IOSH SA does not represent IOSH UK

IOSH SA, the registrar formed by Saiosh, cancelled its memorandum of understanding with IOSH UK due to legislative and training standard differences.

Saiosh president Robin Jones responded to queries from Sheqafrica.com made some months ago, saying that Saiosh (appointed as the IOSH SA board) identified two critical areas of the IOSH UK system. SAQA required them to be a South African entity, and IOSH UK does not give full recognition to some South African courses relevant to Associate and Technical designations, also required by SAQA.

They had initially signed a memorandum that, in the long term, Saiosh would open an IOSH South African office. Under that memorandum, Saiosh had applied to SAQA for recognition under the title IOSH SA. They have since discontinued the IOSH UK memorandum.

IOSH UK now recognises Unisa’s Nadsam and B Tech Safety Management for their Graduate and Chartered designations, said Jones. IOSH UK has not responded to queries about its role in IOSH SA, and appears to have broken all ties with the local body.

SAIOSH /IOSH SA statement

The SAIOSH /IOSH SA response reads verbatim; “When Saiosh was established in 2010 one of our main objectives was to look after, and promote, the OHS Profession in South Africa. The Saiosh Council investigated similar organisations in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Co-incidentally as we were looking at IOSH in the UK they were looking at Africa and specifically South Africa. We had a meeting in Johannesburg in 2011 and finding common ground developed a closer relationship.

“This led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in which, in the long term, Saiosh would open an IOSH office in South African office. The signing of the MOU had two immediate benefits for our members. Firstly they were able to apply for recognition with the internationally recognised IOSH UK designations and secondly we negotiated a favourable membership fee for South African members. In addition our members got one year’s free membership.

“At the same time Saiosh applied to SAQA for recognition as a Professional body under the title IOSH SA. We were successful in getting this accreditation as well as four professional designations: Associate, Technical, Graduate and Chartered. During the initial period in dealing with IOSH, Saiosh identified two critical areas of the IOSH UK system as required by SAQA.

“Firstly the “locus of control” needed to be strictly under the control of a South African entity and secondly IOSH UK did not give full credit to some South African courses in respect of RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) again as required by SAQA. These were specifically for the Associate and Technical level designations.

“Saiosh decided that the problems identified would have impacted negatively on a large number of our members, and the profession as a whole, and accordingly decided to no longer continue with the IOSH UK MOU.

“There is a positive benefit derived from our deliberations with IOSH UK and that is that the qualifications of NADSAM and the B Tech Safety Management are now recognised as valid qualifications for IOSH UK Graduate and Chartered designations.

“Saiosh has been appointed as the registration board for IOSH SA, a SAQA recognised professional body that registers Occupational Health and Safety Practitioners in South Africa.” -Robin Jones, president.

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10 thoughts on “IOSH SA does not represent IOSH UK

  1. Allow me to be the first to comment on this rather interesting development. If IOSH SA is the SAQA recognised professional body and their designations are recognised by SAQA, does this now mean that Saiosh designations are invalid? Saiosh is not a recognised body, but a board appointed by IOSH SA. Its own designations are irrelevant for the purposes of the NQF. These were comments regarding other bodies offering professional designations, were they not?

  2. I think this is interesting in the sense that IOSH (A UK based organisation) will want to protect their brand e.g. misuse of their corporate name and logo.
    Firstly, what was the legal entity that was awarded the SAQA recognition as a registrar for OHS practitioners? I think we know who controls that entity and it is not IOSH (The UK based organisation) . Have SAIOSH therefore breached any contractual relationship by continuing to use the name IOSH albeit a version thereof which is IOSH SA. Who knows, and we will have to wait and see if IOSH UK decide to defend their brand. If not, what’s the problem?
    Currently the SAIOSH website does not have any IOSH (The UK based organisation) branding or logo. Next, if one obtains for instance Chartered membership with IOSH SA, one would still need to apply to IOSH (The UK based organisation) for Chartered membership as provided under the current Royal Charter if one wishes to have that version. The two Chartered memberships are therefore totally different and SAIOSH are not doing anything to hide this – they clearly reference this on their website. This would mean the South African version of Chartered membership would not fall under the Royal Charter, but as debated previously, the term “Chartered” has been recognised by SAQA in a South African context.
    Not sure what the issue is now. From what I can see, SAIOSH continue to approach the registration of OHS practitioners in currently one of the best manners possible. South Africa needs the profession to be formalised and it needs some proactive people to drive it forward. IoSM have tried this for donkey’s years and when you go to their website it doesn’t look like it is properly maintained, so I think they have clearly lost the impetus and potential mandate to drive the profession forward. Will SAIOSH/IOSH SA succeed? Time will tell. However, one could spend the rest of one’s life being a naysayer and not achieve anything, or at least try and contribute to the cause and do something. I’ve been based in the UK for 8 years, a member of IOSH UK for 8 years, but I’m more than happy to contribute to the SAIOSH/IOSH SA cause in whatever way I can. Currently until proven otherwise, for all the debate to date and reasons highlighted as to why the profession needs standards, I’m willing to say that at least SAIOSH / IOSH SA deserve a chance to prove their worth to the profession given they have accomplished so much more to date than anyone else has managed in the last fifty years in South Africa. Nobody has paid me to say that. I could find numerous areas on which to criticize SAIOSH/IOSH SA, but frankly it’s counter-productive and does nothing to move the profession forward in SA. Can one come to the UK and work with Chartered IOSH SA status – it depends on the employer – you might lose out if you don’t have CMIOSH – but the likelihood of you obtaining CMIOSH if you already have CMIOSHSA is higher than if you didn’t.

  3. I am a registered Occupational health and safety practitioner with said she. What does this mean for me? Is my registration and designation invalid. How Wil this impact my resume?

  4. In March 2013 when Saiosh, under the title IOSH SA, received SAQA recognition as a professional body it had more than 1000 members. These members are being assessed and registered at one of the four IOSH SA professional designation levels. New applicants are registered professionally with IOSH SA and receive automatic Saiosh membership. Stephan, please contact the Saiosh office to verify your professional designation status.

  5. It is disappointing to read this article, as we were all hoping for better international co-operation. But whatever the reasons had for their decision, they had valid reasons to terminate something they worked so hard on to get.
    So what is the real implications of their decision?
    SAIOSH is not SAQA recognised. Does this make their professional designations of OHSPrac, OHSProf and COHSProf invalid? Certainly not. It is issued by SAIOSH on the basis of meeting a certain level of competency.
    Is it recognised by SAQA? No, it is not.
    Any professional designation registered by a professional body, must be aligned to a set of underlying qualifications in order to be recognised. The registration itself is however not compulsory. There are many recognised bodies who does not have registered designations.
    On the other hand, IOSH SA, a registered company with the CIPC, is in fact a recognised professional body. Their deisgnations of AIOSH, TEchIOSH, GradIOSH and CMIOSH are recognised by SAQA based on the appication made and the underlying qualifications registered against these designations.
    Is there a difference? Yes most certainly. An IOSH Designation can be verified by SAQA against a qualification registered on the NQF. A SAIOSH designation, albeit the same thing in essence, cannot be verified as SAQA does not have authority to verify a non-registered designation.
    So what does this mean for the average JOE SOAP?
    Firstly, there is no need to cancel your membership with SAIOSH. The designation inferred upon you are issued based on the SAIOSH Criteria for such an award. It is valid in all respects, save for the requirements of the NQF.
    Secondly, if IOSH in the UK decide to prohibit the use of titles that obviously create the perception that it an equivalent to the UK title, IOSH SA will have to oblige or face legal action. SAIOSH can however proceed to issue designations without this threat over their heads.
    I seriously suggest we all wait and see how this plays out. SAIOSH has gone too far to be run down at this point. Give them the opportunity to align themselves and regroup based on these changes. Give them a break!

  6. Further more, Saiosh is the appointed Registration Board for IOSH SA and register persons professionally at one of the IOSH SA SAQA registered designations i.e. AIOSHSA, TechIOSHSA, GradIOSHSA or CMIOSHSA. . The applicants also receive automatic memberships of Saiosh and are therefore issued with a Saiosh membership certificate as well as an IOSH SA professional designation certificate.

    1. I am not sure this practice is in line with SAQA Policy that a non-recognised body can issue designations on behalf of a recognised body. Also, if you log on to IOSH.co.za you get redirected to saiosh.com or saiosh.co.za. There is no IOSH SA other than on the CIPC database and one cannot register with IOSH SA directly. much like an intermediary under the FAIS Act, selling insurance on behalf of a insurance company. My first question is why is it only SAIOSH and IOSM that have seperate “bodies” to perform the registration function? Is it a matter of a copy-cat model? Why complicate it? Can IOSH SA not issue their own CPD and designations? The rest of the professional world does it? What is the catch?
      Secondly, I do believe that IOSH SA have been instructed by SAQA to terminate the practice of issuing designations under the Saiosh logo as far back as August this year. Clearly SAQA wants to create differentiation between the two.
      The designations registered with SAQA does not have an IOSHSA abreviation, but an IOSH (CMIOSH, Grad IOSH, etc). An IOSHSA designation will thus not be valid for the purposes of SAQA and CPD.
      Finally, the practice of one acting on behalf of the other, opens a mandorra’s box and even more so if the board of IOSH SA appointed themselves as the board of Saiosh, who then were appointed , once again by themselves, as Registration Board for the other. If Saiosh has a different legal entity, with different directors, it would be different, but there is no record of such. In my opinion it is IOSH SA as a legally registered entity trading as SAIOSH. This is clearly reflected in your comment above “In March 2013 when Saiosh, under the title IOSH SA, received SAQA recognition”.
      The general public can easily be confused (as the post below indicate) that IOSH SA and IOSH UK has the same “value” or are at the same level. The further complication of the different bodies involved in the registration process, plus the fact that SAIOSH does not require a competency exam, really leave too many questions open to interpretation. It is clear that very few people understand the role of SAQA in all this, and only sees to term “recognition”. While the intentions may be as pure as gold, the law does not see it in the same light. I strongly suggest IOSH SA operates on its own and issue only SAQA recognised designations.

      1. http://www.iosh.co.za has a logo that reads Institution of OHS South Africa and the logo reads ioshsa. Then when you enter the site, you get to the South African Institute (note the change) of OHS and the logo is saiosh. The domain name has redirected to saiosh.com. Notably, neither is .org. domains commonly used for non-profits.
        Even if you click the home button, you will not go back to iosh.co.za. There is no reference on the website that IOSH SA designations are issued by saiosh on behalf of IOSH SA. Only the SAIOSH Designations are listed if you follow the link Become a member.
        The official domain for saiosh is saiosh.com. Yet their e-mail is saiosh.co.za – a South African Top level domain. logging in to saiosh.co.za you get to the South African Institute for OSH landing page. When you enter the site, you are redirected to saiosh.com. IOSH SA and SAIOSH.co..za and SAIOSH.com is the exact same thing.

  7. Hi Neels – I’m really confused now, so hope you can clarify for me regarding the setup and who runs things – who are the board members for IOSH SA and are these different from Saiosh? Are the board members for Saiosh currently the founder members as listed on the website? If not, who are the Saiosh board members? I don’t think this is clear, and for all intents and purposes, I see Saiosh and IOSH SA being virtually the same organization. Apologies if I’m making incorrect assumptions.

    1. Hi Cameron – Not at all, you are not making incorrect assumptions. The board members of Saiosh are those listed on the Saiosh website and they are the same board members of IOSH SA.

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