Construction health and safety CPD (continued professional development) to maintain SACPCMP registration, includes online videos and questions.
A construction health and safety registration applicant said; “In Bundle 3 of the CPD exercise, on the SACPCMP website, you are supposed to watch eight videos of about 45 minutes each, and answer five questions.
“During the first video I got bored and skipped to the five questions. I scored eight CPD points in less than 20 minutes. I am not sure what I was supposed to have learnt.”
Another applicant said that at Construction Health and Safety Agent level, applicants are also able to skip the videos to go the questions.
“This level took me 10 minutes to complete. I did not develop any construction health and safety skills from the CPD exercise.”
The applicants spoke anonymously, since the SACPCMP reserves the right to ban registrees on the basis of a code of conduct that includes vague terms related to loyalty and reputation. “I suppose I also have to keep a straight face,” said an applicant.
Eight CPD points are equivalent to about 80% of the required annual activity. To achieve 10.5 points per year, registrees have to practice some learning, some mentorship, and some work experience, for about 5 hours each, or be at work for about a week. The maximum CPD score is 52 points in a five year cycle.
The online CPD service of videos, questions, and automated self-assessment, is rendered by a contractor to the SACPCMP, named CPD On Demand.
Voluntary bodies have also been allowed to present CPD events, and offer 5 points for a three-day conference, at high cost.
SAIOSH last year promised ‘free CPD events’ for its members, however the events turned out to be breakfast meetings about registration procedures.
SAIOSH also offers online self-assessment CPD in the form of videos, although these points apply only to voluntary designations, and not to SACPCMP applications.
Comments on construction health and safety CPD
SACPCMP contractor, advisor, assessor, and social partner Joep Joubert, who is also president of IOSM, said registration applicants caught cheating, or presenting false information, would be banned for life. Assessors would conduct spot checks, and react to complaints.
Responding to queries on the implications of the August deadline for registration for employers and thus for health and safety practitioners, he said; “That is our problem, not yours.”
Responding to queries about the legitimacy and practicality of the registration scheme, Joubert said; “These issues have been debated for two years. This workshop is only about the process itself.” However the public debate started after the DOL wrote the amendment.
Responding to a question on why re-examination or interviews of holders of qualifications like Nadsam is required, Joubert said there is insufficient occupational health and construction content in the national diploma curriculum. He is a former Nadsam lecturer.
Voluntary body SAIOSH registrar Neels Nortje, who is also a Master Builders official, and a DOL advisory council member, wrote on the Master Builders KZN forum that the scheme could be expanded to other industries. Other supporters mentioned the forestry industry as being first in line.
Master Builders also use training videos for some of their programmes, and sell some videos to its members.
Registration gives employers get ‘a warm fuzzy feeling’
Danny van Zyl wrote on Sheqfarica.com; “Why is a construction Client allowed to appoint a safety officer? All Clients should have Agent level people, either contracted or full-time employed.
“I agree that Agents should be regulated and controlled, but when the Client has internal safety officers, what benefit is there to health and safety to register them… The imbalances of this system are yet to reveal themselves.
“CPD proves you were at work, you studied, you attended some non-core activities, like watching a video or eight, and answered a few questions… it is really quite easy to reach your annual target in less than a day.
“This registration is nothing more than a warm fuzzy feeling the HR manager and CEO will experience, knowing they ‘comply’ with the law.”
In two informal discussions during an SACPCMP workshop, applicants agreed that the entire SACPCMP registration process would not raise construction health and safety skills.
Some applicants believe that unethical consultants may have to raise their levels of training, but would remain in the industry.
A training specialist said CPD consists of three categories; learning updates, mentorship, and experience, each with a maximum number of possible points.
In the SACPCMP construction health and safety registration scheme, CPD learning, such as courses and online self-assessment, include some core knowledge (40 points), and some non-core knowledge (maximum 20 points), at 2 points per hour of video.
Mentorship activities (maximum 20 points) involve qualified oversight by people registered with the SACPCMP as Mentors. Experience involves relevant professional practice (maximum 20 points).
The SACPCMP registration scoring options at various levels include these points;
15 BTech Safety degree
15 BTech Construction Health and Safety Management
15 BCom Operational Risk Management
10 Diploma in Operational Risk Management
10 Nadsam (general safety diploma)
7.5 Diploma in Construction, Engineering, Risk, or Enviro
7.5 BSc (Hons) (Constr Mg, Building, QS, Archit, Civil Eng)
7.5 BEng (Civil)
7.5 BEng (Mechanical, Electrical)
7.5 BArch (Hons)
05 BSc (Constr Mg, Bldg, QS, Archit, Civil, Electrical, Mech Eng) 3 Years
05 Diploma in Architecture Technology
05 Membership of a voluntary health /safety /construction body (any level)
03 SAMTRAC /SHEQMAN /NEBOSH /equivalent course, typically ten days
02 CPMP (4 x 5 Days in Constr Project Management)
01 Any HSE course of up to five days, if SETA-registered
0.5 Any HSE course of up to five days, if not SETA-registered
+05 MSc (Construction Health and Safety Management)
+05 MSc (Operational Risk Management)
+2.5 MTech (Constr Mg, Building, QS, Archit, Civil, Electrical, Mech Eng)
+2.5 MTech (Arch. Tech)
+2.5 MSc (Constr Mg, Building, QS, Archit, Civil, Electrical, Mech Eng)
+02 APPM (4 x5 Days in General Project Management)
+02 Damelin Advanced Project Management
+02 PMI Project Management Professional
+02 Any NQS Level in Relevant Field (REGCOM)
Short course points may add up to a maximum of 7.5 points.
+ Plus marks indicate points that may be added after primary OHS training. Experience could amount to more points than training.
The mining industry has instead resorted to the new vocational training authority, the QCTO, for which it drafted a general health and safety practitioner training standard to apply to all industries (see a post on the forthcoming curriculum standard on Sheqafarica.com).
A health and safety manager said the criteria for CHS Managers was changed from interview to exam, without notice.
Consultant and trainer Rudy Maritz said the number of CHS Managers are far greater than Agents, thus the SACPCMP opted for exams to accommodate groups, due to its limited capacity.
“The motivation is to test skills and knowledge of the nine core knowledge areas of health and safety, and the six stages of construction, which are not entirely covered in most training qualifications.
“Another reason for the exam instead of the ‘professional’ interview, is that the CHS Managers and CHS Officers are not regarded as professionals, there are no ‘Pr CHSM’ or ‘Pr CHSO’ designations.
“For the same reason, I do not see the necessity of registering CHS Manager and CHS Officer practitioners.”
Another safety consultant said; “Registration will lead to unemployment, since it is a costly and a time-consuming exercise.
“Monopoly of the practice will also happen with some groups collaborating to get their qualifications and ‘points’ first in line.
“We needed a union to back our cause but it seems that we are all too indifferent to what is coming.
“We went through something similar in Telkom with 40 000 staff being retrenched without labour resistance. Most of them are now unemployed.
“I left to start my own business, but I will close it down in August 2015, when the registration comes into effect.”
* Sources; SACPCMP. Safcec. Sheqafrica.com comments.
* See 30 points of opposition against construction safety registration, in the post ‘Comments on construction health and safety registration’.