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Grow Your Career with AIHA’s New Certificate Program

By Colleen Manning

Confession time. I am, and have always been, a little bit of a learning geek. My high school guidance counselor wrote in a recommendation letter for me that I had “a curiosity for learning like a kid in a candy store.” As a college student, I was incapable of giving a class a bad evaluation—I recognized that even the courses that were really challenging for me were the experiences I needed to grow. And more recently in graduate school, I finally learned that the only person I was competing with was myself—to try and be a little better and a little smarter every day.

webinar_jpg.jpgIt’s this curiosity and love of learning that brought me to my career in association management with a focus on education. Every day I get to support our members in pursuing their own professional development goals. What I’ve realized in my time at AIHA (almost five years now!) is that our members are very diverse. They come to learn with us with different life experiences, different challenges that they need to solve, and different ways that they like to learn.

So, it’s up to us to provide learning opportunities that give you the experience you need to address the challenges that you face in your work. One way that we do this is by defining bodies of knowledge. The BOK development process brings together subject matter experts throughout the industrial hygiene community to define a technical framework for what competency looks like in a topic or specialty. Our team has done a lot of work in the BOK areabe sure to check it out.

But providing this technical framework isn’t enough—we also need to provide education and tools that help our members get to the level of competency they want to achieve in their professional careers. That’s where assessment-based certificates come in—aligned with the BOK framework, they provide proof that you have acquired specialized knowledge and skills. Assessment-based certificates are a great way to expand your knowledge in a given topic area, and to show your commitment to workplace safety and your own professional development. It can even be a building block to a bigger professional development endeavor—like pursuing an AIHA Registry or another credential!

With that said, I’m really excited to launch our first assessment-based certificate program, Field Use of Direct-Reading Instruments for the Detection of Gases and Vapors – Operations Level Certificate. This four-contact hour certificate is designed for professionals who use direct-reading instruments, especially those who do not have access to robust training resources in their workplace. Operations and maintenance technicians, emergency responders, water service workers, utility workers, and construction workers are a small sampling of professionals who would benefit from the program. It’s meant to build on what you may have learned in manufacturer’s training—focusing on the context in which equipment is used and how the sensors in the instrument work.

We plan to launch a second certificate program, the Occupational Exposure Assessment Certificate Program – Level 1, this autumn. Keep checking out SynergistNOW and AIHA’s eLearning page for updates about upcoming training opportunities.

Are there specific education topics or formats that you think AIHA should be offering? Add your two cents in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

Colleen Manning is AIHA’s program director, eLearning.


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