Certification FAQs

Who is eligible to apply?

To apply for OHS Certification, you must first be an AIHS member.

What level of certification should I apply for?

AIHS provides a Certification Eligibility Questionnaire to help determine your eligibility for certification as an Occupational Health and Safety professional. Your certification level is determined by your academic qualifications in OHS plus your years of work experience at a practitioner or professional level.

What is the difference between practitioner and professional?

The Global OHS Capability Framework, developed by the International Network of Safety and Health Professional Organizations (INSHPO) of which the AIHS is a member, makes the comparison in the table below. The Global Framework also notes that with the emphasis on practical implementation the Practitioners are usually educated through vocational or technical streams while education for Professionals requires a conceptual knowledge base with a strategic design emphasis which also includes technical development. Such education is usually provided through the Higher Education or university sector.

 OHS Practitioner OHS Professional 
Implementer/executor of strategy and the framework for managing OHS Designer of OHS management strategy and framework for managing OHS
Communicates predominantly with middle management, supervisor and shop floor, building relationships as a basis for influence, mentoring and providing technical advice Influential with senior managers, building relationships as a basis for influence, mentoring and providing technical and strategic advice
Oversees and drives monitoring and compliance, acting as local change agent when required Involved in organisational review and change management
Supports safe working environment by maintaining administrative processes, conducting training and using state-of-the-art tools, processes and standard practice solutions Considers wider context of business processes and external regulatory, market and societal influences
Advice/action based on technical knowledge, experience and input by OHS professionals and other technical advisors Advice/action based on conceptual and technical knowledge mediated by analysis of evidence, experience and critical thought
Focuses on organisation’s primary processes operating in known contexts within established parameters Able to extend their understanding and control to novel, unknown and complex risks and their control
Accesses, evaluates and uses a broad range of workplace and industry sources of information Understands how to use, critically evaluate and develop the evidence base
Usually works under direct or indirect supervision or mentorship with substantial responsibility for planning own work Values professional collaboration
May work in SMEs with well-known hazards, or under OHS Professional supervision in larger organisations Usually works in large, complex and/or high hazard organisations, or as consultants to medium-sized organisations

What are the fees for OHS Certification?

The fees for Certification Applications are $495 (incl. GST) for Certified Practitioner (COHSPrac), Certified Professional (COHSProf) and Chartered Certified Professional (ChOHSP). OHS Certification Upgrades are $275 (incl. GST), and upgrades are only available for COHSPrac and COHSProf.

Does my qualification meet the requirements for certification?

The entire selection of accredited OHS courses Australia-wide can be found at the Australian OHS Accreditation Board.

What kind of documents do I need to support my application?

  • A current CV/Resume highlighting OHS experience 
  • A copy of your academic transcript for all OHS qualifications attained. 
  • Your Demonstrated Capability Assessment Report or Professional Reflective Practice (depending on the level of certification you are applying for). 

How long does the application process take?

Processing times may vary and is typically influenced by the availability of your referees for interview and the quality of the documentation provided in the initial application. It is essential that you communicate with your referees before you submit your application. It is in your best interests to nominate someone who is not only able to speak to your working capability but also both willing and able to speak on your behalf. Your application is supported by academic transcripts for relevant Australian OHS qualifications only. We appreciate that candidates have a wide range of training in their learning journeys – they are not all required for this application.

Who should I choose as my referees?

Great referees are those who can speak to your capabilities with first-hand experience. They are someone who you have been a direct report to or a team member who has worked alongside you. Ideally, they are someone in Australia who also understands local OHS laws and regulations.

Who will assess my application?

The assessment team is comprised of AIHS members at both the Chartered and Professional levels of certification who have been through the process and have a thorough understanding of what is required for this national level of recognition amongst peers. The application is then forwarded to the Lead Assessor who decides whether the application is Approved, requires Further Information, or is Unsuccessful.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

In the event that an application is unsuccessful, the applicant is notified via email. The applicant may resubmit their application after a 12 month period has passed from the date of the unsuccessful application; at which time, a new application fee is required.

I have a Recognition of prior learning (RPL) qualification – does this meet certification requirements?

RPL is based on experience in the workplace. The academic requirements for certification applications are to have completed set OHS units of study at various levels of the Global Capability Framework; hence RPL qualifications are typically not sufficient to meet the academic requirement of certification applications.

I have a Graduate Certificate in OHS – what level does this qualify me for?

The Australian OHS Accreditation Board advises that as a stand-alone qualification, a Graduate Certificate is only 6 months equivalent full time. For this reason, a Graduate Certificate is not accredited as a separate qualification and does not meet the requirements for OHS professional certification. However, when people commence study by enrolling in a Graduate Certificate and then go on to complete a Graduate Diploma the final qualification is recognised for certification.

I have over 10 years of industry experience and do not have time to complete academic qualifications. Why doesn’t my work experience qualify me for certification?

Certification of people providing professional services is well recognised with accountants, human resources professionals, dieticians and engineers being just a few examples. Certification sets standards of education, experience, and demonstrated knowledge and skills and evaluates people against those standards. It gives increased confidence and guidance to employers, clients, workers and the community as to the competence and standing of the person providing professional advice, and provides a focus for career learning.

Do I need a VETASSESS review of my international qualification to apply for certification or to work in Australia?

VETASSESS is currently the Australian qualification assessing authority for OHS professional qualifications. VETASSESS only evaluates whether your qualification is equivalent to an Australian Bachelor, Graduate Diploma or Masters qualification. VETASSESS does not assess non university level qualifications for OHS nor does it evaluate the OHS content or quality of that content. A VETASSESS is required for migration purposes and there are a number of providers of the assessment. Assessment of qualifications for certification examines the duration of the program, the content and the level of complexity of the learning outcomes as well as the assessment processes. It also considers the reputation of the provider. This requires the applicant to provide results statements and, if possible, unit descriptions. The qualification assessment for certification does not require a VETASSESS although you may be asked to seek a VETASSESS if, based on the evidence available, there is some doubt as to the level of the qualification.

How long does my certification last for?

Certification is valid for an initial period of 3 years. During this time, you are required to partake in CPD (Continuous Professional Development) courses and activities and provide evidence of this in your online membership portal. Meeting this CPD requirement will be critical for maintaining your certified status for the next 3-year cycle.

How much does it cost to renew OHS Certification?

The renewal cost for Certified Practitioner and Professional is $335 (+ GST), and the renewal cost for Certified Professional is $415 (+ GST. The renewal cost is combined with your AIHS membership fee.

What are the requirements for Newly Certified Professionals?

Newly certified professionals have a commitment to Continued Professional Development (“CPD”) of 20 points per year, assessed every three years (60 CPD points across 3 years).