Consultants register labelled 'A toothless tiger'
23 January 2013
A leading environmental consultant has hit out at the Occupational Safety Consultants Register (OSCR) proposed by Lord Young's review and due to be implemented in early 2011 as â€œa toothless tiger which is at best a poor attempt to solve a problem that already has a solution and at worst damaging to the professionâ€...
In addition, Pat Perry, executive chairman of environmental health consultancy, Perry Scott Nash Associates, says that a growing number of health and safety professionals feel insulted by what they see as an attempt to undermine their professionalism by calling into question the years of professional training that the majority of health and safety consultants have undergone.
â€œIf the OSCR is intended to reassure clients that a particular consultant is professionally qualified, why then is inclusion on the register voluntary? And why is the register only open to consultants who are already members of other professional bodies like the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), among others? Isn't being an existing member of a professional body and being bound by its code of conduct enough?â€
The OSCR register should be viewed as really nothing more than a starting point for clients who are new to engaging consultants believes Pat.
â€œNo client should appoint a consultant on the basis of their name appearing on a register,â€ said Pat, adding: â€œThere is absolutely no substitute for a good brief, a thorough pre engagement interview, checking professional liability insurance and, crucially, taking up references.
â€œIf clients follow these steps then it would be much easier to sort the wheat from the chaff rather than to introduce another registerâ€.