Why join the BOHS Accredited Degree Scheme?
The scheme aims to:
- Encourage the highest quality occupational hygiene higher education by influencing the content of relevant degrees to ensure that the core areas of occupational hygiene knowledge and skills identified as required by the BOHS Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (FOH) are adequately covered
- Enable graduates to leave higher education with relevant skills and knowledge to gain employment
- Enable graduates to develop the skills to become competent practitioners
- Raise the profile of occupational hygiene, both with academics and with students and their advisers
- Enable BOHS to develop stronger links with universities
- Promote best practice and continuing improvements in occupational hygiene by encouraging membership of the FOH
- Support universities in developing, maintaining and promoting programmes that meet the needs of employers and students
Accreditation enhances a programme by providing:
- A mark of assurance that the programme has met recognised professional standards
- Recognition that the programme facilitates entry to professional membership (see Exemption Arrangements)
- Potential to improve employment prospects for graduates
- Support from the professional body to maintain delivery of core areas of knowledge and skills
- Professional peer review of course content and any proposed changes
Universities may apply for BOHS FOH accreditation of relevant undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. They will be considered for accreditation at either Certificate or Diploma level as follows:
- BSc programmes – at Certificate level only
- Postgraduate Certificate programmes – not normally accredited but in exceptional circumstances at Certificate level only
- Postgraduate Diploma programmes – at Diploma level only
- MSc programmes – at Diploma level only
- A programme is defined as a course of study leading to a relevant undergraduate or postgraduate degree
- Retrospective accreditation will not be considered
- Franchised programmes will not be accredited
Successful completion of a BOHS accredited university programme:
- qualifies the award holder to become an Associate Member of the Faculty (AFOH), which is the first level of professional membership
- makes it easier to achieve a professional occupational hygiene qualification and join the BOHS Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (FOH) by expediting the pathway to Licentiate (Certificate) or Chartered (Diploma) membership via certain exemptions.
Exemption arrangements at Certificate and Diploma levels depend on the type of university programme and are subject to the specific requirements of the BOHS qualification.
Accreditation at Certificate Level (BSc Programmes and Postgraduate Certificate qualifications in exceptional circumstances)
Permits exemption from the Certificate Core or W500 series examinations. Please see Appendix 2 of the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019 for details of requirements to complete Certificate.
Accreditation at Diploma Level (Postgraduate Diploma and MSc qualifications)
Permits exemption from the Certificate Core or W500 examinations and the Certificate Professional Discussion*. Please see Appendix 3 of the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019 for details of requirements to complete Diploma.
*These exemptions relate to the entry requirements for the Diploma only. While these exemptions expedite the pathway to Chartered membership, they have no bearing on Licentiate membership for which successful completion of the CertOH or ICertOH is required.
Accreditation is ongoing subject to requirements for continuing accreditation (please see After Accreditation).
Currently BOHS does not charge universities to apply for accreditation. However, this is subject to change and appropriate notice will be given if charges are introduced.
There are some costs in relation to visits and reviews after accreditation. See Visits, Reviews and Consultation for more information.
Requirements for Accreditation
Please note that these requirements for Programme Leader and Teaching Staff are current as of October 2022 and supersede the information in the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019.
- Teaching staff with a significant role must have material experience in occupational hygiene research or practice. The programme leader may be excluded from this requirement if their role is largely administrative.
- Experience and qualifications will be assessed by BOHS prior to approval of a programme, and where new teaching staff are appointed to a programme that is already BOHS-accredited, relevant information must be submitted to BOHS for pre-approval.
- At least one representative (in addition to the BOHS Approved Course Representative (External Examiner)) must commit to engage in the annual quality and standardisation clinic.
Please note that these requirements for Course Representative (External Examiner) are current as of October 2022 and supersede the information in the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019.
The purpose of the Course Representative is to be an independent guarantor of academic standards and the quality of assessment. They should monitor the programme and assess its “health”, the extent to which learning outcomes are delivered and the comparability of assessment standards. This role is broadly similar to that of an External Examiner in UK universities.
The BOHS FOH approved Course Representative must:
- be an occupational hygienist;
- either hold a NAR qualification* or have appropriate professional or academic experience;
- commit to engage in the annual quality and standardisation clinic;
- join BOHS if not already a member (free membership will be offered).
- In the event that there is more than one candidate for Course Representative, preference will be given to the Chartered Occupational Hygienist where applicable.
- Experience and qualifications will be assessed by BOHS prior to approval of a programme, and where a new Course Representative is appointed to a programme that is already BOHS-accredited, relevant information must be submitted to BOHS for pre-approval.
*A qualification recognised by the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) under the National Association Recognition (NAR) scheme. Examples include BOHS Chartered Member of the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene (BOHS CMFOH), American Board of Industrial Hygiene Certified Industrial Hygienist (ABIH CIH), Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists Certified Occupational Hygienist (AIOH COH) and Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists Registered Occupational Hygienist (CRBOH ROH).
- Teaching space should be adequate and suitable for the number of students.
- There should be available: a suitable range and sufficient copies of texts, guidance notes etc; other types of information sources such as databases; relevant journals (e.g. Annals of Work Exposures and Health); relevant non-UK (e.g. EC, US) information. This may be in the form of online access.
- A sufficient range and quantity of sampling/ measuring equipment should be available.
- Laboratory facilities covering the main topic areas, such as measurement of toxic substances, noise and workplace control should be present in the teaching department. Facilities covering non-core areas (e.g. ionising radiation) may be present in other departments.
- For distance learning programmes, other arrangements to ensure that the student gains the appropriate practical experience should be in place. This may include exercises in the student’s workplace.
- The mode(s) of assessment used should be specified clearly in the programme documentation.
- Examples of typical assessment/coursework/examinations should be provided.
- The level of assessment should be comparable to that used for the Certificate or Diploma e.g. Certificate Core Examinations, Certificate and Diploma portfolio assessments, Diploma Researched Essay (as appropriate).
- Written reports of practical work should form part of the overall assessment.
- The programme content should contain sufficient practical work, including field work, to enable the student to become familiar with the major techniques covered in the syllabus.
- Students should be required to make formal presentations to colleagues and staff.
The learning outcomes required for accreditation by BOHS FOH can be found in Appendix 4 of the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019. Requirements differ for accreditation at Certificate and Diploma level. Broadly speaking the outcomes are divided into the following categories:
- Technical Knowledge and Skills (Certificate and Diploma level)
- Management (Diploma level)
- Work Environment and Processes (Diploma level)
- Science (Diploma level)
- Ethics (Diploma level)
The learning outcomes are derived from the Core Competencies for the Certificate and Diploma qualifications and aim to provide a foundation for professional development and progression within the BOHS FOH. Full details of the Core Competencies can be found in the respective Certificate and Diploma Qualification Guides.
These are the requirements as of October 2022. They may be periodically reviewed and revised in line with development of professional standards.
From application to decision, the process of accreditation will normally take about six months, although this can vary. New programmes in development are likely to require longer at consultation stage than existing programmes.
- A copy of the full programme document. The minimum information this should include is:
- The programme rationale
- The course of study to be followed
- Full syllabi of all courses/units/modules
- Details of resources to be used in delivery of the programme (including practical resources)
- Assessment methods to be used (including examples)
- QA procedures for the programme concerned
- CVs of the teaching staff including the Programme Leader
- A mapping document showing how the course learning outcomes meet the BOHS qualifications learning outcomes.
- Contact details for the Programme Leader, the Head of Academic Unit, the quality lead directly responsible for the Academic Unit and the University lead for Academic Quality.
- CV and contact details of the occupational hygiene Course Representative. See Requirements for details of this role.
- For new programmes in development: Written report on suitability of programme from FOH representative.
- Summary/overview of all documents in the submission.
Accreditation entitles the University to:
- Promote the accredited programme/programme pathway and its benefits to students in marketing materials
- Use the BOHS FOH logo on materials relating to the accredited programme
- Use the BOHS FOH logo on the University website where it relates to the accredited programme
- Use the BOHS FOH logo on the UCAS website where the University’s name appears in relation to the accredited programme
- Use a statement supplied by BOHS for the Key Information Set in relation to the accredited programme (if undergraduate).
- Use a statement supplied by BOHS on the University’s web pages and any documentation in relation to the accredited programme
BOHS retains the right to request the removal of its name and its logo from printed or electronic material or publications at any time.
It is a requirement of accreditation that the University updates course specifications and materials provided to students (such as course handbooks) to:
- indicate clearly the nature of the relationship with BOHS and the nature of accreditation
- explain the role of the Society and Occupational Hygiene
- provide contact details for the Society, including the opportunity to feed back directly to BOHS as a professional body.
Accreditation is ongoing subject to the University meeting certain requirements including successful completion of annual monitoring and occasional visits, and notifying BOHS of any changes to programme content or delivery.
Please note that these requirements for annual monitoring are current as of October 2022 and supersede the information in the University Programmes Accreditation Handbook 2019.
In the autumn each year BOHS contacts the University to request the following:
- Annual monitoring reports for the previous academic year, prepared in line with the requirements of your institution, provided that it is clear how professional considerations including outcomes associated with BOHS accreditation are met, but also including: the expertise and professional qualifications of teaching staff in occupational hygiene; research in workplace health protection and how it may inform the curriculum; any additional or explicit content or opportunities highlighting worker health protection. Where there are issues, it should be clear from any action plan the steps being taken to address these and the timeframe and responsibility.
- Course Representative (External Examiner) reports for the previous academic year, including a Course Representative (External Examiner) report by a BOHS FOH approved examiner.
- Up to date contact details for the Programme Leader/Manager, the Head of Academic Unit, the quality lead directly responsible for the Academic Unit and the University lead for Academic Quality.
- Up to date course specifications and materials provided to students.
The University must submit the annual monitoring information by the required deadline.
Content and Delivery
Any significant changes to content or delivery of accredited programmes must be notified to BOHS within 12 weeks of the changes occurring. Significant changes will include:
- Major changes in content of individual courses
- Deletion of courses
- Changes in mode of delivery
- Any other alterations that may change the learning outcomes of the programme
Programme Leaders are advised to discuss proposals for such changes with BOHS to ensure that the accreditation requirements will still be met.
If there is significant change to content or delivery of an accredited programme, the University must provide a copy of the updated programme documentation with the proposed changes highlighted or otherwise clearly identified. The minimum information this should include is:
- Updated programme rationale explaining benefits of proposed changes and how these might impact on learning outcomes and the future professional development of students
- The modified course of study to be followed and any new course options
- Full syllabi for courses/units/ modules being modified or new courses/units/modules being introduced
- Details of resources to be used in delivery of modified new courses/units/modules (including practical resources) if changed from original application for accreditation
- Assessment methods to be used (if these have changed)
- QA procedures for the programme concerned (if these have changed)
- CVs of the teaching staff for modified/new courses/units modules
- Contact details of the Programme Leader, the Head of Academic Unit, the quality lead directly responsible for the Academic Unit and the University lead for Academic Quality
- Summary/overview of all documents in the submission
Any changes to the teaching staff must be notified to BOHS within 12 weeks of the changes occurring. CVs of replacement teaching staff must be sent to BOHS.
Any change to the contact details must be notified to BOHS.
Discussion following Annual Monitoring
Where annual monitoring highlights excellent practice (or raises questions or concerns that are not addressed in an action plan to the satisfaction of the Faculty), BOHS will contact the institution for a further discussion. This will normally take place virtually.
BOHS Visit to University
We will periodically request to visit an institution (not more than once every five years, unless there is a quality and standards issue) to meet staff, University officials and students. While no fee is attached to this, reasonable expenses incurred by a visiting team would be expected to be covered by the institution. Wherever possible, subject to the specific requirements at the time and not least where the University is based outside the UK, we will designate representatives local to the University or participate electronically.
Periodic Review by University
Where any periodic review is to be undertaken which substantially looks at the course that is accredited, we ask to be provided with six months’ notice in writing. In the case of a validation or revalidation event, we would expect that BOHS would be invited to attend as a member of any panel. While no fee is attached to this, reasonable expenses incurred by a visiting team would be expected to be covered by the institution. For non-BOHS staff who are volunteers, a fee in line with normal external panel member remuneration would be payable to the nominated person. Wherever possible, subject to the specific requirements at the time and not least where the University is based outside the UK, we will designate representatives local to the University or participate electronically. In the event of a paper-based periodic review, documents would be required to be provided no later than six weeks in advance of any final decision date and a fee would be payable of £1,250 for a review and report.
The University should advise BOHS of any significant changes to the general quality management of the institution
BOHS as a PSRB
The University should consider BOHS as a Professional Standards and Regulatory Body for the purposes of any general consultation.
Accreditation of a programme will be withdrawn for failure to follow one or more of the following essential requirements:
- failure to submit annual monitoring information
- failure to submit, or consistently poor, Course Representative's reports
- major changes in accredited programmes without prior approval
- failure to meet accreditation requirements
- lack of suitably qualified teaching staff
- failure to meet review requirements
A University may appeal against the removal of accreditation if it feels that all relevant information has not been considered. The appeal should be made in writing to the Registrar of the BOHS FOH.