment, listing and ‘qualification’ functions by accredited providers and universities, and mentoring functions of employers, are thus duplicated in the new proliferated regime.
Construction inspectors duplicated
The Department of Labour inspectorate is appointing specialised construction principal inspectors and will get an even larger budget in the new financial year, however Labour minister Mildred Oliphant and chief inspector Thobile Lamati are also setting up a Construction Health and Safety Technical Committee to “advise on construction codes, standards, training” and “to designate persons to examine safety systems and records of companies with high incident rates.”
These designated contracted inspectors would charge fees. The draft amendment at first aimed at setting up an independent private agency to levy its own fees, and the new committee may yet develop into a body similar to the UK’s HS Executive (HSE).
Their names will soon be announced. They are expected to be drawn from the technical committee of the ACOHS that wrote and re-wrote the Construction Regulations Amendment over the last eight years, such as IOSM registrars Ray Strydom and Joep Joubert, SAIOSH registrar Neels Nortje, a SAIOH member, Master Builders official Doug Michell, academic Prof John Smallwood, Prof Nkado, SAFCEC’s James Flint, ACHASM’s Anton Krause, and new black empowerment consulting forum BBCBE’s G Mofokeng.
Among the many changes in the Construction Regulations Amendment of 2014, launched in Boksburg by a joint Labour and Public Works conference, emerged a range of privatised options, running parallel to state functions. Several voluntary and non-profit bodies, formerly run by nominal ‘volunteers’, have gained some legal sanction and revenue leverage.
Most construction health and safety practitioners and their employers now face mild initial re-training costs, and significant registration costs.
Construction health and safety officer registration fees
R____? initial training
R____? gap training to meet criteria
R 182 SACPCMP application, project report, essays
R 342 SACPCMP exam
R 171 SACPCMP registration
R1890 SACPCMP certificate
R ___ CPD on Demand workshop on how to gain points
R1100 CPD on Demand videos and online exams
R 500 VAT
R4182 +? TOTAL
CPD process fees are annual. Fees for assessment and moderation of HS Managers and HS Agents are all significantly higher, on the order of R1558, R795, R2662, and include interview fees of R2570, and may include RPL on the order of R7000. Changing registration level also incurs some fees.
SACPCMP registration enforced by inspectors
State contracts would be first to enforce SACPCMP construction health and safety registration on contractors. State employers starting with Eskom would prepare their practitioners for registration.
Work stoppages may involve scrapping or temorarily removal of he names of relevant construction health and safety practitioners from registration.
State inspections of private projects would check on registration and black economic empowerment via employment equity. Labour and Public Works inspectors would co-operate on state projects, using a contractor grading system that would now include health and safety skills.
SACPCMP continued professional development (CPD) workshop dates aimed at project managers or health and safety practitioners are; Feb 13 KZN, Feb 21 Polokwane, March 3 Bloemfontein, March 7 Kimberley, March 10 Mmabatho, March 12 East London, March 13 Port Elizabeth, March 20 Nelspruit.
Health and safety salaries to be fixed
Salaries and wages of construction health and safety practitioners, who total about 3500, or 2% of the workforce in the sector, may soon be fixed by scales linked to registration levels.
ACHASM said it had applied for recognition by the SACPCMP, but would remain a voluntary body, not a registrar, and would provide training to some of the build environment professionals at higher levels, such as engineers who function as construction health and safety Agents or Managers.
“We are not lowering training standards, but there is a construction health and safety skills shortage”, said Labour officials at the launch.
Universities said they would add dedicated health and safety modules to graduate courses relevant to construction.
• See a post on SACPCMP registration criteria for their various designations on Sheqafrica.com
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