Accreditation is a process of review that healthcare organizations participate in to demonstrate the ability to meet predetermined criteria and standards of accreditation established by a professional accrediting agency.
Occupational health (OH) practice requires the same skills as such practice elsewhere, including thoughtful knowledge of safety, industrial hygiene, and toxicology; and sound preventive and clinical medicine, including surveillance, assessment of history and physical findings, diagnosis, treatment, and disposition.
Below is a review of the main OH accreditation schemes.
SEQOHS stands for Safe, Effective, Quality Occupational Health Service and is a set of standards and a voluntary accreditation scheme for occupational health services in the UK and beyond. SEQOHS accreditation is the formal recognition that an occupational health service provider has demonstrated that it has the competence to deliver against the measures in the SEQOHS standards.
The scheme is managed by the Royal College of Physicians of London on behalf of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine. SEQOHS is available in Ireland and is endorsed by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
The Accreditation will be awarded for five years. All services will be required to provide supporting evidence annually to demonstrate that they are maintaining their systems in order to remain accredited
In 2014, one
hundred and fifty services have now been accredited by the Safe Effective
Quality Occupational Health Service (SEQOHS) accreditation scheme. Alere
Healthcare Connections was the 150th
service to achieve SEQOHS accreditation.
In 2015, the Royal College of Physicians introduced the (SEQOHS) accreditation to physiotherapy occupational health services.
There are 2 stages of the accreditation pathway, each stage costs between 250 to 3000 pounds, according to the size of the service.
2- Constructing Better Health
Another provider of oh accreditation in the uk is CBH, Constructing Better Health, the scheme is exclusive to construction industry.
CBH is a national scheme which has been developed in consultation with key stakeholders across the Construction Industry; it is an not-for-profit organization bringing together those who work in construction and those providing OH services by the setting of Industry wide standards.
The Scheme is for all construction companies. Whether they are self-employed, a small or medium-sized business or a major, the health of their entire workforce is of paramount importance. To improve the health of the construction industry workforce, CBH works with OH service providers (OHSPs) to deliver a consistent and coordinated approach to the management of OH services.
The cost of accreditation can range from 300 to 4000 British Pound per year.
3- The Joint Commission
Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission is the leader in accreditation, with more than 60 years of experience across the full spectrum of health care organizations. The Joint Commission is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization.
Beginning in 1975, The Joint Commission established the Ambulatory Health Care Accreditation Program to encourage safe, high quality patient care in all types of freestanding ambulatory care facilities.
Occupational/Worksite Health Centers are one of the series that can be accredited under the ambulatory umbrellas, however, this services is only provided to clinics in the United States.
4- OH Accreditation in Norway
In 2010, an accreditation system for occupational health services (OHS) in Norway was implemented.
Accreditation is conducted by the Labour Inspection Authority with no charge for the OHS.
To become accredited, OHS must have a quality assurance system and at least three full time equivalents (FTEs) OHS professionals with expertise in occupational medicine, occupational hygiene, ergonomics, the psychosocial work environment and systematic health, safety and environmental work.
Accreditation lasts 5 years and the OHS will be visited by the accreditation unit at least once during this 5-year period.
The accreditation is offered free of charge by the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.
When dealing with an occupational health provider it is important to know that they are up to the job, being accredited by a recognized authority is a good indicator of the quality of services provided.