GHSL Update October 2019

A lot has been happening since our April update when we reported that the Public Services Commissioner had approved our extension through to November 2023.  In August we reached a milestone of two years since the GHSL was established. Read our Year Two Report here.

Four Year Plan

In July we released our strategy for the next four years. The Four Year Plan 2019 – 2023 was produced in consultation with key stakeholders and based on information gained as part of the review of the GHSL by Deloitte earlier in the year. 

The Plan lays out our vision and priorities for the next four years, how we will achieve them and how we will measure success. It includes a new focus on sector critical risks and reducing reported rates of harm. Building sector H&S capability, performance and maturity is also at the heart of the plan. You can view the plan on our website.

Team appointments

Now that we are settled into life at MPI, we are pleased to announce the following appointments to the GHSL team. Tina Paterson has been appointed as Director, and Tom Boderick has been appointed Principal Adviser. Debbie Bridge started in the new role of Senior Adviser Workforce Development on Monday 30 September, and we are actively recruiting for the role of Senior Adviser. Kate Nicholls continues to support the team as Senior Advisor Communications and Engagement until the end of the year. With nearly a full contingent we look forward to you meeting the team and getting stuck into the bigger pieces of our work programme.

Positive & Safe Workplaces

You may be aware that the Public Services Commissioner has asked Ray Smith and Rebecca Kitteridge to co-lead an initiative to build positive workplace behaviours across the public service. 

A priority of the GHSL’s four year plan is wellbeing, including mental health and preventing psychosocial harm. This programme of work aligns well with that focus, as does the GHSL’s work across the state sector.

The new Model Standards on Positive and Safe Workplaces(external link) were issued on 20 August by the Public Services Commissioner. These outline the minimum expectations for staff and organisations in the state services to ensure positive and safe workplaces, and asks everyone to be courageous and call out bad behaviour if they see it. The GHSL is working with PSC and an advisory group to develop a Positive Workplace Cultures sector-wide work programme, which will be officially launched on 15 October at a meeting of public sector chief executives. Further initiatives are planned for the next 12 months including a sector event for leaders, human resources and health and safety leaders, and change agents in December 2019.  We will keep you updated with any important information as the programme progresses on our website.

2019/20 Summer Intern Programme


Interviews for the 2019/20 Government Health and Safety Intern Programme

In early September we held interviews for the third Government Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme. 

Health, safety and wellbeing agency representatives from 20 state sector agencies meet with 48 candidates over the course of the day. Interviews took place both in person and over Skype.

The standard of candidates was once again high and agencies are in the process of finalising offers to their interns. There are some fantastic candidates still available should any agency like to take on an intern. The intern programme runs from 25 November – 28 February 2020. Contact for more information.

Good Practice Procurement Guide for Improving Health and Safety 

The GHSL has been working with a range of agencies and stakeholders to develop a guide to integrate health and safety into procurement. We are now close to launching the guide and are working with MBIE to finalise plans for release and implementation. The guide will provide support to agencies when the new Government Procurement Rules 4th edition come into force on 1 October 2019. Agencies will need to consider this guidance when undertaking procurement activities. 

Health and Safety Representatives’ Conference – 1 April 2020


Health and Safety Representatives' Conference 2019

A tentative date for the third annual Health and Safety Representatives’ Conference has been set; 1 April 2020. Each year this conference gets bigger, and we will soon be planning sessions and speakers. Many agencies hold internal health and safety representative awards prior to the conference, and this is a great way to prepare for the conference. If your agency would like to organise internal awards but is not sure where to start, get in touch as we may be able to provide some advice and support. We will be sending out more information around reserving a place at the conference for your agency and nominations for the Health and Safety Representative of the Year awards shortly. 

Looking Ahead – Key Dates

15 October: Chief Executive Breakfast Forum – Launch of Positive Workplace Cultures Programme

14 November: Small-Medium Agency Forum - Data and Assurance

28 November: 2019/20 Government Health and Safety Summer Intern Programme starts

5 December: High-risk Forum 

6 December: Sector event for Positive Workplace Cultures 

16 December: Practitioners event – Innovation in health and safety 

1 April 2020: Third annual Government Health & Safety Representatives’ Conference, TSB Arena

Other events will be added to our website as they are confirmed.

Contact the GHSL: 0800 HS LEAD