Chartered Status review: outcome of Phase 2

09 August 2023, Jon Buttolph, CIEH Associate Director of Professional Development

A huddle of people

In June, we asked members and other stakeholders to consider a proposal for a new route to Chartered Status. This consultation has now closed and the results are summarised below.

Our proposal was based on the Phase 1 consultation last year, in which we asked you about the basic principles of what the process for achieving Chartered Status should be. We then published the outcome of this first phase of our consultation, including data from almost 1,000 respondents to our online survey.

Once again, engagement with the online questionnaire and online discussion meetings was generally very positive. However, the number of responses was significantly lower this time. I believe this is because people felt their views on the basic principles of what Chartered Status should be had been heard loud and clear during the first consultation, so there was perhaps less need or interest in the specific details proposed in Phase 2.

I would like to thank ACEHO, EHNI and EHW for their help in circulating the questionnaire.

What you wrote

A report on responses to the questionnaire is linked below, with the following key headlines:

  • There were 252 responses to our online questionnaire
  • Respondents were overwhelmingly working in the public sector and were mainly Chartered Environmental Health Practitioners or members of some other type
  • 55% of respondents felt that the proposals were “good” or “excellent”, with a further 27% saying that they were “OK”
  • There was a fairly even split between respondents who felt that Chartered Status should be accessed 3 years after Registration as an Environmental Health Officer/Practitioner (34%) vs 5 years after Registration (37%)
  • 58% of respondents agreed that applicants for Chartered Status should supply three years of compliant CPD records
  • 60% of respondents agreed that applicants should submit a case study and sit a professional discussion assessment
  • 92% of respondents felt that the fee for applicants should be aimed at cost recovery rather than generating a profit
  • 70% of respondents felt that the proposals are a positive step for the profession

Chartered Status questionnaire phase 2 responses report - Please note, questions with open text responses have not been included to protect privacy, but these have been taken into consideration in the overall findings shared here.

What you said

  • A total of 20 members attended our series of online discussion meetings
  • There was a reasonable geographical spread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Attendees were mainly working in the public sector, but a number of private sector practitioners contributed too
  • The majority of attendees were already Chartered
  • There was broad consensus that the proposal was a good route to Chartered Status for recently Registered EHPs/EHOs
  • More detail was needed - guidance for candidates would be critical for the success of the new route
  • Attendees confirmed that Chartered Status is about bringing theory and practice together – showing what has been done in the real world
  • A number of people said that there has been huge change in the qualification/registration pathways over the years and that this is confusing. There was general agreement that things need to settle down now and the priority should be promoting the profession 
  • A number of practical points were raised which have been fed back to the review group

Below I have chosen a sample of responses from the questionnaire to demonstrate some common lines of thought that came through:

"I believe it will provide a simpler path to the Chartered membership as there are thousands of EHO's that will love to get to this level but have been restricted by all the previous complicated process." 
"Sets out expectations clearer than previously and means that people are not rolling straight out of university onto a programme that puts them as chartered with very little experience." 

Alternatively, a few respondents were concerned about the work required of applicants:

"Those of us working in Local Government are beyond stretched already. This additional written work/interview may be a step too far when there are simply not enough hours in the day already.”  
"Too arduous to complete when working in an under resourced team." 

What we will do about it

All your feedback has been circulated to the Chartered Status review group. Their plan now is to work with some of our existing assessors to develop the proposal into a fully fledged pathway to Chartered Status.

This will then be presented to our Membership, Learning and the Profession Advisory Group for further discussion and then to the Board of Trustees for agreement.

We hope to be able to relaunch Chartered Status towards the end of 2023 or early next year.

Thank you once again for your participation in this process, I look forward to updating you on our progress.

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