Online environmental health and safety programmes for engineers at UCD
05 May 2015
The UCD Centre for Safety and Health at Work (CSHW), which has provided over 25 years of leading, innovative and practical education programmes in occupational safety and health, has successfully provided its first online postgraduate environmental management programme this year alongside its popular blended online programme, the Certificate in Safety and Health at Work.
The protection of the environment is now an integral part of the continuous and sustainable development of society here in Ireland and abroad. Professions that previously had little or only peripheral involvement in environmental issues are now required to interact with environmental scientists and engineers in order for their work to meet legal and regulatory requirements that did not exist a decade ago. As a consequence, the global environmental services market as a whole is advancing rapidly and expertise is needed to keep up with the demand for best practice environmental solutions needed across multiple sectors, particularly in engineering.
The environmental service sector has a range of key drivers that is facilitating this growth: compliance with EU environmental directives and regulations; rising energy costs; environmental goods and services; climate change considerations; green consumerism; significant increases in public investment in environmental services and infrastructure; increases in investment in energy and environment-related research and development; and green public procurement.
A number of studies have estimated that the value of this sector is likely to exceed €800 billion by this year (UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development Global Market Estimate, 2008). The environmental sector across Ireland is estimated to be valued at some €3.6 billion. This all-island figure does not include the market for environmental goods and services in building and construction materials and is therefore almost certainly an underestimate (Intertrade Ireland/FORFAS, 2008).
In light of the accelerated growth in the environmental sector and with employment opportunities continuing to grow, a wide variety or professions, exclusive of environmental science, now have to be conversant in environmental issues in order to capitalise on this growth. Many of these professions have little or no grounding in environmental knowledge and as such are not in a position to offer constructive input to many processes for sustainable growth and development in Ireland.
In order to meet the demands of these professionals, the UCD CSHW in September 2014 launched its first ever-online postgraduate qualification for the environmental sector – the Professional Certificate in Environmental Management. The programme has been designed to facilitate a wide range of professionals including planners, architects, civil, structural and chemical engineers, civil servants, occupational health and safety (OSH) specialists and legal professionals as they increasingly must interact with environmental specialists.
These professions are now required to evaluate, critique and incorporate environmental specialist work into projects and plans that they are managing. As the environmental legal and regulatory process in Ireland becomes more complicated, and oftentimes onerous, these professions must be able to understand and incorporate scientific principles involved in environmental assessment and management into their work.
Professional Certificate in Environmental Management
The UCD CSHW designed the Professional Certificate, which is a special-purpose award at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications, to meet the needs of this expanding national and international sector. In its first year, some 19 students enrolled on the full programme with a further 23 students from with UCD enrolling on specific modules in the PCert programme for continuous professional development purposes. Some students undertook study for the programme from as far away as Haiti, Malaysia and the Cameroon.
This far exceeded the initial expectations of demand for the first year of the programme.
The Professional Certificate in Environmental Management (PCert) introduces the student to the core principles of environmental management over three modules (five ECTS credits each):
- Introduction to Environmental Science;
- Environmental Legislation and Regulation; and
- Environmental Assessment and Management.
Over these three modules, the PCert provides a robust professional overview of environmental management, human-environment interactions and their associated regulatory issues and complexities. At the end of the programme, successful candidates from any given profession should expect that they will have a clear understanding and knowledge of: environmental issues, the scientific principles underpinning those issues, the legal and regulatory system in Ireland and the EU relating to the environment and the assessment and management procedures necessary to ensure best practice environmental protection. By far the most popular module of the PCert was the Environmental Legislation and Regulation module, with 34 students completing it.
The programme is designed to primarily be self-directed online learning with student/staff interaction primarily online but also with occasional half-day workshops held in UCD. Online discussion fora and weekly vidcasts ensure that the academic staff and students have a consistent flow of ideas, guidance, discussion and feedback. There are two half-day (three hours) workshops per module with each workshop utilising problem based learning to undertake teamwork endeavours of theoretical environmental issues facing Ireland today.
Each module is comprised of approximately 20 hours of online lectures utilising appropriate e-learning software accessible from PC and laptop. Each lecture also has accompanying reading resources, specified learning activities and innovative forms of assessment. The students undertaking the programme this year developed their own online learning wiki of international environmental legislation and research, as well as fulfilling practical assessment in the form of environmental report critiques and the development on an environmental management plan for a construction project.
The PCert is offered between September and April and the fee is €1,500. Applications for the next academic year 2015/16 are open until 31 July. For further information, please go to the following link: http://www.ucd.ie/graduatestudies/coursefinder/taughtprogrammes/prof-cert-environmental-management/
The UCD CSHW continues to offer leading occupational safety and health programmes in both blended online and traditional teaching formats. The aim of the UCD CSHW is to strengthen our proven record of success in promoting the highest standards of occupational safety and health through excellence in teaching and research and is achieved by:
- Addressing the evolving educational needs of professionals and stakeholders involved in occupational safety and health through teaching on a broad spectrum of high quality programmes, with clearly defined progression pathways, using multidisciplinary expertise and flexible, innovative delivery methods;
- Advancing knowledge and setting the agenda in occupational safety, health and environment in collaboration with national and international stakeholders through excellence in research and scholarly publications;
- Fostering excellence through teamwork in order to proactively meet the changing demands of internal and external stakeholders, by developing and maintaining dynamic systems and a network of collaborative national and international relationships; and
- Continuous improvement through timely review and evaluation of teaching, research and administration policies and processes in order to maintain optimum standards and welcome the challenges of the future.
Our suite of accredited (IOSH) education programmes cover a spectrum of continuous professional development needs in occupational safety and health for a broad range of professions that need OSH expertise at varying levels. Our popular Certificate in Safety and Health at Work has been conducted as a one-year blended online programme (20 ECTS credits Level 7) for the last two years.
For further information on our complete range of programmes, including our blended online Certificate in Safety and Health at Work, our part-time Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (two-year 90 ECTS credits Level 8) and our part-time MSc in Occupational Safety and Health (two-year 90 ECTS credits Level 9) please go to: http://www.ucd.ie/cshw/programmescourses/
Please contact the CSHW for further queries via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone: 01-7163420.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2015/05/05/online-environmental-health-safety-programmes-engineers-ucd/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Image3.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Image3-300x240.jpgNewsCPD,digital,education,safety,UCD