Unit of competency details

PSPSOHS501A - Participate in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS (Release 3)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
3 (this release)Current 01/Nov/2012
(View details for release 2) Replaced07/Mar/2012
(View details for release 1) Replaced05/May/2009

Usage recommendation:
The Deleted usage recommendation was implemented on 13 June 2017 to describe training components that have no replacement. Enrolments in training components and statements of attainment or qualifications issued before 13 June 2017 are valid. For any components marked as deleted after 13 June 2017, the applicable transition/teach-out periods apply. For specific questions regarding the enrolment, delivery or issuance of a statement of attainment/qualification, please contact your training regulator.
DeletedDeleted from PSP12 Public Sector Training Package06/Mar/2016

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 061301 Occupational Health And Safety  24/May/2005 
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Modification History


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Primary release.

Unit Descriptor

This unit covers the actions necessary to participate in the coordination and maintenance of the OHS program, taking account of the responsibilities for managing OHS.

It includes strategies, policies and procedures necessary to systematically manage OHS and its evaluation to ensure that the workplace is, as far as practicable, safe and without risks to the health of employees and others.

In practice, participation in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS may overlap with other generalist or specialist public sector work activities such as promoting ethical practice, using complex communication strategies, undertaking research and analysis, coordinating resource usage, promoting compliance with legislation.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to individuals with managerial responsibility for coordinating and maintaining an OHS program. It involves identifying the need for change, planning and implementing strategies, integrating OHS within other functional areas, and some evaluation of the OHS management function.

The unit may be undertaken in the context of an OHS management system (OHSMS) or other systematic approaches to managing OHS.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements are the essential outcomes of the unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the required performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised  text is used, further information is detailed in the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1 Contribute to the strategic planning process 

1.1 Steps are taken to ensure that managers at all levels are aware of their OHS responsibilities and the role of OHS in the overall management approach.

1.2 OHS needs and priorities are determined in consultation with relevant managers and other workplace stakeholders  and key personnel .

1.3 Recommendations are made for inclusion of OHS performance (including positive performance indicators ) in the organisation's business plan.

2 Participate in the development of an OHS plan 

2.1 Potential motivators  amongst stakeholders together with potential barriers to the implementation of a systematic approach to managing OHS  are identified.

2.2 An OHS plan  is developed, in consultation with workplace stakeholders, based on agreed priorities and with measurable outcomes.

2.3 Resources  required for implementation of the OHS plan are identified.

2.4 Action plans with relevant responsibilities and time lines are developed.

2.5 Action plans are communicated to key personnel.

3 Support the implementation of the systematic approach to managing OHS 

3.1 Knowledge of OHS management and OHS disciplines is applied, in consultation with stakeholders, OHS specialists  and technical advisors , to the development of policies and procedures .

3.2 Support is provided to managers to meet OHS responsibilities and for the implementation of action plans.

3.3 Strategies are developed to effectively integrate OHS within other functional areas and management systems  that impact on the management of OHS.

3.4 OHS training needs are identified and recommendations for delivery formulated.

4 Provide advice to key personnel and stakeholders 

4.1 Objective advice is provided in an ethical  and non-discriminating manner.

4.2 Situations are identified where OHS specialists may be required.

5 Participate in monitoring OHS 

5.1 Implications for the management of OHS and proposed changes to the workplace  are identified in consultation with stakeholders.

5.2 Implications for the management of OHS, external changes  and changes to available information and data are identified in consultation with stakeholders.

5.3 Sources of workplace information and data  are accessed as part of regular monitoring of OHS.

5.4 Achievement against action plans is monitored and plans updated as appropriate.

5.5 Action is taken to update systematic approaches to managing OHS, taking into account proposed changes.

6 Participate in reviewing the management of OHS 

6.1 The effectiveness of systematic approaches to managing OHS is reviewed regularly.

6.2 Frequency, method and scope of review is determined in consultation with stakeholders.

6.3 Stakeholders have input to the review.

6.4 Targets for improvement in the management of OHS are identified and recommendations made for improvement.

6.5 Improvement strategies arising from the review are communicated to appropriate levels of authority through planning, documentation and implementation.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

Required skills :

Look for evidence that confirms skills in:

  • relating to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities
  • communicating effectively with personnel at all levels of organisation and OHS specialists and, as required, emergency service personnel
  • preparing more detailed reports for a range of target groups including OHS committee, OHS representatives, managers and supervisors
  • applying continuous improvement and action planning processes
  • contributing to the strategic OHS performance of the organisation
  • employing project management skills to achieve change
  • managing own tasks within time frame
  • using consultation and negotiation skills, particularly in relation to developing plans and implementing and monitoring designated actions
  • contributing to the assessment of the resources needed to systematically manage OHS and, where appropriate, access resources
  • analysing relevant workplace information and data, and make observations including of workplace tasks and interactions between people, their activities, equipment, environment and systems
  • carrying out simple arithmetical calculations (eg % change), and produce graphs of workplace information and data to identify trends and recognise limitations
  • interpreting information and data to identify areas for improvement
  • conducting effective formal and informal meetings
  • using basic computer and information technology skills to access internal and external information and data on OHS

Required knowledge :

Look for evidence that confirms knowledge and understanding of:

  • roles and responsibilities under OHS legislation of employees, including supervisors and contractors
  • legislative requirements for OHS information and data, and consultation
  • roles and responsibilities in relation to communication and consultation for OHS committees, OHS representatives, line management, employees and inspectors
  • requirements for recordkeeping that addresses OHS, privacy and other legislation
  • state/territory/Commonwealth OHS legislation (Acts, regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material) including prescriptive and performance approaches and links to other relevant legislation such as industrial relations, equal employment opportunity, workers compensation, rehabilitation etc
  • structure and forms of legislation including regulations, codes of practice, associated standards and guidance material
  • difference between common law and statutory law
  • concept of common law duty of care
  • facilitation of the use of tools such as positive performance indicators (PPIs) in assessment of OHS performance
  • nature of information and data that provides valid and reliable results on performance of OHS management processes (including positive indicators, such as number of safety audits conducted)
  • requirements for reporting under OHS and other relevant legislation including notification and reporting of incidents
  • hierarchy of control and considerations for choosing between different control measures, such as possible inadequacies of particular control measures
  • principles and practices of systematic approaches to managing OHS
  • other function areas that impact on the management of OHS
  • auditing methods and techniques
  • how the characteristics and composition of the workforce impact on risk and the systematic approach to managing OHS e.g.
  • labour market changes
  • structure and organisation of workforce e.g. part-time, casual and contract workers, shift rosters, geographical location
  • language, literacy and numeracy
  • communication skills
  • cultural background/workplace diversity
  • gender
  • workers with special needs
  • basic knowledge of organisational behaviour and culture as it impacts on OHS and on change
  • ethics related to professional practice
  • professional liability in relation to providing advice
  • knowledge of organisational OHS policies and procedures
  • nature of workplace processes (including work flow, planning and control) and hazards relevant to the particular workplace
  • key personnel, including identifying 'change agents', within workplace management structure
  • formal and informal communication and consultation processes and key personnel related to communication
  • language, literacy and cultural profile of the workgroup
  • organisational culture as it impacts on the workgroup

Evidence Guide

The Evidence Guide specifies the evidence required to demonstrate achievement in the unit of competency as a whole. It must be read in conjunction with the unit descriptor, performance criteria, The range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Public Sector Training Package.

Units to be assessed together 

Co-assessed units that may be assessed with this unit to increase the efficiency and realism of the assessment process include:

  • PSPETHC501B Promote the values and ethos of public service
  • PSPGOV512A Use complex workplace communication strategies
  • PSPLEGN501B Promote compliance with legislation in the public sector
  • PSPSOHS502A Participate in the management of the OHS information and data systems
  • PSPSOHS503A Assist in the design and development of OHS participative arrangements.

Overview of evidence requirements 

In addition to integrated demonstration of the elements and their related performance criteria, look for evidence that confirms:

  • knowledge requirements of this unit
  • skill requirements of this unit
  • application of employability skills as they relate to this unit.

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate and where the person has a disability the principle of reasonable adjustment should be applied during assessment.

Resources required to carry out assessment 

These resources include:

  • legislation, policy, procedures and protocols relating to the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS
  • workplace documentation, case studies and workplace scenarios to capture the range of situations likely to be encountered when participating in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS.

Where and how to assess evidence 

Valid assessment of this unit requires:

  • a workplace environment or one that closely resembles normal work practice and replicates the range of conditions likely to be encountered when participating in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS, including coping with difficulties, irregularities and breakdowns in routine
  • participation in the coordination and maintenance of a systematic approach to managing OHS in a range of three or more contexts or occasions, over time.

Assessment methods should reflect but not exceed workplace demands, such as literacy, and the needs of individuals who might be disadvantaged.

Assessment methods suitable for valid and reliable assessment of this unit must use authenticated evidence from the workplace and/or training courses and may include a combination of two or more of:

  • workplace projects
  • simulation or role plays
  • case studies and scenarios
  • observation
  • portfolios.

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate and where the person has a disability the principle of reasonable adjustment should be applied during assessment.

For consistency of assessment 

Evidence must be gathered over time in a range of contexts to ensure the person can achieve the unit outcome and apply the competency in different situations or environments.

Range Statement

The range statement provides information about the context in which the unit of competency is carried out. The variables cater for differences between States and Territories and the Commonwealth, and between organisations and workplaces. They allow for different work requirements, work practices and knowledge. The range statement also provides a focus for assessment. It relates to the unit as a whole. Text in bold italics  in the Performance criteria is explained here.

Stakeholders  may include:

  • managers
  • supervisors
  • health and safety and other employee representatives
  • employees
  • OHS committees

Key personnel  may include:

  • managers from other areas
  • people involved in OHS decision making or who are likely to be impacted by decisions relating to OHS

Positive performance indicators  are:

  • a means of focusing on assessing how successfully a workplace is performing through measuring OHS processes

Motivators  include:

  • factors that make stakeholders likely to adopt OHS processes

Barriers to implementation of a systematic approach to managing OHS  may include:

  • barriers to communication, such as language/literacy
  • workplace culture issues, such as management commitment, supervisors' approach to compliance and acceptance of the priority of safety
  • diversity of workers
  • structural factors, such as multiple locations, shift work and supervisory arrangements

A systemic approach to managing OHS  involves:

  • comprehensive processes that are combined in a methodical and ordered manner to minimise the risk of injury or ill health in the workplace
  • processes of planning, allocation of resources, communication and consultation, hazard management, record keeping and reporting, training and competency, and review and evaluation for ongoing improvement

OHS plan  is:

  • is a document that is usually developed annually but may be developed for a shorter or longer period and reviewed regularly, and
  • has OHS performance indicators (i.e. objectives and targets that are achievable and practical) reflecting systematic approaches to managing OHS

Resources  may include:

  • financial requirement for implementation
  • personnel, including time allocation
  • equipment
  • specialised resources
  • access to other resources such as:
  • OHS publications
  • OHS internal sites
  • industry-specific information

OHS specialists may be internal or external  and include:

  • ergonomists
  • occupational hygienists
  • occupational health professionals
  • injury management advisors

Technical advisors  may include:

  • engineers (such as design, acoustic, safety, mechanical and civil)
  • legal practitioners
  • workplace assessors and trainers
  • maintenance and trades persons

Policies and procedures  may include:

  • is a document that is usually developed annually but may be developed for a shorter or longer period and reviewed regularly, and
  • has OHS performance indicators (i.e. objectives and targets that are achievable and practical) reflecting systematic approaches to managing OHS

Other functional areas and management systems  may include:

  • strategic planning
  • purchasing, procurement and contracting
  • logistics
  • human resource, industrial relations and personnel management including payroll
  • engineering and maintenance
  • information, data and records management
  • finance and auditing
  • environmental management
  • quality management

Ethical advice  means that:

  • the OHS practitioner provides objective advice with the prime aim of reduction of workplace injury and ill health

Proposed changes to the workplace  may include:

  • design of workplace
  • design or purchase of new plant or equipment
  • materials purchases
  • changes to work processes, work systems, work organisation, work practices and conditions
  • changes to management practices

External changes  may include:

  • changes to legislation
  • new information and data available on OHS

Sources of workplace information and data  may include:

  • hazard, incident and investigation reports
  • workplace inspections
  • minutes of meetings
  • reports - including those of external consultants
  • audits
  • questionnaire information and data
  • material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and registers

Unit Sector(s)

Not applicable.

Competency field

Specialist Occupational Health & Safety

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