Qualifications for Occupational Hygienists in the UK are changing

The British Occupational Hygiene Society, the leading qualifications body in Occupational Hygiene and the home of the UK profession through the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene is launching new UK M-series qualifications. These will replace W500 qualifications as the main route to professional recognition in the UK as of January 1st 2024.

Occupational Hygienists are the scientific experts who work to prevent exposure to health hazards in the workplace, such as cancer-causing agents and causes of other serious illness.

The examinations will be in identical short answer format and cover the same material as the current W500 examinations but will be in the exclusive control of the BOHS. BOHS will only run resit examinations for W500 candidates through 2024, concluding all awarding for OHTA at the end of that year. It will continue with recognition of its own M500 awards as part of the pathway towards the Certificate in Operational Competence in Occupational Hygiene which is designed to demonstrate competence to practice Occupational Hygiene in the UK.

BOHS President, Alex Wilson said, “The UK Occupational Hygiene profession is enjoying increasing profile and is adapting to the scientific and professional changes in the workplace. Taking control of the pathways to UK qualification will allow us to ensure that the health of British workers has the best levels of protection.”

The Registrar of the Faculty of Occupational Hygiene Sarah Leeson, commented, “UK Occupational Hygienists need to demonstrate competencies beyond knowledge. The M-series examinations will continue to ensure candidates can demonstrate a range of skills and are assessed by professional hygienists. We think this is the most appropriate approach to assessment for the UK profession. We wish OHTA well as they set themselves up as an awarding body in their own right for the W500 examinations.”

The Society has clarified that the M-series will also be available to candidates globally who may wish to train for the UK market or to UK standards, through its network of BOHS Examination Centres.

BOHS CEO, Professor Kevin Bampton, added, “Many employers see a BOHS award as a trusted and established qualification. Our aim in re-launching the M-series is to ensure that candidates, employers and the workers who need protection, can all benefit from the assurance that BOHS has assessed them reliably and against an established global standard.”

Further information for learners and examination centres affected by the change can be found here and here.