Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene


certification, credentialing, exam development, examination, international standards of practice, professional practice


Professional credentialing schemes based on experience and examination are used to clarify the scope and required competencies associated with the practice of a profession. National occupational hygiene (OH) credentials developed in 17 nations have been recognized by the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) to meet or exceed the requirements of a model certification program. To date, there is no credentialing or certification scheme for occupational hygienists in Spanish-speaking regions. To fill this void, a new credentialing body has been created named the Iberoamerican Board of Occupational Hygiene (JIHO). As a first step to the development of a certification exam for a profession, it is necessary to determine the interest in an occupational hygiene certification exam in Spanish and to clarify the most common work practices for those practicing the profession. To determine the proper exam weightings for occupational hygiene competencies needed to practice in Spanish-speaking regions JIHO conducted a comprehensive survey of professional practice of occupational hygiene in nations where Spanish is spoken as the primary language. Surveys were sent to 456 practicing occupational hygienists in nine different countries on a variety of topics. Results indicated that 79% of respondents felt the need for an OH certification exam in Spanish was very or extremely important. The most frequent and important technical competencies utilized in practice were (1) awareness about the health effects of hazardous agents to make decisions about workplace activities and exposures, (2) application of the hierarchy of controls, control banding, hazard communication, training of employees and other methods to reduce worker exposure and workplace risks, and (3) application of principles to recognize and control biohazards in the workplace. The study results have been used to guide the weighting and importance of various technical topics and rubrics on the JIHO exam. Data from this study can be used in the development of certification examinations, to improve international coherence in the profession, and the development of educational programs in OH.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Taylor & Francis.




This article was first published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (2024).

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding [TPF, JP], upon reasonable request.