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University of Fredericton launches first-ever program

Online program teaches psychological health and safety in the workplace


(Canadian OH&S News) — The University of Fredericton (UFred) in New Brunswick has launched Canada’s first online certificate program focused on the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.

The fully online university released the Certificate in Psychological Health & Safety in the Workplace, developed with the support of the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace, on Nov. 18. The program consists of five courses in a convenient, flexible delivery method, UFred said in a press release, noting that participants can move through the courses on a self-paced schedule and apply their knowledge in real-time.

The program was created by Dr. Joti Samra, a member of the technical committee that developed the first-of-its-kind standard. It has two different levels: basic and advanced. The basic level begins with the “Introduction to Psychological Health & Safety (PHS) in the Workplace” course, designed to help organizations bring their employees up to speed on their roles in maintaining psychologically healthy and safe work environments, according to background information from the university.

The advanced level contains the introductory course, plus four additional courses oriented towards organizational leaders: guiding principles of the national standard; PHS: planning; PHS: implementation; and PHS: evaluation, corrective action and continual improvement. “Participants of these courses should be advanced-career professionals and workforce leaders who aspire to create holistic occupational health and safety strategies that incorporate [psychologically healthy and safe] programming and concepts within the framework of the national standard,” the information said. “Those working in management, union, OHS and human resources will find the program to be particularly beneficial.”

In addition to these courses, the program also covers the legal trends, health implications and business implications for implementing a PHS strategy in the workplace. Those who successfully complete the introductory course receive a certificate of completion. A management-level certificate is also currently in development, catering specifically to senior management and leaders.

“The certificate as a whole is designed to help today’s workforce leaders align their organizations with the standard, helping participants to effectively plan, implement and evaluate PH&S strategies and programs,” Dr. Samra said in the press release. “By the end of the program, workforce leaders will be empowered to effectively address PH&S in the workplace.”

Championed by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) and developed by CSA Group and the Bureau de normalisation du Québec last year, the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources focused on promoting employees’ psychological health and preventing psychological harm due to workplace factors.

Information about the new program is available online at http://www.ufred.ca/Online-Certificate-in-Psychological-Health-and-Safety/.