Standards of Care Definition

The minimum expected standards of practice and performance established for a particular profession or function.

Purpose and Objectives

The protection of workers and communities depends on the performance of risk management programs. As currently implemented, the effectiveness of those risk protection programs is highly variable, resulting in excessive risk for many workers and communities, and hindering the realization of AIHA’s vision of “a world where all workers and their communities are healthy and safe”.

Standards of care define the minimal level of expected risk management practice and performance based on established professional norms, guidelines, standards, regulations, and proven practices. Through this effort, AIHA seeks to elevate the performance of all risk management programs, and in particular those that are underperforming, by documenting a concise, easy to use summary of minimum expected standards of care or performance for critical aspects of risk management programs and practices and by providing tools to help OEHS professionals practice at those minimum levels of performance or higher.

The advisory group will assist by addressing such matters as:

  • Driving the overall effort to build out a standards of care summary of risk-critical practices using the AIHA Framework for Documenting Standards of Care (Appendix A).
  • Engaging subject matter experts from AIHA volunteer groups (and other sources) to provide input.
  • Identifying partnership opportunities for engaging appropriate expert input from groups beyond AIHA (e.g., ACGIH, NIOSH, BGC, IOHA).
  • Establishing metrics for tracking progress.
  • Updating and maintaining the standards of care document as needed.

Initiative Timeline

While advisory group team members can expect to serve up to three years (see Organization section below), the completion of the initial version of the standards of care document is expected to take three to five years followed by ongoing efforts to maintain and update the document. Anticipated project phases would include the following and are likely to be accomplished in a more iterative fashion:

Phase 1: Defining initial scope and strategy for the efficient and effective collection and documentation of best OEHS risk management practices using the AIHA Framework for Documenting Standards of Care.

Phase 2: Collecting input from experts covering a range of OEHS best risk management practices.

Phase 3: Soliciting feedback on initial drafts.

Phase 4: Finalizing the initial version of the standards of care document Phase 5: Ongoing update and maintenance of the standards of care document.

Composition of Group

The group is to be comprised of 8 to 10 members representing a cross-section of OEHS members from AIHA with expertise and experience covering a broad range of OEHS risk management programs and practices. Members from staff and additional partner organizations may be added as appropriate.

Each member serves up to a three-year term. Terms are staggered so that as members rotate off, they are replaced with new members.

The Advisory Group will also have an AIHA Board Liaison appointed by the AIHA President; this individual does not serve as Chair or Vice-Chair of the Advisory Group.

The AIHA President selects a Vice-Chair from among those committee members entering their second year of service. The Vice-Chair becomes the Chair in his/her third year of service. Terms commence and end at AIHce.

Roles and Responsibilities

To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the advisory group, please see the AIHA Standards of Care Advisory Group Charter document.

Membership - Ethical Principles

The AIHA and ACGIH are nonprofit voluntary professional membership associations dedicated to the advancement of the field of industrial hygiene and the protection of health and safety. Therefore, we support quality professional standards and practices and expect our respective members to meet such standards.

In support of these important purposes, we promote ethical professional practices and strongly encourage members to understand ethical responsibilities. As a matter of professional competence and public confidence, members are expected to conduct themselves consistent with applicable ethics standards, including those of the Board for Global EHS Credentialing (BGC). Please see the full document at Membership - Ethical Principles.

Questions?

For more information, please contact Michele Twilley, CIH, DrPH.