Occupational Health and Safety online short course

Course starts 28 September 2020

Course information

Registration Closes:
22 September 2020
Course Starts:
28 September 2020
10 weeks, excluding orientation
7–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
ZAR R13,900
Payment Options
University of Cape Town (UCT)


The South African Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act stipulates that all local companies with more than 20 employees must have health and safety measures in place. However, many businesses don’t fully understand their legal responsibilities or know where to start when it comes to championing health and safety practices in the workplace. For this reason, occupational health and safety officers are an indispensable part of any organisation. 

The Occupational Health and Safety online short course from the University of Cape Town (UCT) will equip you with the skills to ensure legal compliance and create a safe, productive working environment for employees. Learn how to conduct risk assessments, effectively manage workplace hazards and stressors, compile an investigative report, and oversee OHS training at your organisation.

Is this course for you?

Those looking to advance their career prospects and take a lead on OHS matters at their companies will likely find this course beneficial. It’s suitable for both professionals who’ve been working in the areas of health and safety for some time, and those looking to break into the field.

The content is also ideal for business leaders who want to ensure employee safety and satisfaction, and guarantee compliance with legislation. The online learning approach builds in both structure and flexibility, and students will receive support from tutors throughout the 10-week course.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The skills to improve workplace safety, and boost employee satisfaction and engagement
  • The know-how to ensure business compliance with the requirements stipulated in South Africa’s Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • The tools to implement policies that improve company performance and profit by minimising the risk of workplace injuries
  • Knowledge of OHS that can be applied in a wide range of sectors and contexts

Course curriculum

Learn how to develop and improve occupational health and safety policies in your organisation as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 Introduction to OHS
  • Module 2 Organisation of health and safety management 
  • Module 3 Risk assessment and control
  • Module 4 Managing hazards
  • Module 5 Managing machinery, power sources and other equipment
  • Module 6 Managing hazardous substances 
  • Module 7 Managing health stressors and training 
  • Module 8 Managing construction activities and incidents
  • Module 9 Preventing, preparing for and responding to fires 
  • Module 10 Managing health and safety performance

GetSmarter is accredited by the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (Saiosh), a South African Qualifications Authority registered professional body for occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals. Saiosh administers professional accreditation and industry insights for OHS professionals in South Africa. By completing this Occupational Health and Safety online short course from the University of Cape Town (UCT) you’ll gain locally recognised and Saiosh-endorsed professional skills.

Saiosh has accredited this online short course as meeting the academic requirements for 5 CPD points. As such, students may be eligible to qualify for Saiosh membership at a technical or associate level, depending on their years of work experience. The criteria for Technical Membership includes an accredited certificate at NQF level 5 or equivalent, as well as two years’ experience. Should students not meet this criteria, they can apply for a non-professional Associate Level Membership, which requires an NQF level 5 certificate or equivalent, and less than two years’ experience.* This UCT course is at an NQF level 5 equivalent, but is not credit bearing.

*The Saiosh registration board is responsible for determining the grade of students when applying. Thus, GetSmarter and UCT bear no responsibility for the claiming or validation of these endorsed professional skills with Saiosh.

Your teaching team

At GetSmarter, our mission is to improve lives through better education. One of the ways we achieve this is by working with university faculty and industry professionals to provide a practical, industry lens on a variety of university subjects.



Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Witswatersrand

Earn a certificate from the University of Cape Town (UCT)

Learn about occupational health and safety best practices and earn an official certificate of completion from the University of Cape Town. 

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 28 September 2020.

Get More Information

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.