“Bogus Safety Bodies” and why you rather should join them

The phrase “bogus safety bodies” was coined by SAIOSH two years ago in an attempt to justify their sole right to exist in an article titled “Beware of Bogus Safety Bodies”.

According to SAIOSH, Professional bodies and their professional designations are recognised and registered by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in terms of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Act 67 of 2008. They claim that according to SAQA, a “professional body” is a body of expert practitioners in an occupational field that includes an occupational body and a statutory council.

In terms of the quoted Act, a professional body is defined as ‘‘professional body’’ means any body of expert practitioners in an occupational field, and includes an occupational body. Conveniently, SAIOSH added their own interpretation of the Act, by alluring to SAQA being a statutory council.

And while SAIOSH do not define a “bogus safety body” it is clear that it’s different to what they believe to be a legitimate one.

“A legitimate professional body can assist its members in advancing their careers while protecting the public from misconduct. Saiosh CEO NEELS NORTJE provides some insight into separating the legitimate professional bodies from the bogus ones”

One of their corporate members, or at least advertisers, are called The Association of Mine Safety Professionals of South Africa. The question now is, are they also a “bogus safety body”?

For the lay person, who does not understand the purpose of SAQA in relation to safety bodies, AMSPSA sure looks “bogus”.

From the advert on the Saiosh website, you will be taken to a Wix site (Free site wit no registered domain name), under the name of https://thecompliancegroup.wixsite.com/amspsa

The Compliance Group’s name appears underneath the name of AMPSA’s immediate Past-President, Owen McCree.

In searching for their SAQA “recognition” which is apparently required to be a “legitimate” body, we looked at their “Disclaimer and Privacy” policy, which read:

“By viewing this website, you hereby acknowledge that you have read and accepted the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) disclaimer. The Mines Professional Associations’ Secretariat (MPAS) and Association shall take all reasonable measures to protect the personal information of persons and for the purpose of this disclaimer “personal information” shall be defined as detailed in the Promotion of Access to Information Act, Act 2 of 2000 (“PAIA”) and the Protection of Personal Information Act, Act 4 of 2013 (“POPI”)”

Immediately one sees a different entity.

Searching the SAQA Database using both names, no results were found.

Is your safety professional body legitimate?

This is SAIOSH’s question to you, the reader.

“In addition to being recognised as a professional body by SAQA and having SAQA registered professional designations in terms of the NQF Act 67 of 2008, the body should also:”….

Thus, by Saiosh definition and explanation, the AMSPSA is a BOGUS safety body.

And they also happen to advertise their association with Saiosh.

Clearly hypocrisy is not at play here. It’s money that talks.


In practice, AMSPSA is not “illegitimate” to use Saiosh’s opposite intentions.

There is no reason why one should not join them as the decision to associate with a safety body is based on a common goal or objective.

For instance, if a group of “expert practitioners” decide to form a body and the entry requirement to join is a Master’s Degree in Rocket Science, there is no reason why all Rocket Scientists would be precluded from joining them.

But, in the case of South Africa, and the NQF, it is not about being an expert at all.

SAQA is responsible for the recognition of professional bodies and registration of professional designations for the purposes of the NQF Act, no 67 of 2008.

The moment a body is recognised (not licensed, approved, accredited or registered) by SAQA it is under the control of SAQA in terms of qualifications, transformation, and development of the profession, which allows entry into the profession for persons which may not yet, meet the minimum standards of training, skill and experience to be a practitioner.

As the Safety profession is made up of countless qualifications, each with a different standard of quality, duration of education, level of education etc, there is always room for “BOGUS” bodies to establish a presence in a country.

And if you already have a Statutory Council such as the SACPCMP, there is no real need for a “legitimate” body to duplicate the work in the Construction Safety profession.

WorkSafe fully supports any group of practitioners who prefers to associate based on a single qualification, or one or two qualifications, bogus or not, than being a catch-all trawler.

Take the medical profession for example. The line to be a general practitioner is drawn at a Medical degree. (Mb.ChB). From there, the GP can specialise to get higher designations.

In Occupational Health and Safety, a line is drawn at the highest designation (Chartered having a degree)  and then worked downwards towards a certificate course.

Where a bogus body sets the standards at “Chartered” level, there is no need for the NQF or SAQA as every member is already qualified to practice. The only task left, for a “legitimate” body to do, is to recognise that a degree is a degree. Something the issuing University already did.

Members of Bogus bodies are higher educated and experienced for that very reason.

Event Safety, Fire Safety, Aviation Safety, Maritime Safety etc etc, requires a different skill set than Occupational Health and Safety.

And practice tells us, that Safety is an Engineering discipline.

Occupational Health is a medical discpline.

The administration of both, is where “legitimate safety bodies” find their home.

If you are already qualified with nothing to prove, and want to associate with people at the same level, rather join a Bogus Safety Body.

However, this is purely based on the recognition of SAQA.

There are other points in the article which from a consumer protection and company law were valid.

“Before parting with your hard earned cash to pay a membership fee to a safety body, ask yourself whether it is legitimate, ticks all the above boxes and has adequate resources to legally register you professionally and to provide you with a truly professional safety development service on an ongoing basis.”

In the past 10 years, very little “development service” occurred for those who have their degrees; who sit at a conference and smile as the person presenting the seminar for your 2 CPD points are talking about regulations that has been repealed years ago or babble a bunch of statistics to indicate the severity of a problem you identified 10 years earlier. So why on earth would you join a “legitimate” safety body?

For recognition?

Written by John McCall PhD. Reviewed and edited by Joe Soap TechIOSH.

(no, Joe does not work at Tekkie Town, it’s a recognised designation).

“Well, I recognised the “PhD”. What’s the other one for?”

It’s a Google thing…you won’t understand. But it’s not Bogus.








6 thoughts on ““Bogus Safety Bodies” and why you rather should join them

  1. I really don’t understand what the problem with Saiosh is, as other bodies charge annual fees that are more than double what Saiosh is charging, yet their benefits and quality of service are not even half of what Saiosh offers.

    1. Seriously? You must be new to this. Safety used to be a great profession. Something to be proud of. Now, those who issue the designations are less qualified and experienced than us “old folk”. It’s a like a tooth ache training the dentist.

  2. The mere fact that other Safety bodies exist, tells me there are groups of practitioners in the OHS field that does not view Saiosh with the same enthusiasm. But this is not the issue. If an organisation has to discredit others to claim superiority, it exposes their own weakness more than those they try to discredit. And as “legitimate” the interest is in the protection of the public, it is of no benefit to the public if the information is hidden behind a third-party membership platform.
    One cannot serve two masters. It’s either protecting the profession, or protecting the public. But that debate was covered elsewhere here.

    1. One of those are, or were the Institute of Safety Management. The original Safety body. Saiosh is just a disgruntled off-spring of IoSM with lower standards. That is why they can survive. The lowest hanging fruit gets eaten the most. While the best is unreachably high at the top of the tree. Besides that, the lines are also blurred when it comes to designations. A Chartered member used to be a person with a 4 year degree at RVQ M+4. Now, i.t.o. the NQF, there is no distinction between diplomas and degrees. If you have a Nadsam, you qualify for chartered membership. Just look at the qualifications of the Saiosh directors. All Chartered members. How would this encourage anyone to study for a B.Tech or higher if you’ve already reached the ceiling. And, the public cannot see what the Chartered requirements are. So they have no idea to make a value based decision when selecting between a Grad and CM.

      1. One need to keep in mind that the NQF used to have only 8 levels. Now there are 10 levels, but the additional two was’nt added above level 8. Instead, level 8 became level 10, which allows for 6 levels post- Grade 12 (NQF Level 4). Matric (Grade 12) dropped to a Standard 8 level qualification. Each year of full time study under the REVQ equates to 120 SAQA credits. As such an M (Matric) +4 would thus equate to 480 credits of learning.
        It is important to know that Vocational and Tertiary qualifications are on the same NQF level, but their outcomes are totally different. A person with a Vocational level 7, does not have the same competencies as a Tertiary level 7. Yet, in terms of the Saiosh designations, they are regarded at the same level. There is a false equality, particularly in the private sector when it comes to the “salary value” of the two level 7 persons. Using this misconception results in a tertiary qualified person being downgraded in terms of remuneration. The private sector would always opt for the best at the lowest cost to company. And the NQF made that possible.

      2. Just a note on your comment on the public not being able to see what the requirements are for a Chartered Member.
        Your comment is not correct. According to information in public domain a chartered member must have a Degree at NQF 7 or higher + 5 years (post graduate) Health and Safety Experience. A Nadsam is according to the Unisa website, a Level 6 qualification. A member can therefore not be Chartered purely based on having a NADSAM.
        It is also not possible to combine two level 6 qualifications into a level 7 unless it is done with the approval of SAQA. Thus having both a NADSAM (Safety) and say a NDip Environmental Health would not put you at level 12 as there is none. Both qualifications will have to be evaluated by SAQA to determine if it bears sufficient credits to be awarded a Degree. at level 7. Having both these qualifications will then qualify you as a Health AND Safety professional. And therein lies the brunt. In strictest terms, OHS professionals do not exist but as OHS is a HR function, and merely administrative in nature, it does warrant a body to represent them.

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