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The capacities of available training programs in the area of occupational and environmental health in India do not match the growing demand for trained personnel in terms of number and quality. Advanced training in occupational safety and health in India for e.g. is limited to a few diploma courses administered by few Governmental institutions or professional associations. While university level programs in environmental sciences and engineering are widely offered few provide a focus on environmental and occupational health.

To address the growing demand for technical training, EHE-SRU started to develop and conduct professional development programs in occupational safety and health in 1999. These programs cater to target groups such as occupational physicians, safety engineers, environmental health specialists and shop floor level workers. Several of these training modules are used as training modules for WHO Fellows.

To build higher level skills and capacities amongst professionals in 2001, two graduate level programs were launched viz. (1) a Master of Science in Industrial Health & Safety and (2) a Post-graduate Certificate Course in Industrial Health. Recognizing the challenges in finding suitable employment for fresh graduates with such training and keeping in view the need for such training for a large number of people who need these skills in their present positions (especially in industry and governmental institutions) these courses are offered on a distance education mode. The programs are recognized by the Government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for employment in industry. The feedback from students most of whom are sponsored candidates from local industry has been a central element in tailoring the course contents to match the skill expectation of employers and policy makers.

Over the last five years that the department has been involved in academic training, numerous discussions have been held to assess the requirements of various stakeholders for additional academic programs. A formal inventory of training programs in this discipline has also been prepared for the WHO SEARO collaborating Centre network by the department. The MPH in Occupational and Environmental Health is a full time postgraduate degree program, aimed at training students to become proficient occupational and environmental health professionals with capacities in recognition, prevention and management of occupational and environmental health risks. The program will have a dual focus on laboratory and field based methods to allow application of their skills in academic, industrial, governmental and other professional organizational settings. The course also specifically aims at enhancing research and analytical skills to enable design and conduct of sophisticated, multidisciplinary research studies in the area of occupational and environmental health. This program is offered through collaboration between SRU and the University of California (Berkeley) with support from the International Training and Research on Occupational and Environmental Health (I.T.R.O.E.H.) program of the Fogarty International Centre, NIH, USA and additional expert support from GTZ-Centre for International Migration (GTZ-CIM).

Additional details of the academic programmes are provided below

1. Masters of Public Health (Occupational and Environmental Health)
2. AFIH (Associate Fellowship in Industrial Health)
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