The purpose and objectives of the Academy of Industrial Hygiene (AIH) are to advance the professional practice of IH by defining and raising the competency of the professional practice of IH, building wide recognition of the need for and value of high quality IH practice, and building a sense of community among worldwide professional IHs.
AIH Strategic Priorities
Define and raise the level of core competencies across the CIH life cycle to advance the professional practice of CIHs
Build a sense of community among pre-CIHs and CIHs to strengthen and enhance collaboration around the world
Build wide recognition of the need for and value of high-quality IH practice
Promote discussions of strategic issues to define priorities relevant to the profession between AIHA, ACGIH, ABIH, AIH, and Global OH Partners
The Academy sponsors the academic accreditation of industrial hygiene bachelors and master’s degree programs through the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), organizes the programming for the AIHA Fall Conference, and acts as secretariat for the Joint Industrial Hygiene Ethics Education Committee (JIHEEC).
The Academy (formerly the American Academy of Industrial Hygiene) was formed as an entity within the American Board of industrial Hygiene in 1960 and was initially composed of all certified industrial hygienists in good standing with the ABIH. The Academy became part of AIHA in January 2000. The mission, objectives and governance of the Academy are defined in both the AIHA and AIH bylaws.
In February 2012, the Academy of Industrial Hygiene released Core Competencies: For the Practice of Industrial Occupational / Hygiene.
The document identifies the 17 core competencies necessary in the profession and breaks down the level of competency needed by those practicing at the technician, paraprofessional, and professional levels.
Accreditation of Degree Programs
One of the primary missions of the Academy since the mid-1980s is accreditation of academic programs in industrial hygiene. Accreditation of academic degree programs in a field of study is a key indicator of the development and standing of a profession. After an initial attempt at accreditation from within the Academy, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) was selected to manage industrial hygiene accreditation through its Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC).
To develop the technical industrial hygiene criteria for accreditation and to select and train accreditation auditors, the Academy formed the Academic Accreditation Committee (AAC).
The program criteria for industrial hygiene were first published in the late 1980s. Since that time there have been several major revisions as well as numerous minor changes. The AAC continues to be tasked with updating these criteria as well as supplying trained auditors to apply them during site visits. In addition to these specific criteria, ABET also has general criteria and procedures which apply to all educational programs accredited through ABET. The current general criteria and the industrial hygiene program criteria can be found on the ABET website under Accreditation Documents. ABET does not accredit doctoral programs.
These accredited schools have worked hard to achieve and maintain their accreditation and, by meeting the ABET standard, are believed to deliver a very high-quality industrial hygiene education.