Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance (Optional Co-op)
Prepare to become a compliance specialist in worker health and safety, as well as environmental protection. Employment opportunities exist in both the public and private sectors.
The new Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance program focuses on workplace compliance, including labour, inspection and auditing, public and worker safety, and environmental protection. The program provides a unique, comprehensive combination of training in all aspects of health and safety as well as environmental compliance - a definite hiring asset.
- Acquire knowledge, expertise and professional skills in inspection and investigation relating to occupational health and safety legislation and environmental law
- Develop the ability to plan and implement training to create a safe work environment
- Learn the legal aspects and procedures of inspection, monitoring, investigation and enforcement across a wide range of industries
- Put your new skills into practice through applied learning
- Graduate job-ready
In Ontario, the Ministry of Labour sets, communicates and enforces workplace standards regarding worker protection. Additionally, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change protects and improves the quality of the environment to keep it healthy and protect human health and safety. Private industry and municipal governments also employ compliance specialists.
Graduates will be prepared to find employment in a wide range of jobs, within provincial and federal enforcement, or the private sector, ensuring that legislative obligations in occupational safety and environmental protection are met.
In second semester, you will undertake an applied project examining a specific industry, including work hazards, accident rates, and training programs for employees to increase personal safety. In this culminating project, you will design a safety program and submit a report with a full training module.
You will also take a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course. This widely-recognized training is a requirement for many jobs in North America.
Students entering the program in September may apply to participate in an optional paid co-op. The deadline to apply is at the end of November, where students must submit an Application Form (including a resume) to the Co-op Office. Students must achieve a 70% (2.5 GPA) average, and pass all courses in Semester 1 in order to be enrolled in the Co-op Option. Students who are accepted will participate in a Career Preparation course, and will do their co-op between semesters 2 and 3. The Co-op Option provides the opportunity to:
- Integrate classroom learning with work-based learning
- Explore the variety of careers available in the field
- Network for future job opportunities
The Co-op Option is not available for students who begin the program in January, as they attend classes over the summer.
Please note: In addition to paying tuition and fees for 2 semesters of study, students participating in the co-op pay a co-op fee (approximately $558.00) for administrative costs associated with the co-op work term.
Canadian Business recently published an article on "Canadaâ€™s Best Jobs" ranking Health and Occupation Inspector as number 11 on the top 100 jobs list. The median salary is listed as $70,720. The article states: "The projections for a growing workforce in this field looks promising through 2022, with 1.47 predicted jobs for every worker."
Since there is no other academic program offering this comprehensive training, graduates are expected to be in high demand. Due diligence, worker protection, media attention, increased WSIB costs and increased public scrutiny have led to job creation in this field. Employment growth is expected to continue due to:
- the development of increasing standards and regulations in various sectors
- the need to create strategies to control risks in the workplace
- emerging private sector opportunities
- higher than average retirements in the field
Many jobs are situated in urban areas. Depending upon the position, you may be required to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions.
The program runs over two semesters, each 15-weeks in length.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this certificate, graduates will be able to:
- Plan and perform workplace inspections and audits for compliance with occupational health and safety and environmental legislation.
- Develop and evaluate health and safety programs for a variety of industries to promote the health and safety of workers.
- Facilitate legal compliance, reduce accidents and train and lead others in creating a safe work environment through the application of health, safety, and environmental policies and practices.
- Conduct investigations of workplace injuries, fatalities, work refusals, occupational illness or complaints related to unsafe work conditions and hazards.
- Develop and propose recommendations to address audit findings and verify compliance.
- Prepare investigative briefs and other documents for the prosecution of infractions of occupational safety and environmental legislation.
- Inspect facilities for possible contraventions of health, safety and environmental legislation and prepare control documents to resolve identified issues.
- Investigate environmental incidents, spills or complaints and determine remediation for health and safety of the surrounding environment and persons.
- Manage and/or defuse potentially difficult situations by applying conflict management skills and strategies.
To be successful in this program and career you should possess:
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Strong problem solving and conflict resolution skills
- Ability to deal with sensitive issues with tact
- Ability to be assertive when required
- A good understanding of industrial processes, human resources, environmental studies or similar fields
- Interest in understanding how law is written and applied
Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance FAQ's
- Do international students qualify for admission to the program?
Yes, as long as the applicant qualifies through prior education or experience they apply to the program. It is very important to note that the foundation of this course is built upon Provincial Statutes (Ontario laws) that would not have direct application in other countries or jurisdictions.
- What are the job prospects for graduates of this program?
The primary focus of this program is to place graduates in enforcement positions with agencies that work with environmental or health and safety-based legislation. These same skills however will make graduates quite attractive to larger private and public sector employers, assisting them in maintaining their own programs to ensure compliance.
This is the first program of its kind in Ontario. Faculty members are industry professionals with a combined experience of over 100 years. Graduates will leave with a unique set of skills to make them very competitive in the current market.
Jobs are typically located in urban centres with starting salaries ranging from $50k-$75k per year.
- Can I apply without post-secondary education?
Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis but the threshold to apply without prior post-secondary education is extremely high. An applicant would have to demonstrate significant, relevant work experience to be considered for admission. For applicants hoping to pursue an environmental career, job prospects will be severely limited without relevant education.
- Is this course being offered part-time?
Full-time enrolment is mandatory at this time. There is no part-time or distance education study option. Much of the work requires the physical application of the training (such as mock investigations, court etc.) and the various courses share common elements that are delivered concurrently.
Students should expect approximately 20-24 hours of in-class time per week, plus significant independent and group work to be done away from the classroom. Class times will be spread evenly throughout the week and late afternoon or early evening classes are to be expected.
Minimum Admission Requirements
Students applying to Health, Safety and Environmental Compliance (Optional Co-op) must meet the following requirements:
- Undergraduate degree or Ontario College diploma in a related field or equivalent
Applicants who do not meet the requirements listed above who possess a combination of education and relevant experience may be considered on an individual basis.