This document about Working in the UK as an Environmental Health Practitioner has been put together to help Environmental Health Practitioners from around the world learn about the steps that are involved in working in the United Kingdom.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and the Environmental Health Registration Board (EHRB) are separate entities. The CIEH is the professional membership organisation and joining it is entirely voluntary. Joining as a member of the CIEH, does not qualify you to carry out the role of an EHP.
The EHRB is the awarding body. In order for UK qualified candidates to practise as an EHP, they must obtain the Environmental Health Registration Board’s Certificate of Registration (CoR). This is the qualification needed to carry out enforcement work and food safety inspections.
UK candidates complete an accredited Bachelors or Masters degree, a substantial learning portfolio, an exam and an interview, before they are awarded the EHRB’s Certificate of Registration. Once a candidate has the CoR, they can work anywhere in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and due to a reciprocal arrangement with REHIS, in Scotland too.
More information on this route can be found here to give you an idea of the process.
As an overseas qualified candidate, you do not have to go through this regime if you are a qualified practicing EHP (or equivalent) in the country of your qualification. You can choose to have your qualifications assessed to see if they can be classed as equivalent to those of a UK EHP. Please note that there is no straightforward reciprocal arrangement for recognition of qualifications. Your nationality is not an issue, ‘Non-EU’ refers to the qualification and where you practise as an EHP.
The next step is to visit the EHRB site; it has everything you need to know. I would strongly urge you to read the guidance document for Non-EU applicants before doing anything else. It can be found here. There are several side bars which outline fees and the application process etc.
You are asked to map evidence of your knowledge and skills against that of a UK qualified EHP. In basic terms, these will be your qualifications (degree syllabus and any post-graduate qualifications you may have) and practical training (and subsequent work place experience). The documents “2011Curriculum” and the “Portfolio of Professional Practice (PPP)” are what you would map against respectively.
Regarding your degree course: the syllabus would be ideal, if you can obtain it from your university it would be a great help for assessment.
Regarding experience, we use the PPP to ascertain the level of work place experience of the candidate. If you did a logbook (or learning portfolio) as part of your course, you should definitely send that in to support your application. Also, if you can get your referees to be explicit in the work you have undertaken and the level of involvement you had in the specific tasks, then that would be excellent in ascertaining your practical experience.
Please be advised that the more information you submit, the clearer the picture we have of your qualifications, experience and potential fitness to practice in the UK. The fee for assessment of the application is non-refundable, so please take care to complete the application as fully as possible before submitting.
If, after assessment, it is deemed that there is a gap in knowledge and practical experience the full certificate will not be awarded. However, there are compensatory measures which can be taken to address this. There are two routes (Adaptation and Aptitude) covered in detail in the guidance document on the EHRB website.
If you do not wish to work as an EHP in the UK, you may be able to gain employment in other roles such as a consultant or technical officer, where you are not required to possess the EHRB CoR. For example, if you wish to specialise in Food Safety inspections, you can get qualified in this area only.
The CIEH contact for more information is
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Chadwick Court, 15 Hatfields, London, SE1 8DJ
Direct Telephone 020 7827 5905
Fax 020 7928 6953
The CIEH is at the forefront of environmental and public health. To learn more please visit www.cieh.org