POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
The following is an outline of current policies and procedures for initial and renewal registration with the N.C. Board of Environmental Health Specialist Examiners (hereafter referred to as the “Board”). Statutory or regulatory requirements addressing these are:
· Initial or new applicants for registration with the Board must meet the educational requirement (in addition to other requirements not listed here) of having received at least a baccalaureate degree from a post-secondary educational institution (approved by the Board) and a minimum of 30 semester hours, or its equivalent, in the physical and/or biological sciences before a certificate may be issued (NC G.S. 90A-53).
· Renewal of a certificate as a registered Environmental Health Specialist or Environmental Health Specialist intern must be completed annually on or before the first day of January. Each applicant for renewal as a Environmental Health Specialist or Environmental Health Specialist intern must complete continuing education requirements, as specified by the Board, for renewal of a certificate (NC G.S. 90A-63). Rules and regulations have been adopted outlining these continuing education requirements in Title 21 N.C. Administrative Code (NCAC) Chapter 62, Section .0100-.0400.
New Applicants: A guide to meeting the Educational Requirements
The Board has adopted a policy to approve science courses(1)(9) since no statutory definition exists for the terms ‘physical’ or ‘biological’ science.
The current policy states that courses will be accepted, as a physical or biological science, provided that a university, accredited by an accrediting entity, designates the course as one which, completed successfully, will award semester hours as a physical or biological science. Accreditation bodies would include organizations such as the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or the Northeast Association of Colleges and Schools.
Courses which require further investigation by the Educational Committee of the Board, as to acceptance, may require one or more of the following:
1) written verification from the university or instructor
2) curriculum descriptions from college catalog
3) a course syllabus from the instructor
Supervisors throughout the State are encouraged to review transcripts carefully in determining whether individuals will qualify for registration. The Board does not provide review of transcripts for perspective candidates. Transcripts are normally reviewed only when a formal application for registration has been made to the Board.
Renewing and Retired Applicants: A guide to meeting the annual continuing education requirements
All applicants for renewal are required to successfully complete at least 15 instructional clock hours of continuing education, approved by the Board, before January 1 of the year of renewal. The rules specify that the following are automatically approved by the Board with only the number of assigned hours to be determined:
· Centralize Training (1st year only)
· CDC 3010-G and 3013-G
· NC State Food Protection Short Course (no longer exists)
· Public Health Law Course
· District EH Section Education Meetings
· SOP courses
- Other acceptable courses may include education at professional association meetings, job-related college or CDC/EPA/FDA courses, and others as approved by the Board. Effective January 1, 2004, all requests for Continuing Education must be submitted on a Board-approved form, along with supporting documentation.(11) Over the last few years, the Board has adopted or clarified the following policies on continuing education:
- Non-traditional courses to be used for continuing education credit must be related to the actual job being performed by the applicant. However, such training should be technical in nature and have some relation to the environment, environmental health, or in improving the practice of such(3). This may include language courses such as Spanish. Retired Environmental Health Specialists renewing registration must meet the 15 annual continuing education hours.
- Locally or regional staff meetings, as well as business, committee, or other meetings, are not approved as continuing education. If portions are open to general EH community and their purpose is to train or update EH knowledge or education, they could be approved for hours.
- College Internet courses are acceptable provided they are job-related, are completed in the calendar year for which continuing education hours are sought, and have been assigned a definitive number of semester or equivalent hours.
- The Board has developed a Registrant Roster form to be completed by educational attendees. Use of the form is not mandatory.
- Continuing education which shows concurrent sessions requires the applicant to indicate which specific sessions were attended.
- Field demonstrations or coursework are reviewed individually to account for travel time, actual contact hours, etc.
- New interns approved by the Board after October 1 are exempt from compliance with the 15 clock hours provided they are successfully enrolled in the next available Centralize Training session(2). They must, however, still complete a renewal form and pay the renewal fee for the year.
- College classes submitted for continuing education necessitate that the applicant provide the class hours as well as the number of hours requesting approval for, be job-related, and be completed in the calendar year for which continuing education hours are sought.
- Homestudy courses must be evaluated individually to determine continuing education hours applied. Again they must be completed in the calendar year for which continuing education hours are sought.
- SOP and similar type courses may have a standard for successfully completion (e.g. be in attendance at least 80% of the time, pass a test) of a course. The Board recognizes that that standard shall be met, as established by the sponsoring agency or organization, before it will consider accepting continuing education hours for that course(4).
- Presenters of courses, approved for continuing education for attendees, may receive continuing education credit, one time, for such courses. They are subject to the same attendance criteria as participants(5)
- Environmental Health instructional courses presented in non-traditional settings (i.e. internet-based, videoconferences, etc.) are acceptable provided a timed agenda is provided and verification of attendance is provided by some registration means.(6)
- With regards to awarding of CEU’s in settings of #4, #10, and #13 above where a timed agenda is not available, the Board will accept clock hours for such education when the sponsoring agency has an equivalency measure for contact hours and a verification of course completion is issued(8).
- ServSafe courses will not be approved for continuing education after January 1, 2003.(7)
- Repeated CIT modules, days, or subjects will not be approved for continuing education after January 1, 2004.(10)
Submitted continuing education which does not clearly indicate which sessions a person attended, has questionable relevance to environmental health, or does not contain definitive hours or times of occurrence, are returned to applicants with a request for clarification, further information, etc. On occasion, written response from the applicant’s supervisor as to course relevance to that person’s current duties may be requested.
(1) Adopted by Board on November 1, 2001
(2) Adopted by Board on December 7, 1998
(3) Adopted by Board on January 25, 2002
(4) Adopted by Board on April 25, 2002
(5) Adopted by Board on June 5, 2002, amended on August 1, 2002
(6) Adopted by Board on June 5, 2002
(7) Adopted by Board on August 1, 2002
(8) Adopted by Board on August 14, 2003
(9) Adopted by Board on October 23, 2003
(10) Adopted by Board on October 23, 2003
(11) Adopted by Board on October 23, 2003