Inspect duty holders, worksites and activities for the purposes of work-related health and safety regulation

Business Sectors (Suites): Health and Safety
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 01 Jan 2019


This standard covers the skills and knowledge required to inspect duty holders, worksites and activities for the purposes of work-related health and safety regulation.

It covers

  1. planning and conducting inspections of workplace health and safety for the purposes of regulation 
  2. identifying potential breaches of work-related health and safety legislation for the purposes of regulation 
  3. deciding actions you and duty holders need to take, which may include formal enforcement of work related health and safety legislation
  4. identifying deficiencies in health and safety policies, management arrangements and resources within organisations, for the purposes risk reduction and control 
  5. providing guidance on risk reduction measures for the purposes of work-related health and safety regulation 
  6. preparing effective inspection reports for the purposes of work-related health and safety regulation 
  7. communicating work related health and safety deficiencies to others for the purposes of regulation 

The activities you are likely to be involved in:

  1. planning and conducting inspections of duty holders’ premises and installations 
  2. determining unsafe systems of work and breaches of legislation 
  3. assessing how senior managers set up and use health and safety management structures and systems and associated resource allocation 
  4. evaluating health and safety policies and procedures within organisations 
  5. identifying what extra precautions are necessary to ensure the health and safety of you, the duty holder, and those affected by the duty holder’s activities 
  6. analysing past regulatory performance by duty holders 
  7. advising on appropriate methods to achieve safe systems of work 
  8. providing clear and unambiguous findings of the results of inspections to duty holders 
  9. securing compliance and a commitment to comply with relevant legislation

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. use appropriate databases and other information sources to identify duty holders and worksites for inspection, in line with the priorities of the regulatory authority
  2. plan logical series of inspections consistent with regulatory authority plans and priorities, availability of resources and research required into processes carried out by duty holders
  3. identify appropriate benchmarks, likely priorities and relevant topic areas for consideration during any contact with a duty holder or visit to worksites
  4. gain access to worksites, explain regulatory activity and identify and secure co-operation of duty holders, employee/safety representatives and others following standard operating procedures
  5. conduct inspections which preserves your own personal safety and gives a good example of health and safety awareness and practice
  6. manage pace of inspections, implement inspection plans and have flexibility to deal appropriately with issues outside the scope of plans
  7. identify practices, procedures, management systems and risk controls in use and react to what is happening systematically, using observation, questioning, listening, process knowledge and the duty holder's risk assessment as appropriate
  8. compare your findings with existing standards and against principles of risk assessment and control to identify any risk gaps
  9. apply further controls when risks are inadequately controlled following standard operating procedures
  10. identify actions you intend and the duty holder needs to take, which may include formal enforcement, and assess the likely impact on the duty holder, their business, employees and others
  11. draft clear, concise inspection reports following standard operating procedures
  12. evaluate how effective inspections were against objectives in the plans following standard operating procedures
  13. identify and arrange any further actions required by the regulatory authority following standard operating procedures
  14. communicate findings to colleagues and update regulatory authority records on the duty holder

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. how to identify and apply the aims, objectives and priorities of the regulatory authority
  2. how to follow the regulatory organisation's policies, instructions or procedures for conducting inspections
  3. how to apply the regulatory organisation's enforcement policy and priorities
  4. how to identify resources available to you, what you need to carry out an effective inspection, and how you will address any shortfall
  5. when and how to make links with other regulators where their activities impinge on yours
  6. how to manage interfaces with other enforcing authorities
  7. how to use databases and other information sources
  8. how to identify types of safety and employee representatives and their roles
  9. how to follow your organisation's health and safety policy and ensure your own health and safety
  10. how to apply the principles of hazard identification, risk assessment and risk control
  11. how to interpret accident and incident data
  12. how to identify accident and ill-health causation, including human factors
  13. how to evaluate information gathered against legal requirements, achieving consistency, transparency, proportionality and targeting in inspection and enforcement decisions
  14. ways of assessing the impact of your decisions on the duty holder, employees, the industry concerned and others, and any broader health and safety implications
  15. how to communicate effectively in a range of situations and at all levels to gather information and provide direction
  16. how to prepare inspection objectives and determine methods to achieve them
  17. how to work with colleagues to support their work and to obtain their support and assistance necessary for you to carry out your work
  18. how to identify the duty holder, those responsible for the management of health and safety, and those responsible for health and safety in the work activities being undertaken, including supply, design and manufacture
  19. how to determine priorities for regulatory activity in a workplace


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Jan 2023





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Health and Safety Managers, Health and Safety Officers, Occupational Health Workers, Occupational Hygienists and Safety Officers (health and safety)

SOC Code



Occupational health and safety; health and safety; regulations; duty holders; worksites; inspection