SEQOHS Policy: Eligibility for registration and accreditation
The purpose of this policy is to identify the required criteria for Occupational Health (OH) services to be able to become accredited and maintain their accredited status.
What constitutes an Occupational Health (OH) service?
Health and safety legislation in the UK places a statutory duty on employers to keep their employees healthy and safe whilst in work, and in particular to manage risks in the workplace that are likely to give rise to work-related ill health.
In order to support employers with this duty and to identify onset / prevent work-related ill health, suitably qualified and competent personnel are commissioned; the services of which are widely known as occupational health.
Occupational health services can extend to anything that relates to the interaction of health and work; how work can affect health and vice versa, and simply keeping people healthy and well during work, both physically and mentally.
Many disciplines can contribute towards this, including but not limited to doctors and nurses with a qualification in OH, OH physiotherapists and psychologists (EAPs).
They are often supported by other specialists, such as occupational hygienists, who can identify and advise upon the control of chemical, physical and biological agents arising from workplace activity.
Occupational health services can be delivered in various ways, subject to the size of the organisation, the workplace activities and associated hazards identified. This includes, but is not limited, to the following:
Management referrals; sickness absence - long or frequent short term, medical suitability for role, need for adjustments etc.
Pre-placement health screening / fitness for task / assessment of required adjustment.
Health surveillance (HS)
Health assessments / medicals
Pre-placement health assessment / Baseline Heath Surveillance (HS)
Statutory Medicals, lead, ionizing radiation etc.
Night worker health screening
Health promotion wellness activities
Ill health retirement (IHR) Medicals
Treatment / vaccination service
For the context of SEQOHS, an OH service is one that uses suitably qualified and competent personnel to deliver all or some of the above.
Other services that can be provided include physiotherapy, travel health and psychological wellbeing, i.e. counselling services / Employee Assistance programme (EAP); the latter two do not currently fall within the SEQOHS accreditation scheme.
What constitutes a Physiotherapy Occupational Health (OH) service?
An Occupational Health Physiotherapy service is a key function to an effective Occupational Health service, working within the multidisciplinary team. Occupational Health Physiotherapists also work closely with HR, Health and Safety and line managers to proactively prevent and manage musculoskeletal conditions within the workplace.
Occupational Health Physiotherapists provide a wide range of services to both employers and employees. These include;
Physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation of work-relevant injuries which can be provided on site or in an off-site treatment centre
Return to Work Planning and Work Hardening
Education and training about Injury Prevention in the Workplace
Ergonomics Workplace Assessments (including DSE)
Job Task Analysis and advice on modifications
Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation
Functional Capacity Evaluations
Helping employers meet their obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
Advice on compliance with Health and Safety obligations; specialist knowledge of manual handling and physical ergonomics in the office and workplace
Communication and reporting to facilitate return to work
A Physiotherapy OH service could be a large commercial provider of OH Physio, stand-alone services or OH physiotherapy services which are part of a wider OH service. (Currently the latter are not eligible for accreditation in their own right).
To be accredited, services would need to employ an ACPOHE registered professional physiotherapist in a senior clinical role. By definition an ACPOHE registered member has achieved the OH competency and educational requirements outlined within the Occupational Health Competency Framework developed by ACPOHE and CSP.
For further information, visit:
Physios must, by law, be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), the UK's regulatory body for health and care professionals.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) of which the majority of physios belong, may provide professional indemnity subject to membership level.
Eligibility for SEQOHS accreditation:
Any occupational health or occupational health physiotherapy service can register with SEQOHS, provided they meet the required criteria below. At the time of registration, services should:
contract directly to purchasers of occupational health services or occupational health physiotherapy services*
ensure that the service will have been established and operational for a minimum of a year (if new) at the time of completing their self-assessment
commit to attending a SEQOHS Stage B ‘how to prepare for accreditation’ training day before signing off their self-assessment
commit to completing an online self-assessment and to achieving all of the relevant standards
commit to providing supporting evidence for all standards
commit to demonstrating clear processes and understanding through a remote and / or a face-to-face assessment
OH physiotherapy services must also employ an ACPOHE registered professional physiotherapist in the OH department at the time they have signed off their self-assessment
* If the occupational health service or occupational health physiotherapy service do not contract directly with purchasers of services, limited accreditation can be awarded; this will be reflected on the certificate.
The following matrix demonstrates which of the standards are mandatory and which might not be applicable; in order to apply / achieve SEQOHS accreditation, any occupational health or occupational health physiotherapy service must be able to meet the mandatory standards as a minimum. This will be reflected on their certificate of accreditation.
If you have any questions we can help you with, please contact the SEQOHS accreditation team:
Telephone +44 (0)203 075 1513