Safety workers typically earn their Diploma in WHS after they have been working in the health and safety field for a reasonable amount of time. They have already earned their Cert IV in WHS and have gained a reasonable amount of on-the-job training. They are usually working in a managerial capacity or are safety practitioners.
The point in obtaining their diploma is to enhance their knowledge and obtain new skills that will make them more proficient at their current jobs and more qualified for higher level jobs they may apply for in the future. Once the diploma is achieved, they are typically qualified to supervise lower level employees, assess health and safety risks or hazards, write complex reports related to health and safety, and respond to incidents that may be highly dangerous.
The Bigger Picture
One thing that sets a Diploma in WHS graduate apart from a health and safety worker who only holds a Cert IV or someone who has no degree in WHS is the fact that they focus on the bigger picture. Rather than handling the day-to-day activities within a facility, someone with a diploma in work health and safety will typically oversee the larger health and safety system implemented by a company.
This means they have to fully understand every aspect of a work health and safety system in order to develop and maintain a system that keeps everyone safe from all potential dangers on the job. This involves a lot of skill and advanced knowledge that comes from hands-on experience and book knowledge.
This job also requires constant problem solving and the ability to make changes as needed. The overall health and safety system must remain up to government standards while meeting all of the company’s needs. In order to maintain the system, the diploma graduate will use all of the knowledge they gained through the diploma units of competency.
Someone who holds a Diploma in WHS will typically accept far more responsibility on the job than someone with a Cert IV or with no advanced education in WHS. They are trained to manage and guide others who do not have the advanced knowledge that they have obtained. They are also responsible for bigger system duties that someone at a lower level will not fully understand. This makes the diploma graduate a more important, higher paid employee, but it also puts more stress and pressure on their shoulders.
Many diploma graduates work as health and safety practitioners, but there are other managerial roles that may require a diploma for qualification. Most companies will require the diploma when they hire employees responsible for important health and safety systems that must be properly maintained in order to protect employees.