In Brief

  • This article argues for the development of minimum requirements to accredit academic programs in the OSH field.

  • As a sovereign profession, OSH should have professional boundaries characterized by a standardized set of educational outcomes that represent the knowledge, skills or abilities/behaviors required by practitioners.

  • Without a commonly accepted set of educational outcomes, the discipline is at risk of dilution.

  • This article focuses on why program-level accreditation is critical to securing a specific body of knowledge and the ongoing maturation of the OSH profession.

The OSH profession is wonderfully dynamic and complex. It consists of a mix of line and staff positions; incorporates practitioners from a wide variety of backgrounds; has dozens of professional credentials (e.g., CSP, CIH, OHST, ARM, CPE); is compliant to reams of state and federal mandates; exists in hundreds of industries; and involves a range of disparate work sites from nanotechnology and manufacturing to healthcare, construction and energy generation.

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