June 7, 2022 / Larry Sloan

AIHA’s New Strategic Plan: The Integrity of Professional Practice Domain

In a previous blog post, I introduced you to AIHA’s new strategic plan (PDF), which covers the years 2022–24. Over the past several months, we have been broadly communicating the plan throughout the association. Our intent is for everyone in AIHA to become familiar with our organization’s overarching vision, values, and objectives.

Like the previous plan, our new plan incorporates AIHA’s associated business entities: the AIHA Laboratory Accreditation Programs LLC (AIHA LAP), AIHA Registry Programs LLC, AIHA Proficiency Analytical Testing Programs LLC (AIHA PAT), the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation, the AIHA Guideline Foundation, and the Product Stewardship Society. The plan, which identifies strategic goals within each domain and the strategies AIHA will employ to meet those goals, is built around five “domains,” or areas of focus: community, awareness, advancement and dissemination of knowledge, integrity of professional practice, and advocacy.

To date, I have written about the first three domains—community, awareness, and advancement and dissemination of knowledge. The focus of this blog is to highlight the fourth domain: integrity of professional practice.


For each domain, the new plan notes a “success statement,” which embodies what we aspire to achieve in this area of practice. The success statement for integrity of professional practice is “AIHA will identify, develop, continuously improve, and promote excellence in OEHS practices.” In short, this domain encompasses the activities of our three LLCs (AIHA LAP, AIHA PAT, and Registry Programs) as well as ongoing efforts to define the role of the OEHS professional in the realm of corporate social responsibility. It also focuses on a new initiative that challenges us to improve our level of performance in the field by addressing gaps between current practice and best-in-class performance.

Next, the plan lays out three strategic objectives:

  1. Implement a continuous improvement strategy to identify and address gaps between current and state-of-the-art (best-in-class) OEHS practice.
  2. Advance competency in specialty areas through laboratory accreditation, proficiency programs, and registry programs.
  3. Develop recognized leading metrics and best practices for worker and community health and safety, including organizational social responsibility. 


As noted, this domain refers to our efforts to educate and empower practitioners to go a step beyond recommending a control strategy that meets the minimum standards of, say, regulatory compliance. To this end, AIHA has launched the following new initiatives:

  • First, the Standards of Care (SOC) initiative will document a concise, easy-to-use summary of the minimum recommended global standards of care for the professional practice of OEHS that incorporate best risk management practices whenever feasible. Standards of care are defined as minimum expected standards of practice and performance established for a particular profession or function. They differ from competencies, such as CIH rubrics, which pertain to what practitioners know, in that standards of care focus on the performance of what practitioners do. For example, one can think of a standard of care that recommends control strategies that go beyond mere compliance with an OSHA permissible exposure limit. Instead, the standard of care aims to increase worker risk protection by using an ACGIH Threshold Limit Value in cases where it is more protective than the PEL. A new SOC Advisory Group has been formed.
  • Next, the State-of-the-Art vs. Practice initiative will define and implement a continuous improvement strategy that identifies and addresses gaps between current and state-of-the-art OEHS practices. It builds upon the Standards of Care initiative to understand and address barriers preventing state-of-the-art or minimum standards of care practices, thereby empowering practitioners to achieve best-in-class performance. The Noise Committee has already come forward to serve as a beta test group for this effort.
  • Finally, the Improving Exposure Judgment Accuracy initiative—a collaboration with ACGIH—will drive a significant shift in OEHS practice from one where tools and activities that improve exposure judgment accuracy are rarely or sporadically used to one where their use is routine and expected. This translates into greater use of AIHA’s suite of tools for improving exposure decisions, such as the Checklist Tool and IHMOD2.0 for qualitative judgments and IHSTAT and the Bayesian decision analysis tool IHDA-AIHA for accurately interpreting monitoring data.

In addition to the Defining the Science initiative described in my last post, these programs reference what we are calling Advancing OEHS Science and Practice, designed to improve our practice to better protect workers and communities.

In a forthcoming blog, I’ll address our fifth and final domain: advocacy.

Larry Sloan

Larry Sloan, FASAE, CAE, is AIHA’s CEO.



If you want to broaden and serve your community you need to lower costs for the individual and micro-small businesses (e.g., 1-15 employees). Otherwise, your community will not grow. New and necessary information is meaningless to those who cannot afford it. I'd guess, its in your build-up somewhere. I'd start there.

By Billy (William) Johns on June 7, 2022 2:36pm

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