With a modular design, you can take the courses you need when you want. This gives you the flexibility to build on your existing training and qualifications and to fit in more easily with your job demands. You can start from the Awareness level, and progress through Foundation level and Intermediate level to Specialist level.

How the Scheme Works

Examining boards from across the world have come together to agree a common framework of qualifications. It allows qualified hygienists recognition for their qualifications in the countries where they practise.

OHTA provides training materials and approves training providers to help you qualify. It also authorises examining bodies to deliver examinations. You can review and download training materials from the OHTA website. You can also identify approved providers of training courses and find out when and where courses are being held.

Please note that international qualifications cover the core science and practice of occupational hygiene; they do not cover the details of local legislation or local custom and practice. Hence national associations may impose additional requirements before recognising hygienists with international qualifications to practise in their country.

Training Levels

The international scheme recognises four levels of training, two of which may lead to qualifications.

Awareness level for those who require an introduction to the topic of health hazards and risks in the workplace, such as managers, supervisors, union representatives and employees. There is no formal qualification.

Foundation level for those who work in areas like health and safety, occupational medicine and nursing, and should understand the basic principles of occupational hygiene so that they can deal with simple problems and know when to call in a specialist. The qualification is a Certificate of Successful Course Completion.

Intermediate level for those who study the technical knowledge and practical skills needed to undertake occupational hygiene in the workplace. The principal qualification is the International Certificate in Occupational Hygiene (ICertOH).

Both the Foundation and Intermediate levels use a formative approach to learning which makes assessment an integral part of the learning process.

Specialist level providing specialist learning opportunities for specific audiences. There is no formal qualification; instead training providers are invited to produce their own assessment as needed.

Prior Learning

There are no formal educational requirements for people wishing to study any of the international qualifications. However, the OHTA courses do require some knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, statistics, engineering and biology. Students without a strong educational background in these areas may find the courses very difficult. Recommendations for prior learning are given at each of the different qualification levels so that you can top up your knowledge before taking the courses.