Draft standards for OH service providers have been published by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine – the first step towards a national accreditation system that it is hoped will be in place by the end of this year.
A second draft of the standards was published for consultation in November, the first having been put forward in June. The final version is set to be unveiled later this month.
The creation of the standards over the course of last year by the faculty has been part of the work going on in many quarters by the government and the profession on the back of the 2008 review of workplace health published by the director for health and work Dame Carol Black.
The standards, which cover areas such as business probity, governance, employment, facilities and relationships with purchasers, have been piloted with 17 occupational health providers.
The next stage will be the creation of an accreditation system, said Dr Paul Nicholson, project lead at the faculty and chairman of the British Medical Association’s Occupational Medicine Committee. The intention is to have a system in place by the end of this year.
“We have already started to have meetings with accreditation bodies. Organisations that have established systems and record-keeping will probably meet the system, but the key is that we have got to show it will be credible but also robust and affordable,” he told Occupational Health.