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Qualifications Update (April, 2020)

British Occupational Hygiene Society COVID-19 Statement on Support for Learners

BOHS is the Qualifications Provider and Awarding Body for the UK’s Occupational Hygiene Profession and for those seeking to develop technical skills in a range of related areas, from Asbestos through to Legionella. It is also the Awarding body for the International Certificate for Occupational Hygiene. Together these routes feed into the potential to qualify as a Chartered Occupational Hygienist.

As the Awarding Body, BOHS is responsible for maintaining the quality of the qualifications that it awards, but also has a more general responsibility towards its learners. The COVID-19 crisis has prompted unprecedented action by Awarding Bodies in the UK and internationally.

In line with the responses of other Awarding Bodies, BOHS is committed to ensure that all learners are able to engage in the assessment of their learning within a reasonable time and within the context of the restrictions that have been imposed in the interests of public health. In the UK, this means that face-to-face examinations are no longer possible. It is recognised that there will be variations from country-to-country and even region-to-region.

In order to enable this, we are working with your authorised training providers, who also administer examinations for us, to allow for some flexibility in assessment methods for our qualifications through the use of online examinations. Because many of our examinations are administered on our behalf, the availability of this option will ultimately depend on your training provider. However, if you are having difficulties and need support in assessment, you can contact us directly. We have put in place quality assurance and security measures which match international standards for assessment, so you can be assured of the quality of your assessment.

Some of our courses require hands-on assessment. At present, we are investigating how we can implement these at a distance or looking at options of deferring engagement with this element. You will still have to do practical elements, where they are a requirement of the qualification, in order to be awarded. We are working with training providers to develop suitable approaches. The availability of these options may vary from provider to provider as their ability to support these more technically specialised assessments will vary. However, we are being responsive to the requests of training bodies when they ask for support to develop their capabilities. But it is of utmost importance that we adhere to the highest standards in ensuring that how we test and what we test is done appropriately.

In setting standards for training, we work closely with partners and are supporting the transition to online and distance learning. This requires new ways of working and gives rise to reasonable expectations of learners around quality, as well as requiring different processes to secure your personal data. We are working with training providers to assure this process and will continue ongoing monitoring of the training itself and the means of delivery. BOHS is not directly responsible for the delivery of training, whether face-to-face or online, but approves providers and will be quality assuring the methods of delivery of online training.

For some international qualifications, BOHS works in partnership with the Occupational Hygiene Training Association, which is responsible for the quality of approved training towards the International Certificate of Occupational Hygiene. We are in discussions with the OHTA Board which will outline standards expected of its training providers and the extent to which online delivery or other adjustments for the COVID-19 crisis will be permissible. For further information, please contact

We would like to assure all learners that all assessments undertaken with the approval of BOHS during this period will have equal validity with face-to-face assessments in all respects.

For more information or queries, our Qualifications team is contactable at qualifications@bohs.org

BOHS, April 2020

 

BOHS Latest

We would like to assure our members and partners that at BOHS we are committed to providing to highest level of service and support and continue our business operation as normal.

The health and wellbeing of our staff, members and partners remain our highest priority. Following the British Government’s latest advice, and in order to ensure the smooth operation of our organisation, we have been making adjustments to the way we perform certain activities.

We are also in close communication with our members and partners who are affected by these alterations.

In order to minimise unnecessary face-to-face contact, all staff are now working remotely, therefore we ask you all to contact the appropriate departments below via email.

Our office hours are:

Monday to Thursday - 8.30am to 4.30pm
Friday - 8.30am to 4pm

We will continue to send separate communications to our respective stakeholders with detailed information about how their activities re affected.

 

Annals

Written by Sean Semple and John Cherrie, we have published a free special edition editorial in the Annals of Work Exposures and Health on the need for research on protecting workers from COVID-19.

If you have asked any of the following questions as a worker in these unprecedented times, click on the link below:

• How does infection occur?
• How useful is personal protective equipment?
• What other measures can I take to change my working behaviour to reduce the risk of becoming infected?

Read here

 

Qualifications

We are working closely with our Training Providers to ensure we support them so they continue to offer a high level of service and deliver remote courses. We have also relaxed our policies regarding changes, cancellations and postponements to ensure we support all our stakeholders.

For more information or queries, our Qualifications team is contactable at qualifications@bohs.org

 

Membership

Our Membership team continues to offer its services to our members as normal. Our web-portal is accessible with a wealth of information on membership, latest news and updates, events, and member opportunities.

For membership queries, our Membership team is contactable at membership@bohs.org

 

Conferences

To ensure the welfare of our delegates, we have decided to postpone our Annual Occupational Hygiene 2020 Conference and smaller events.

New dates are being finalised and will be announced on our Events page here:

Our Events team is directly contacting our delegates, speakers, and sponsors with detailed information regarding the new arrangements.

For questions regarding our events, our Events team is contactable at conferences@bohs.org

 

AGM

Our Annual AGM will take place on the 22nd of April via teleconference.

Further details will be distributed in the following days.

For questions regarding our annual AGM please contact our Membership team at membership@bohs.org

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