The Singapore Accord


on the Standards of OHS Professionals


Having met in Singapore on 3 September 2017, at the start of the XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, representatives of business and workers, education institutions, policy-makers in governments and public authorities, OHS professional organisations, and experts in occupational health and safety (OHS) joined the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (INSHPO) and its members to sign the Singapore Accord, a commitment to improving OHS professional and practitioner capabilities so they may more effectively guide and lead the creation of healthier and safer workplaces.



  1. That according to the ILO, more than 2.3 million people die per year as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases. In addition, 317 million accidents occur on the job annually, resulting in significant human suffering and an economic burden estimated at 4% of the Gross Domestic Product.

  1. That among the ILO goals is “to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents, injuries and diseases and to place the health and safety of all workers on the international agenda and to stimulate practical action at all levels.”

  1. That a cornerstone to improving occupational health and safety performance and stimulating practical and effective preventative actions is a network of competent and capable professionals and practitioners.

  1. That occupational health and safety professional and practitioner knowledge and skills must be evidence-informed and based on strong scientific and technical concepts.

  1. That there is strong evidence from other professions that demonstrates the value of utilizing a common global frame­work for practice to establish defined and consistent standards or attributes required to undertake professional roles competently. For a common global framework for practice to be effective it must be well recognized and accepted by the profession, governments and business.

  1. That INSHPO has developed The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Professional Capability Framework - A Global Framework for Practice (Framework), a consensus-based tool developed to promote a high standard of capability for OHS professionals. The Framework defines the role, functions and competencies of OHS practitioners and professionals. It is based on an analysis of the practices of various professional associations, certification bodies and credentialing organisations and was subject to critical review, both through INSHPO’s own channels and at international conferences and presentations. The Framework provides generic guidance which may need to be adapted and developed in more detail by each organization to account for variations in regulations, histories and cultures as they pertain to OHS practice.


Signatories to this agreement are in accord that:

  1. We are committed to improving OHS professional and practitioner capabilities so they may more effectively guide and lead the creation of healthier and safer workplaces.

  1. We are committed to promoting the use and acceptance of the Framework as a common platform to develop capable, knowledgeable, and skilled OHS professionals and practitioners across industry sectors and geographic borders.  

  1. We are committed to striving to use the Framework to inform our work in relation to improving the competence and capability of the profession and thereby occupational health and safety standards across the world:

    1. As OHS professionals and practitioners – as a reference and basis for gap analysis in relation to our professional practice and career development, to aid the development of continuing professional development plans to ensure that we are capable and competent;

    1. As OHS member associations – in the development of professional educational programs and as a benchmark to ensure that our members possess relevant and up-to-date skills which allow them to undertake their role competently and effectively;

    1. As OHS certification bodies and credentialing organisations – as a resource in the development of our certification standards and designations, and other assessment processes;

    1. As employers and human resource professionals – in developing position descriptions for OHS roles, in recruiting OHS personnel and in performance evaluation as a basis for professional development;

    1. As OHS educators – in developing and reviewing OHS education programs;

    1. As policy-makers in governments and public authorities – in the development of legislation or regulations that governs competent or reliable OHS advice or the role and development of OHS practitioners and professionals at workplaces.

  1. We are committed to continued cooperation and collaboration in developing global standards of practice for the purpose of improving the skills and capability of OHS professionals and practitioners and adapting the Framework to meet the needs of key stakeholders around the world.


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