People in different jobs need occupational hygiene knowledge and skills at different levels.
The international qualifications framework allows everyone to achieve the appropriate level of understanding and ability in a flexible way that meets the needs of their employment, their personal circumstances and their own capabilities.
The five levels
For convenience, OHTA considers training needs at five levels, as shown in the diagram.
- Managers, supervisors, union representatives and employees need an awareness of health hazards and risks in the workplace and how they can be controlled to provide a safe working environment
- Specialists in areas like health and safety, occupational medicine and nursing should understand the basic principles of occupational hygiene so that they can deal with simple problems and know when to call in a specialist. This can lead to an international qualification at the Foundation level
- Technicians and technologists working in occupational hygiene require the technical knowledge and hands-on, practical training at Intermediate level that will enable them to take measurements, assess exposure and check the effectiveness of control measures.
- Specialists with responsibility for designing and delivering the occupational hygiene programmes in a workplace will need to study at the academic level. This will give them a deep understanding of the scientific basis of occupational hygiene as well as a high level of technical skills, and can lead to professional qualifications.
- Senior occupational hygienists operating at management levels within large organisations or in consultancies need to have leadership skills in addition to mastery of the technical and professional skills. They will need additional training in areas such as management, communication and finance.
For a more detailed analysis of the demands of different jobs, see the Training Needs Analysis project in the in the Community section.
Advancing through the levels
The international training scheme is designed in a modular structure so that students can study just the subjects that they need, when they need them. Students can also progress through the levels by taking additional courses, so training need never be duplicated or wasted.
Initially, approved training is being made available by OHTA at the Principles and Intermediate levels
- Awareness training materials and Leadership education can be uploaded through the Community pages. Such materials are not officially approved by OHTA but can be rated online by users.
- Academic training is already available through a number of universities at Bachelor or Masters levels. The universities of Wollongong (Australia) and Antofagasta (Chile) are integrating the modules into Masters degree courses and other universities have also expressed interest in this approach. OHTA is also developing specialist modules which can be found in the Community pages.
Learn more about international qualifications
See the Approved Training Materials
Visit the Community
OHTA Training Levels
Students can study at a level to meet their needs and build their skills over time