The University of Wollongong has developed training modules/subjects for Occupational Hygienists with the syllabus and a 2-hour multiple choice examination set by the peak professional body of Hygienists, The British Faculty of Occupational Hygienists. The demand for these courses is high due to the shortage of suitably trained personnel, and the courses are designed specifically to be delivered in block format and in both on-shore and off-shore settings. The initial course was run offshore in Azerbaijan, and resulted in high failure rates, which were thought to be due to the trans-national nature of the students with English as a second language. The second course run in Australia with domestic students also resulted in high failure rates, indicating an issue not with English language examination, but rather, after feedback from students, the course assessment process itself.
This experience has provided the opportunity to review the appropriateness of the assessment strategy and clearly delineate the aims, objectives and purpose of the educational intervention. This project has explored the nature of professional competence, reviewed the competencies of Occupational Hygienists, and developed a matrix of assessment strategies which provide integrated assessment of professional competencies. This matrix has then been applied to the training modules/subjects learning outcomes and provides useful feedback to the profession regarding their competency standards and requirements.