Report from the SAIOH President and Council Members

2017 kicked off with a number of activities that have kept the SAIOH Council members busy. The SAIOH Strategy Session 2017 was held at the SAIOH Head Office in Broadacres on 27 January, where the SAIOH five-year strategic plan, mission, vision and values were revisited to ensure that planned and ongoing activities remain aligned with SAIOH key objectives.

The SAIOH key objective for 2016, to ‘Build Capacity’, speaks to the restructuring of the branches which is still in progress and will be carried over to 2017. SAIOH’s mission statement for 2017 is ‘To entrench excellence and competence for occupational hygiene professionals’, and SAIOH is in the process of developing some offerings for its members in terms of training in various facets of occupational hygiene.

A special Annual General Meeting (AGM) has been scheduled for 7 April 2017, notice of which will be circulated to all members. Both the 2015 and 2016 financial statements will be presented at the AGM, as well as the SAIOH branch restructuring initiative.

The SAIOH President, Kenneth Hlungwane, has accepted an invitation from the South African Society of Occupational Medicine (SASOM) to present at the SASOM Annual Congress in June, thus contributing to the ongoing collaboration amongst the sister organisations in occupational health.


SAIOH representation at the Department of Labour’s Occupational Health Forum

The SAIOH President, Kenneth Hlungwane, attended the first meeting of the year of the Department of Labour’s (DoL) Occupational Health Forum, held on 15 February 2017, for representatives from the DoL, SAIOH, SASOM and the South African Society of Occupational Health Nursing Practitioners (SASOHN). The Forum endorsed the proposed academic visit of Prof. Thomas Fuller from Illinois State University in the USA. Prof. Fuller is a certified occupational hygienist and safety professional with extensive experience in various fields. He is also a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) with whom SAIOH has a Memorandum of Understanding, as well as a member of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH). The Wits School of Public Health has kindly offered to host a seminar for Prof. Fuller on Monday 17 July 2017, with the support and sponsorship of refreshments from both SAIOH and SASOM. An invitation to the seminar will be circulated to occupational health practitioners in due course, once the seminar programme has been finalised in collaboration with Prof. Fuller.


Proposal for SAIOH Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through OHSA Journal questionnaires

At the last meeting in 2016 of the Editorial Board of Occupational Health Southern Africa (OHSA), a proposal was made for the inclusion of SAIOH in the Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) questionnaire that is published as an insert in every issue of OHSA.  The questionnaire, which is based on the articles published in the Journal issues, is developed and managed by SASOM and, to date, has been completed by SASOM members.

It is important to note that there are differences in the allocation of CEUs between the various societies, and hence SAIOH is in the process of drafting a proposal for the Journal in terms of the allocation of SAIOH CEUs for the completion of the Journal questionnaire.

The Professional Certification Committee (PCC) of SAIOH had anticipated the benefit for SAIOH members of using articles and related questions or quizzes, and hence has allocated points for this option in the SAIOH system, in the latest version of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points table, as indicated below.


SAIOH Refresher – taking a career break from occupational hygiene

As always, the PCC members continue to develop new procedures to ensure that all potential situations are covered, and aim to answer member queries as comprehensibly as possible. One question that the PCC regularly receives relates to SAIOH membership and CPD points when one retires or takes a career break. The following procedure is detailed in the SAIOH chapter and guide on CPD points:


Career Breaks

SAIOH is mindful that members may find themselves out of work for a period of time, may opt to take time out of the occupational hygiene profession, or may retire from full time practice. If SAIOH members, regardless of their designation/certification level, want to pursue interests in another field, plan to take full or semi-retirement, or are unemployed for a period of time, they must formally notify the SAIOH Administration Office of their intent to ‘suspend’ their membership so that notice is made on their profile. The member can resign his/her registration and remain an unregistered or general SAIOH member, but will need to re-sit the certification assessment later if he/she wants to re-enter the profession. However, if the member wishes to stay registered during this period (not actively practising occupational hygiene on a full-time basis), he/she is required to pay the annual membership fees, thus ensuring that they are not suspended due to outstanding fees.

In terms of CPD points, the following applies: For each designation/certification type, there is a requirement for a certain number of CPD points to be achieved within a five-year period. Hence, if members are not active for a certain period of time, they still have the opportunity, during their active years (within the designated five-year period), to ensure that the ‘missing’ points are obtained. CPD points can also be achieved by ‘stock piling’, bearing in mind that there is a maximum number of points that can be achieved each year. Members may still need some points to ensure that they do not lose their professional registration in the coming years. Members would therefore need to participate in occupational hygiene activities to make up the deficit in the total number of CPD points required. Examples of activities are attending local branch meetings, mentorship support, participating in online quizzes, and writing questions for the assessment database. These activities enable the allocation of a few CPD points towards the total number required in a designated five-year period, for each year of non-practice.

Members are reminded that they are still required to keep their Personal Learning Portfolios (PLPs) up to date.

Members may be absent from occupational hygiene practice for a maximum of two years. If members do not formally advise SAIOH that they have been re-employed in an occupational hygiene role, their professional membership will be revoked and downgraded to general membership. All normal fees will be payable during the non-practice period to retain professional registration status. Non-payment of fees will lead to membership status being revoked.


SAIOH Programme 2017

SAIOH has finalised the dates and times for the Council, Liaison Forum and DoL Liaison meetings for 2017, which are indicated below. Meeting requests will be sent to the SAIOH stakeholders in due course.


Report by:

Kenneth Hlungwane, SAIOH President 2017


    Julie Hills, SAIOH Vice President 2017


Kate Smart, SAIOH Chief Administrative Officer


Claudina Nogueira, SAIOH Council Member

Portfolios: Liaison and Communication & Marketing


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