September 30, 2018 / Alla Orlova, MA

The Science Behind Providing Quality IH/OEHS Education

For over 20 years as a continuing education professional, I have worked with people in several different professions and countries. What unites them is the desire to learn and acquire knowledge. But what do our members and other IH/OEHS professionals look for when considering advancing their knowledge and skills? What topics interest them most, what formats work best, and when is learning most convenient for them?

To serve IH professionals and make them competitive in the work force, AIHA conducted an online survey in June 2018 to assess the educational needs of our members. The primary goal of the research was to determine the educational topics and formats that best align with the needs of AIHA’s audience. More than 1,100 individuals responded to the survey. They represented a variety of work settings, including industry, consulting, government and military, academia, hospital/healthcare, and other sectors of economy. Seventy-nine percent of respondents had over 11 years of IH/OH experience.

The survey provided many valuable insights that will help guide our education team as we develop and revise our educational offerings. Two key findings of the survey concern the topics and educational formats that our members have asked us to focus on in the near future.

As shown in the graphic below, according to our survey participants, the top three most popular topics are:

  • Exposure assessment
  • Engineering controls/ventilation
  • Chemical hazards

Respondents showed a strong preference for online delivery across all topics, with on-demand delivery preferred in most cases. They also indicated a strong preference for advanced and intermediate-level treatment of topics. While not as pronounced, this preference held true even among groups with the fewest years of work in the field.

I am beginning to plan a regional event in 2019 utilizing the findings from this assessment. Please reach out to me if you have an idea for a regional event you might have not shared with us yet.

Alla Orlova, MA

Alla Orlova, MA, is AIHA’s director of Education.


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