Chapter 37.2: A problem-solving model practice

Chapter 37.2: A problem solving model practice


In 2011 Australia-wide consultation with OHS professionals as part of the development of the OHS Body of Knowledge led to the development of a consensus model of OHS practice. The model had three elements: (i) a cyclic representation of the overall process (the process model) with two meta-skills applicable to all aspects of the model; (ii) actions/thinking processes that provide some detail for each of the cyclic steps; and (iii) professional practice skills required to action each step. A list of ‘areas of practice’ were also mapped to the cyclic steps as examples of where the professional practice skills are applied. In the light of a number of professional developments and a maturing of the profession since the development of the model, and with the benefit of experience, the authors revisited the model to identify any modifications and consider its ongoing relevance. The review clarified the model as applying to the problem-solving aspects of OHS practice and confirmed it as a useful model for OHS practice in both its extended and the more recently developed abbreviated forms.

Keywords: model of practice, professional, OHS, occupational health and safety

First year of publication: 2012

Current Version: 2019

Chapter 37.2: Problem solving model of practice

Table of contents

1 Introduction
1.1 What is a model of practice?
1.2 Why a model of practice is important to the OHS profession
2 Methodology for developing the problem solving model of OHS practice
2.1 Engagement sessions
2.2 Focus groups
3 The problem solving model of OHS practice
3.1 Cyclic components
3.2 Metaskills and professional practice skills
3.3 Areas of practice
4 Application of the problem solving model of OHS practice
5 Further development of the model
6 Summary


Appendix 1 Components of OHS practice as identified in engagement sessions
Appendix 2 Preliminary models

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Pam Pryor BSc, BEd, GDipOHM, FSIA

Secretary, SIA OHS Education Chapter Sessional Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow and PhD student, University of Ballarat

Pam has qualifications in education and OHS, and has been a practising OHS professional for more than 25 years. She has worked in various internal and external consultant OHS roles, and was the chair of the Technical Panel for the OHS Body of Knowledge project. Pam is undertaking a PhD to examine factors affecting the influence of OHS professionals on senior management.

Susanne Tepe PhD, MBA, MOS, FSIA

Associate Professor of OHS, RMIT University

Susanne is an OHS educator and researcher who combines a scientific approach with an understanding of management practice and systems thinking. Before becoming an academic, she worked as an OHS professional, specialising in toxicology and change management. Susanne was a member of the OHS Body of Knowledge Technical Panel.

Peer reviewers

David Caple BSc(Hons), DipEd, MSc Adjunct Professor,
La Trobe University; Director, David Caple and Associates Pty Ltd

Dr John Barton BSc, PhD, FFIT
Adjunct Reader, Centre for Integrative Systems, University of Queensland

Learning Outcomes: A Problem-Solving Model Practice

The OHS Body of Knowledge takes a conceptual approach which enables it to be applied in different contexts and frameworks. To optimise its value for education and professional development learning outcomes have been developed for each technical chapter in the Body of Knowledge.

The learning outcomes as described give an indication of what should be the capabilities of a new graduate OHS professional in the workplace. I t is up to those developing OHS education programs, OHS professionals planning their CPD or recruiters or employers selecting or developing people for the OHS function to consider the required breadth vs. depth


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AIHS Webinar: Reflective Practice
Tim challenges OHS professionals and practitioners to develop reflective practice strategies to enhance learning from experience. He discusses the role of reflective practice, models of reflective practice and the difference between reflection, analysis and description.
Date: 2018
Presenter:Tim Allred