Compulsory Annual Health and Safety Audits

Posted on 15 Jul 2019

The Higher Education Act, (Act 101 of 1997) (referred to as the HEA) is applicable to all educational institutions in South Africa and makes provision for the registration of higher education intuitions and for the annual review of compliance with the requirements of the various acts.


The HEA requires registration of institutions and could, based on the registration application, approve or deny the registration if health and safety requirements are not adhered to. Chapter 3 of the Regulations for the Registration of Private Higher Institutions state per Regulation 12 (referring to quality assurance) along with, Section 54(a)(i) as read with Section 56(1)(a) that:


(2) In the application contemplated in regulations 3, 4 and 5, an applicant must provide evidence that it complies with all regulations relating to the health and safety of persons on the premises.


  • In other words, it is pertinent that higher education institutions place emphasis on ensuring Compliance with health and safety regulations and maintaining documented evidence to provide the Registrar with verifiable evidence of compliance with the regulations relating to the health and safety of persons on all its sites governed.


Should the institution not provide the required documentation to the Registrar, the Registrar may decide to decline the application for registration as a private higher institution, in accordance with section 54 (2)(b) of the Act. Reasons for declining an application can include the following:


  • Failure to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Failure to meet quality assurance requirements and maintain acceptable standards.
  • Failure to meet the financial viability requirement.
  • Failure to comply with health and safety regulations.
  • Failure to satisfy the registrar that the registration of the applicant will be in the interests of the higher education system and the general public.


Continued Compliance


All private colleges and higher education institutions must undergo an Annual Health and Safety audit, focussing on the campus, resulting in a Site Compliance Report. All colleges and schools, as employers, have a legal duty to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments in accordance with Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 for their buildings and activities as undertaken. Once again, if this evidence is not maintained, the Registrar may revoke a registration of such an institution.


Our Health and Safety Division can assist you in ensuring compliance with the health and safety regulations and provide you with an annual report as required by the regulations. Do not hesitate to contact the highly qualified and experienced specialists at ENVASS on 012 460 9768 or