The Specialist Approver role has been assigned to help support departments manage health and safety within the department more effectively as they have an oversight into the types of hazardous materials, equipment, substances and biological materials being requisitioned on the OPeRA system which are coming into the department.
A Specialist Approver however is not responsible for the management of health and safety of the individual items being requisitioned but can support the departments by asking for verification that the proposed requisitioned item can be managed effectively by liaison with the Budget Holder where necessary.
Departments have assigned a variety of different support staff into this role and not all departments will require a Specialist Approver to be involved in the lower hazard level category requisition. It is anticipated that the Specialist Approver has a level of understanding of the areas in which the items will be used and will therefore have an inherent knowledge of the typical storage facilities that they have available in the area, or the other work taking place in the vicinity which will help to establish whether the requisition is able to be approved, or whether further questions require answering by the Budget Holder. Where questions need to be raised, these can be asked within the OPeRA system rather than rejecting a requisition. Within the guidance there are suggestions on who you can go to for further advice for each different Material Description should you feel that this is necessary. This may include the local Departmental Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS), Biosafety Advisor or Fire Safety Advisor for example.
Further information on the approvals needed within the OPeRA system for the Specialist Approver are detailed within the 'How to determine the Hazard Level' arrangements.