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About Us

We are an organisation for the promotion of safety and health in higher education.

Membership is primarily open to higher education institutions both in the UK and from overseas.

Membership is also available to research institutions and related organisations upon request. The Association was formed in 1972 and has grown over the years to its current cohort of 140 Institutions representing all Universities in the UK and 13 overseas. 2015 saw the incorporation of USHA as a Company Limited by Guarantee.

USHA’s mission is to ensure the wellbeing of university staff, students and visitors through the promotion of health and safety within higher education.

Our main objectives

USHA’s main objective is to provide an organisation for the exchange of information on all aspects of health and safety and related topics relevant to the higher education, supporting the work of safety practitioners across a wide range of specialist areas.

Promotion of excellence

Promotion of excellence in the strategic planning, management, administration, operation and development of safety and health across the University sector

Promotion of reputation

Promotion of the reputation and activities of USHA and its members regionally, nationally and internationally

Promoting opportunities

Promoting opportunities for development and training for the benefit of members and their respective staff

Influencing opinion

Influencing opinion formers and decision-makers on health and safety issues

Forums for discussion

Provision of forums for discussion, consultation and exchange of information on health and safety issues, particularly where they relate to the higher education sector

Consideration of policy

Consideration of policy and advice on matters referred to it by Universities UK, the Health and Safety Executive, Universities and Colleges Employers Association as well as other appropriate bodies and individuals

Furthering Association objectives

Furthering Association objectives by arranging conferences, meetings, lectures, discussions and other activities

Optimising solutions

Optimising solutions to common problems and concerns by disseminating and harnessing the particular expertise, experience and knowledge of Members for mutual benefit


The Association is managed by an Executive Board consisting of a Chair (who serves for a two year period), a Deputy Chair, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and four additional members. The officers and executive are elected at the Annual General Meeting which takes place in April as part of the annual spring conference.

Advantages of membership

There are many benefits to be gained from membership of USHA

Online resources

Access to online resources and training packages specifically developed for the higher education sector


A community of support , knowledge sharing and networking from safety practitioners across the higher education sector


Access to a range of the ‘hasnet’ family of e-mail discussion groups including the generalist hasnet-link and specialist lists hasnet-fire and hasnet-OH for occupational health matters


Benchmarking through sharing of sector key performance indicators such as accident and fire-related statistics and the annual Institution Survey


The opportunity to attend a wide range of conferences, seminars, meetings and training courses. Access to an excellent learning and development programme presenting outstanding value for money


Membership of one or more of the networking regional groups operating throughout the UK offering local support


Input to a range of partner organisations such as University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and Higher Education Safety Health Forum (HESH) as well as a direct dialogue with enforcement agencies

Dedicated area

Access to safety practitioner job vacancies within the sector and a dedicated Website with members area, showcasing recent developments and news

Become an USHA Member

There are over 4000 safety practitioners working within the higher education sector together with academic and research staff with safety management or teaching responsibility. Membership is for Institutions, Further Education Colleges and affiliated organisations.