ID Newsletter Volume 6: April 2006
ID Newsletter Volume 5: December 2005
ID Newsletter Volume 4: October 2005
ID Newsletter Volume 3: February 2005
ID Newsletter Volume 2: November 2004
ID Newsletter Volume 1: August 2003 - January 2004
International DeveMission of the PSE committee
The PSE committee: (1) maintains, develops and disseminates the IEA Directory of Ergonomics Educational Programmes; (2) accredits bodies in different countries/regions responsible for certifying professional ergonomists; (3) provides guidance on the quality of ergonomics graduate education programs; and (4) provides advice/guidance on conduct, ethics and standards for professional ergonomists.
This committee is currently chaired by Dr. Yushi Fujita, Research Department Technova Inc. in Tokyo. The Past Chair was Dr. Thomas J. Smith, University of Minnesota.
The work of the IEA Professional Standards and Education (PSE) Committee takes place against a background of considerable activity with regard to the recognition of the profession of ergonomics and of ergonomics practitioners, across the world. Academic programs are under threat in some countries but are expanding rapidly in others. Certification bodies attached to some Federated Societies or groupings have reached some maturity of operation whereas other Federated Societies are beginning to set certification processes in motion. Equally, academic, legal and ethics requirements have accelerated the drive to produce criteria for ergonomics competencies and for accreditation of educational programs.
Given this background, the Committee is extremely sensitive in its activities, moving forward relatively slowly so as to ensure that the whole international ergonomics community is consulted and broadly in agreement with its proposals and, subsequently, its guidelines and criteria. Documents developed by the Committee for purposes of providing guidance on the education of professional ergonomists, and on the accreditation of bodies in different countries responsible for certifying professional ergonomists, are listed below and may be downloaded by clicking on the title.
During 2006-2009, there are two subcommittees, as follows:
Ergonomics Education (EE) subcommittee
The Directory of Ergonomics Educational Programs (DEEP) is being managed and updated by the IEA Secretary general Pascale Carayon as new information becomes available. It is the intention of the IEA to indicate the various modes of post graduate programs such as Distance Learning to assist the prospective students who may wish to study in other countries of the world.
Ergonomics Education subcommittee
Membership of the Ergonomics Education subcommittee is drawn from nominated educators within a number of the Federated Societies. Members for 2006-2009 are:
Professor Bob Bridger, UK
Professor Francois Daniellou, France
Dr. Ian Gibson, UK
A review of the IEA document ”„Guidelines on the Minimum Specifications for a Masters Degree in Ergonomics/Human Factors (including guidance about distance learning)”¦ is currently being undertaken to ensure its ongoing role and relevance to postgraduate education in ergonomics. The feedback from this committee will be shared with the Federated Societies for their consideration.
This subcommittee reviews the process of certification of professional ergonomists provided by certifying bodies in different countries, and accredits these bodies based on the outcome of the review analysis. This review process enables the IEA to overview the Quality Assurance requirements for these systems and to update Certification requirements when improvements are identified.
Membership of the Certification subcommittee is drawn from professional ergonomists who hold leadership roles in certifying bodies in different countries. Members for 2006-2009 are:
Prof. Kazuo Aoki, Chair, Japanese Certification Program, Japan Ergonomics Society (JES)
Dr. Peter Budnick, Director, Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) (U.S.)
Certifying bodies in the following regions/countries currently have been accredited by the IEA:
BCPE, CREE, and the Certification program for JES, currently offer international certification services, in that applications for certification from professional ergonomists outside of the home region/country of these bodies are accepted for consideration.
Professional Certification Endorsement
The goals for this activity are:
to determine whether the certification process designed and submitted by an individual Federated Society, or any other group, meets the IEA minimum criteria defined for the certification of an Ergonomist.
to review the way in which a certifying body meets the criteria specified by the IEA.
to make recommendations to the IEA Executive Committee that the certification process and certifying body under consideration be endorsed/not endorsed by the IEA.
to provide advice and guidance, as necessary and appropriate within the means of its resources, to Federated Societies or any other groups which are developing, or are considering developing, certification schemes.
to periodically review the criteria for endorsing the certifying process and the certifying body.
Various sub-committees have been operating since 1998 on an as needs basis. Several members of different Federated Societies are appointed to a pool such that a sub-committee of experts with no potential conflicts of interest can be activated each time a professional body applies for approval. The sub-committee for 2003-6 was: Carol Slappendel and Stephen Legg (New Zealand, Committee Chairs), Francois Daniellou (France), Harvey Cohen and Jerry Duncan (USA), and Neil Mansfield (UK). It was previously chaired by Hal Hendrick.
The first accreditation application from a certifying body reviewed by the Certification subcommittee was submitted in 2001 by the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE)? based in the USA. The application was assessed by a Review Group of three sub-committee members with no links to BCPE. As a result of this review process, the IEA Executive Committee formally endorsed BCPE as a certifying body in 2002.
BCPE's application enabled the Certification subcommittee to test the application and review procedures. As a result, the application form for certification endorsement was reviewed and updated in January 2004 to ensure that the information provided by the applicant organisation is sufficiently comprehensive.?
A survey of Federated Societies was conducted in May 2004 to obtain information about national certification programs and to encourage application for IEA endorsement. Positive responses were obtained from Brazil, Korea, Hong Kong, Nordic Countries, BCPE (USA), South Africa, New Zealand, China, Germany, Italy and South East Asia. Key contacts identified through this survey were subsequently emailed for information about codes of ethics as part of the IEA Code of Ethics Review (see below).
Organizations interested in the IEA endorsement process for Certification are encouraged to contact the IEA Secretary General Pascale Carayon.
Code of Conduct
A review report of the IEA Code of Ethics (COE) was presented at the 2006 IEA Council meeting and a ”§IEA Code of Conduct for Ergonomists (COCE)”Ø was approved as a replacement of the IEA Code of Ethics. The review report contained: a detailed analysis of the IEA COE; an analysis of similar codes used by other organisations; a detailed analysis of the existing IEA Code of Ethics; results of initial consultation with CREE, BCPE and the Nordic Ergonomics Society at its annual conference -NES2004, in which ”„Ethics in working life”¦ was the central theme in conjunction with IEA.
The IEA Code of Conduct for Ergonomists (COCE) is shorter (only two pages) and more concise yet contains as much relevant material as the former IEA Code of Ethics. It is more firmly based on the four fundamental principles of ethical conduct: beneficence (doing good); veracity (truthfulness, accuracy and integrity); autonomy (respect for persons); justice (fairness), and is more clearly relevant for ergonomists rather than mainly ergonomics researchers. It is recommended that Federated Societies and other organisations use the COCE as a guideline for ethical and professional practice.
This is now available on this website.
Directory of Ergonomics Educational Programmes (DEEP) subcommittee
The Secretary General maintains the Directory of Ergonomics Programs and conducts quality screening of the various ergonomics education programs worldwide. The goals are:
To maintain the DEEP on the IEA Web site Study Ergonomics
Review the DEEP for accuracy every year
Review the DEEP supplementary advisory information supplied about courses every 3 years
Develop guidelines for inclusion of courses within the DEEP
Encourage updating DEEP via the IEA home-page
Promote DEEP more widely
Origins of the Directory. The IEA web site includes a series of pages that make up the Directory (Study Ergonomics).
Directory format. Course details are currently listed by country, and include the following information:
Name of school
Name of University/Institute
Contact name and address for enquiries
Degrees/diplomas on offer
Prerequisites for admission
Description of the character of the Program
Entries for the USA consist of lists by state of links to the appropriate entry on the HFES web site at http://www.hfes.org/Web/Students/grad_programs.html.
Updates and Amendments. The task of checking entries and amending where necessary is on-going. A list of contacts is maintained for each country represented and for some that currently have no course listed in the Directory. Contacts may be ergonomics society representatives, course co-ordinators or others that have involvement in some capacity. Communication with these contacts is via email. Occasionally, course contacts will get in touch to notify a change of details but usually prompts for updates are needed.
New additions. There is a form for visitors to complete to add details of new courses. Although there is no verification procedure that confirms that the information is accurate, the form is long and detailed, and includes a field asking for a contact name of someone in a Federated Society who will check the entry. It is assumed that if all fields are completed, and a web address is included, then the course is genuine and can be included in the Directory.
Directory publicity. Where available, web editors of ergonomics society web sites were contacted to ask for a link to the Directory.
Feedback. A feedback form was added to the Directory in 2003 asking for suggestions for improvements to the Directory.
Future plans. There is a need to provide alternative indices to the list by country. For example, it would be useful to have a list of courses offering on-line study, or distance learning. In the next round of updates, which will be requested during the second quarter of 2004 by email communication with course contacts, further details will be requested that will allow indices such as these to be created. Where available, society newsletter editors will be contacted to ask for a short paragraph publicising the Directory to be printed in forthcoming issues. Further efforts will be made to confirm details for courses where contacts have not replied to requests for updates. This will involve extensive internet searches.
Relationship of the PSE Committee to the IEA Strategic Plan
The work of the Professional Standards and Education Committee is central to the elements of the Strategic Plan defined in the strategies of objective B3. In particular, over the past three years, the Committee has contributed to:
Iterative development of the whole Strategic Plan
Development and maintenance of Professional Recognition Documentation and Procedures (strategies B3.7, B3.8 and B3.9).
On-going development of guidelines for accreditation of ergonomics educational programs and of a directory of approved ergonomics educational programs (strategies B3.5 and B3.6).
The committee can support outreach into international standards and best practice and the promotion of ergonomics education and practice (strategies B3.3 and B3.4).