The OSH profile is an essential initial step in the process of building a good national OSH programme. It is a key tool in the application of systems management approach to OSH. The profile can be used not only as a basis for identifying priorities for action but also as a tool for measuring progress over time through its periodic updating. By identifying gaps and weaknesses, it is a key tool for continual improvement of the national OSH system. Part V of ILO Recommendation on the promotional framework for occupational safety and health, (No. 197), 2006, includes a detailed list of the elements that should be covered in the national profile. National profiles are very useful for the ILO to better focus its technical cooperation assistance programmes and projects in this area.