The SEQOHS Standards
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.
Dame Carol Black’s review of the health of Britain's working-age population Working for a healthier tomorrow published in March 2008 advocated clear standards of practice and formal accreditation of all providers who support people of working age. The Government’s response to the review, improving health and work: changing lives, endorsed that recommendation.
In response to this a broad stakeholder group led by the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) developed standards and accreditation for occupational health services. The standards were launched as SEQOHS in January 2010 and the FOM commissioned the Royal College of Physicians to develop and manage the accreditation scheme, which was launched in December 2010.
Since the launch, the SEQOHS accreditation scheme has rapidly become an integral part of the occupational health service landscape, accepted in both the public and private sectors as the recognised industry standard.
2015 SEQOHS standards
In early 2014 the FOM commenced a scheduled review of the standards. The resulting 2015 standards were informed by a wide consultation of services, assessors and other stakeholders.
The key changes are:
- The scope of the standards has been broadened to include physiotherapy occupational health services
- The introduction of a requirement to undertake a systematic audit of clinical practice and provide evidence of action taken.
- The introduction of a requirement that purchasers must be advised of the value of conducting an occupational health needs assessment.
- The NHS standards, previously an extra domain, have been incorporated into the other existing domains, A to F.
In addition to these changes, and in response to concerns raised during the consultation, we have introduced a suite of changes to re-engage single handed providers with the scheme. Further information on these changes can be found on the attached link.
More generally, existing services will be familiar with the structure of the standards. If you are an accredited or registered service and want to know how the introduction of the 2015 standards impacts upon your services, more information can be found on the attached link.