NEWS | Feb. 24, 2021

Naval Safety Center Begins Enterprise-wide Overhaul of Safety Professionals

By Stephanie Slater, Naval Safety Center Safety Promotions

The Naval Safety Center (NAVSAFECEN) has kicked off a line of effort to refine and align safety professionals’ competencies across the Naval Enterprise.
 
“We are deliberately looking at human talent to ensure that we provide standardized training, development, and quality of service to improve our brand as your safety advocate,” said Rear Adm. F.R. Luchtman, NAVSAFECEN Commander. “Standardized safety professional development directly complements the force’s ability to achieve operational readiness to decisively win in the battlespace.”
 
The effort will enable safety educators to develop competencies and aid safety professionals to more effectively manage safety programs and apply safety competencies.
 
“Enhancing our safety professional field demonstrates that safety professionals are trained and aligned with industry standards,” said Christopher Tarsa, NAVSAFECEN Executive Director. “In turn, Sailors, Marines and civilians will look to these safety professionals for guidance to ensure safety practices are embedded in all activities.”
 
NAVSAFECEN has formed a cross-functional team (CFT) of subject matter experts representing all warfare communities to evaluate several focus areas. Focus areas of evaluation include competencies, personnel qualification standards (PQS), military occupational specialties (MOS) and designators, professional development, recognition by type of safety professional, such as a patch or pin, guides and support tools, and policy updates. The outcome of these focus areas will inform a safety policy update anticipated for late fall 2021.
 
“We are taking a deep look at how we develop safety professionals. This is not only for the civilians in the 0018 safety and occupational health management (SOH) series, it includes full-time military personnel with equivalent duties and tasks and collateral duty safety officers,” said Jonathan Wilson, CFT lead and Director, Shore Safety Directorate. “We are also making sure that all other people that support safety professionals or have safety duties are included in our appraisal so that we understand their roles and ensure their training and development needs are met in accordance with actual requirements.”
 
To facilitate the evaluation of focus areas, the CFT embarked on a fact-finding mission. The team collected details for all types of safety professionals across all warfare communities, safety instructors, and NAVSAFECEN staff members. For additional perspective, the team conducted a cross-reference evaluation of training requirements for other specialty programs such as environmental safety and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response. The team is also studying whether the core competency development training requirements for all safety professionals adequately align with higher-level requirements.
 
Close to completion, the fact-finding phase will significantly inform the way forward.

“The fact-finding portion is an approximate 50 percent solution of the entire project because identifying the current state data is critical to developing the appropriate way ahead,” Wilson said.

When the fact-finding is complete, NAVSAFECEN will reach out to its Echelon 2 and 3 stakeholders to share the data and coordinate feedback discussions. After collecting the feedback, NAVSAFECEN will move on to its next focus area of evaluating PQSs, MOSs, and designators.