What is COHPA?
COHPA is a trade association formed to promote and advance occupational health by offering free and independent advice on OH and health at work issues and by representing members to Government and other key national bodies.
By actively working with our members COHPA aims to enhance professional development within the industry by advancing Industry Best Practice through the regulation of Business Standards.
How can COHPA help me?
- By ensuring employers understand the diversity of services available and helping them to identify the most appropriate services for their organisation.
- By informing employers about the various types of provider and offering information on COHPA members
- By assisting employers with information gathering pre-tender and offering advice on what should be in a competent tender.
Legal compliance : Increasing employer duty to take reasonable steps to protect employees from foreseeable risks of harm. (Management of Health and Safety at Work' regulations and 'Duty of care')
Economic issues : The impact of health at work on organisational cost, productivity and risk.
Ethical concerns : Moral obligation to ensure employee health, safety and wellbeing.
- By promoting occupational health to a potential market place estimated to be in excess of £3000m, 80% of which is currently un-serviced.
- By representing members to Government.
- By offering each commercial provider a voice that will be heard.
- By providing valuable members services: workshops, campaigns, training, access to papers, industry reports, knowledge sharing forums, libraries, newsletters, job advertising, industry specific insurance and legal services.
Why do commercial OH providers need a trade body?
- To enhance best practice.
- To raise standards to the highest level and ensure consistency throughout the industry.
- To develop the market in order to enhance the business success of existing and future providers.
- To lobby Government and the professions on topical issues and to act as a catalyst for opinion change/development.
- To act as a representative voice to work with (i) Government to improve the Nation's health (ii) employers to improve workplace health (iii) the professions to enhance standards and improve service.
How will COHPA spend funds/my subscription?
COHPA is a NOT FOR PROFIT association. All subscriptions received will be used for the benefit of COHPA members to:
- Promote occupational health
- Progress our campaigns
- Provide members services
COHPA: Why now?
Health and Safety legislation and employment law increasingly recognize the importance of OH within employment and society in general, especially as the escalating ill health and absence situation is both costly and detrimental to UK business. Furthermore, under the 'Management of Health and Safety at Work' regulations and 'Duty of care', there have been an increasing number of landmark cases. These factors are pushing OH higher up the employer agenda, however effective OH services can still be difficult to source and the industry needs advancing in preparation for mass service utilization.
COHPA will provide independent advice to help employers to find effective OH provision. Employers need to understand legal compliance, economic issues and ethical concerns. COHPA will help to clarify what has now become a complicated situation. (Further Info)
Commercial OH Providers require a representative voice to promote occupational health, to lobby government and to catalyze industry development. OH Industry can benefit from COHPA enhancing best practice by raising standards and ensuring consistency throughout the industry.
COHPA'S ROLE COMPARED WITH OTHER PROFESSIONAL BODIES
The FOM, SOM, BMA, SOHN, AOHNP and RCN are all professional bodies representing their members and mainly involved in standard setting and professional development.The BMA and RCN are slightly different because they are also act as Trade Unions.
Although COHPA will complement the work of these organisation's, and as such have forged positive links with them, however, our primary function differs in that COHPA represents employer organisation's rather than individual practitioners and is concerned with the provision of OH within the marketplace.
NHSPlus is an umbrella organisation that enables NHS OH departments to sell OH services commercially. Currently there are some tensions between the privae sector and NHSPlus over pricing and trading concerns. NHS OH providers are able to trade in the private sector with limited business overheads (where costs are met by the NHS) and with special tax circumstances. COHPA will be working with both parties to 'level the playing field'.
In the long term, it is anticipated that both sectors will exist in fair competition, and COHPA will maintain links between commercial providers and NHSPlus.