The OHSCR scheme is just reaching its second anniversary, which means another set of renewal fees for us to pay. The scheme was supposed to provide a platform where businesses could find competent health & safety consultants but we still have not seen evidence that this is being achieved.
Only recently I met with a business looking for a new consultant, as their experience of the previous one was not good because the consultant had lacked the suitable skill set needed. They were interviewing various consultants yet had not looked at the OHSCR register to find anyone. The feedback on why not was that the register is just too cumbersome and it was easier to search Google. We would love to know your experiences of where your business looks to find the right advice?
For some time concerns have been expressed about the consistency and quality of health & safety advice provided by a number of consultants; so this appears to be a lost opportunity. The HSE tells us they have spent time promoting the scheme; so why is it that the scheme has failed to take off as it was intended?
Perhaps the answer lies in that many businesses don’t really understand what level of competence they need to obtain; or what makes for a competent consultant. The scheme certainly has not driven out those who trade without the necessary skill set as pretty much anyone can call themselves a consultant.
As highly competent consultants we believe we price our services competitively but there are consultants that will sell their services at rates that appear too good to be true. Usually this is because they lack the necessary experience and qualifications, but if a business does not know this then the price will look attractive. Unfortunately, the time that they find out tends to be too late and the HSE have become involved. Even if the consultant has provided poor advice it still leads to the business being held accountable.
If your business is in need of health & safety advice we would urge you to ask some searching questions and make sure you get references of the work they have done.