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BACKGROUNDER

New Changes to Joint Health and Safety Committee Certification

  • Issued: March 3, 2016
  • Content last reviewed: March 2016
  • See also: Bulletin

New training standards went into effect on March 1, 2016 for certifying Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members in Ontario.

The changes will improve the training’s quality and consistency and ensure JHSC members have current health and safety knowledge. The goal is to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace.

The new standards replace older training standards that have been used by providers for JHSC certification training since 1996 (updated 2007).

The new standards contain specific criteria that must be met to obtain approval by Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) for:

  • JHSC certification training programs and
  • training providers who want to deliver those programs.

The standards were developed with input from employers, labour, and other occupational health and safety partners. They were changed to:

  • account for updates to the Occupational Health and Safety Act over the years
  • reflect current principles of occupational health and safety and adult learning
  • provide consistent training for all JHSC Committee members

These standards were established by the CPO on October 1, 2015 to ensure certified members receive the knowledge necessary to effectively carry out their JHSC roles and responsibilities and their specific functions as certified members.

All training providers who want to deliver JHSC certification training under the new standards must apply to the Ministry of Labour (MOL) for both program and provider approval. The ministry began accepting applications from training providers on October 1, 2015.

As of February 29, 2016, only training providers approved under the new standards can deliver JHSC training.

Training and Other Requirements

The CPO also established new training and other requirements JHSC members must meet to become certified. As of March 1, 2016, new certification requirements include:

  • all learners to take Part 1 and Part 2 from a CPO-approved JHSC certification training provider with a CPO-approved program;
  • Part 1 and 2 to be taken within six months of each other or receive an extension from the MOL due to extenuating circumstances;
  • all Part 2 programs to include training on a minimum of six hazards relevant to the worker’s workplace; and
  • all certified JHSC members to take Refresher Training every three years to maintain their certification.

Certified JHSC members who successfully completed Part 1 and Part 2 training under the old standards, before March 1, 2016, will continue to be certified. They will not be required to complete any further training under the new standards.

Transition

A two-month transition period from March 1 to April 30, 2016 will be provided to allow for certification under the old standards. Training providers and employers must submit to the ministry their:

  • Part 1 Learner tests
  • Part 2 Workplace-Hazard-Specific Training Confirmation form

The ministry will not accept submissions for certification under the old standards that are submitted after April 30, 2016.

As of March 1, 2016, JHSC members who only completed Part 1 training under the old standards must complete Part 2 training under the new standards to be certified. They must also take refresher training every three years to maintain their certification.

Key changes to certification training

Some of the key changes in the new certification training include:

  • Refresher training: Certified members trained under the new standards are required to take refresher training every three years to maintain their certification. They may obtain a one-time exemption from this requirement.
  • Learning continuity: JHSC members have six months to complete Part 1 and Part 2 of the new training and can apply for a one-time extension to complete Part Two.
  • Instruction duration: Minimum durations for face-to-face training need to be met, including three days (19.5 hours) for Part 1 training, two days (13 hours) for Part 2 training and one day (6.5 hours) for Refresher Training.
  • Participant-centred learning: A minimum class size of six and maximum of 25 participants is required for face-to-face training. However, training providers may be able to notify the Ministry of Labour when the minimum number is not feasible. Also required is an increased focus on participant interaction and on ongoing learner evaluation during training.
  • Formalizing Part 2 training: Training providers and programs must be approved for all parts of the certification training. As well, training must be provided on a minimum of six hazards relevant to the workplace.
  • eLearning: Up to 6.5 hours of eLearning is allowed for specific learning outcomes in Part 1 training only. eLearning must adhere to criteria in eLearning guidelines.

For more information, view the new standards and rules for certification.

Craig MacBride, Minister’s Office, 416-326-7709
Janet Deline, Communications Branch, 416-326-7405

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