Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques
COURSE STRUCTURE DIAGRAM WITH CREDITS
- 6 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 11 CFU
- 5 CFU
- 8 CFU
- 6 CFU
- 5 CFU
- 5 CFU
- 4 CFU
Profile of the programme
This degree course revolves around career-oriented content. It arose out of reforms (on the basis of Ministerial Decree of 22 October 2004, no. 270 and subsequent decrees) to the previous degree course called “Prevention techniques in the environment and in the workplace” (leading to the health and safety career of Prevention Specialist in the environment and in the workplace). It has been run by the Medicine Faculty since the 2005-06 academic year and is organised according to Ministerial Decree 509/99. These reforms not only came about from the need to bring together integrated courses already included in the previous course of study, but also to adjust the teaching loads of the various basic and specialist subject areas, which have evolved in different ways in recent years. The aim was also to adapt the programme to constantly evolving cultural, professional and working parameters within the field of prevention in the environment and in the workplace. As opposed to the previous course, English is now introduced in the 1st year in order to enable students to use the instruments of research methodology to greater effect from the outset of the course. In the new course, 15 university credits have been allocated to the professional scientific disciplinary sector MED/50 – Applied Medical Sciences. The Professional Internship involves 60 university credits (professional scientific sector MED/50 – Applied Medical Technical Sciences) and an internship project based on different professional experiences, aimed at acquiring skills related to the specific functions and roles of the profession: Opinions and Consultation, Supervision and Control, Investigation, Information, Training, Education, Management and Research. With effect from the 2011-12 academic year, the course has adapted its curriculum to meet the amendments introduced by Ministerial Decree 270/04, with the aim of ensuring that students not only acquire the relevant scientific knowledge but also specific professional skills that help to integrate them into the employment market. Following a meeting with the President of the Degree Course (Prof. Enrico Bergamaschi), the Local Health Authorities of Parma, Modena, Reggio Emilia and Piacenza formed a working group promoted by the Directors of the Greater Metropolitan Area Public Health Departments (AVEN). As a result, the health authorities were involved in defining the new course, evaluating training needs and monitoring career opportunities, as well as identifying the skills expected of new health professionals in order to define the required professional profile (Ministerial Decree 58/97) in light of the organisational and cultural changes in the Public Health system. Local connections and relations are crucial if graduates are to receive a university education that corresponds to the expertise required by the public and private sector. This is also in relation to the memorandum of understanding dated 14.02.2005 stipulated between the Emilia Romagna Region and the Universities of Bologna, Ferrara, Modena-Reggio Emilia and Parma, implementing Art. 9 of Regional Law no. 29/2004. This explicitly acknowledges the vital role played by training and research in the National Health Service. In the Emilia Romagna region, there are approximately 600 Prevention Specialists working for the Public Health departments of the Local Health Authorities, and for the Regional Environmental Protection Agency; these professionals represent the interface of a significant proportion of the prevention system working for workers’ health and safety, public hygiene, food safety and protection of the environment and people’s health. Therefore, for organizations whose mission is prevention and public health, a priority concern must involve guaranteeing the fundamental prerequisites needed to ensure the Degree Course corresponds to the technicians’ professional profile and to the latest core skill needs identified in the recent Document by UNPISI (the association recognized by the Ministry of Health as national representative for the profile of Prevention Technician in the Environment and in the Workplace – Ministerial Decree 14 April 2005 and Ministerial Decree 19 June 2006). The AVEN Public Health Department Directors, the Emilia Romagna ARPA Executive Director and their training representatives, have stressed the need for professional training that takes into consideration the organizational and cultural changes in Public Health and in the Prevention Plans guidelines, in order to guarantee healthcare professionals with the specific skills required by the workplace. The professional profile embraces very different contexts (air, water, soil, waste, protection of health and safety at work, food safety, public hygiene, industrial systems, veterinary science). This complexity makes it necessary to render a network of relations official through legislative and administrative obligations and agreements. The aim is to guarantee training that is comprehensive, and whose topics are integrated with each other as much as possible. It also sets out to invest in prevention by training professionals who are ready to become active participants in multidisciplinary teams dealing with health problems of the population and taking action on risk factors.
a) Knowledge required for access (Ministerial Decree 270/04, art 6, paragraphs 1 and 2)
Candidates with a higher education diploma or equivalent foreign qualification may be accepted onto the Degree course for Environment and Workplace Prevention Specialists, in accordance with Ministerial Decree 270/04, Art 6, paragraph 1. The number of students accepted onto the Second Cycle Degree course in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques is planned annually by the Department as established by the educational coordination Board. It is based on the available teaching staff, teaching facilities, laboratories and assistance facilities which can be used for conducting practical work. The scheduled number of admissions to the first year of the course is defined in accordance with law 2 August 1999, no. 264 on Standards governing access to university courses, Article 3. The final deadline for enrolment in the first year of the Second Cycle Degree course in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques is set each year by the Department Board. Admissions onto the course are made in keeping with the shortlist drafted after the entry examination. Admission onto the course is subject to medical examination to assess psycho-physical attitude for conducting the specific tasks of the professional profile. The University schedules this test within the first semester of the course, and in any case prior to the start of the internship. The course admission requirement must be suitable for ensuring the students can attend the course successfully, in particular during the first year.
b) Knowledge and/or skills required for admission and preparatory training (RAD)
Admission to the course is subject to candidates possessing good general knowledge, with particular regard to literary, historical philosophy, social and institutional fields, as well as the ability to analyse a variety of written texts and the ability to conduct logical and mathematical reasoning. In addition, the knowledge and skills required refer to the knowledge promoted by the education authorities which organise educational activities in line with Ministerial Programmes (especially as regards State examinations) and which also concern scientific subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. In particular, the subjects on which the student's initial knowledge base is assessed are as follows: General knowledge and logical reasoning, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. The document detailing these subjects is Appendix 1 to the Ministerial Decree dated 15 June 2011- Methods and contents of university entry examinations for degree courses, with national scheduled access each academic year. As the regulations state, admission to the degree course is subject to possession of a secondary school diploma or other qualification obtained abroad which is recognized as equivalent. In addition, possession or acquisition of suitable initial competence is also required. The course is programmed on a national level in accordance with article 1 of law 264/1999; to which provisions regarding national programming issued annually by the Ministry for Universities and Research (detailed in the call for applications) apply.
Means of assessing knowledge and/or skills required for admission
Assessment of initial competence is organised by the University and is based on the provisions issued each year by the MIUR, as stipulated with regard to access to courses programmed on a national level. The entry examination, which will be of a maximum of 120 minutes, consists of answering to 80 multiple choice questions (five options) on subjects including: General knowledge and Logical Reasoning, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics (as per the programme under Appendix A of Ministerial Decree 15.06.2011) and General Knowledge and Logical Reasoning. The examination is conducted for selection purposes, and also aims to verify that candidates have sufficient initial training.
d) Criteria for allocating specific additional training requirements regarding shortfalls solving tasks and methods for ensuring they have been met.
For degree courses covered by Ministerial Decree 270/2004, students who sit the initial training assessment and must subsequently achieve additional requirements corresponding to more than 25 university education credits, must enrol on a part-time basis. Any shortfalls in terms of student education and/or general knowledge emerging in one or more specific subject areas from the exams undertaken may be eliminated with training geared towards increasing and orientating the student's basic knowledge of these subjects. Such activities must be covered on a self-taught basis under supervision, or in any other suitable form according to the lecturer(s) in the corresponding subject(s). Where the conditions are suitable, students may also avail of a tutor from higher education or tutors selected amongst the degree course students.
Key learning outcomes
The many prevention, inspection and control tasks involved in health and safety within work and living areas, food and drink hygiene, public and veterinary health and hygiene represent the field of specific competences of graduates in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques. This professional profile has been outlined in accordance with Ministerial Decree 17 January 1997 no. 58 and subsequent amendments and additions. In particular, law 10 August 2000, no. 251, sets out the professional training goals. The Degree course in "Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques" provides sufficient knowledge of the basic scientific subjects to give a grounding in the key elements of human pathological processes, in particular those linked to environmental and occupational factors for which preventive and/or rehabilitative measures are particularly effective. During the three-year course in "Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques", students must:
- acquire the basics of prevention in the living environment and workplace hygiene;
-acquire skills that enable them to conduct supervisory and inspection tasks in the living environment and workplace;
-understand methods for sampling the different environmental matrices and assess the main environmental parameters and pollutants correctly;
-understand and know how to apply basic notions and methods of descriptive and inferential statistics and IT;
-understand and know how to apply quantitative epidemiology instruments, above all with the aim to prevent and control illnesses linked to living and working environments;
-understand the causes and effects of chemical, physical and biological pollution of living and working environments and prevention strategies;
-understand the legal regulations governing environmental health and hygiene in living and working places;
-understand and schedule supervisory and control activities for hygiene surveillance of foods and drinks, from production to consumption, in keeping with the standards in force;
-promote supervision and control regarding veterinary health and hygiene;
-acquire basic knowledge of the processes and systems involved in the agri-food supply chain and of the competences concerning quality control and safety of veterinary products and hygiene;
-understand the methods used for preparing, determining, disputing and notifying any irregularities found;
-understand how to conduct verifications and enquiries into work-related accidents and illnesses;
-acquire the necessary knowledge to be able to conduct inspections and provide supervision as an officer of the judicial police force, within the framework of one's field;
-acquire knowledge of radiation protection in accordance with the contents of Appendix IV of legislative decree 26 May 2000, no. 187;
-contribute towards organising and programming supervision and control in prevention departments of the National Health Service;
-work alongside the judicial authorities on investigations into crimes against environmental assets, on health and hygiene conditions in living and working premises, and on foods;
-check to ensure that the premises and adjacent environments correspond to the relevant work conducted;
-supervise and control safety conditions of industrial systems;
-understand changes in regulations governing health and safety, both of a general nature and in terms of supervision and control in the field of prevention for public health.
-understand the main illnesses responsible for prevalent morbidity and mortality, and the associated means of prevention, focusing particularly on professional and environmental risk factors;
-understand the main professional illnesses triggered by different work-related activities, and the relevant prevention measures;
-understand and know how to apply procedures for assessing risk and the validity of prevention programmes in force in living and working premises;
- understand the technical and administrative notions for conducting the preliminary measures for issuing authorisations or technical health and safety permits for activities subject to control;
-acquire the basic technical and scientific means for planning, organising, managing and verifying the quality of the work involved in the relevant professional profile;
-know how to interact and cooperate with inter-professional teams with an end to managing and planning prevention measures within the framework of one's professional competence;
-contribute, for the relevant part, to the training of workers and cooperate with updating the professional profile and seeking staff in the relevant sector;
-be able to use English, as well as Italian, in both written and oral form, in the specific field in question, and in the exchange of general information.
Final examination, if any
In order to enter the final examination, students must have achieved at least 171 University credits, including those required for knowledge of the foreign language (English). The Degree in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques is awarded when the final examination has been passed. This involves drafting and presenting a task and demonstrating the skills linked to professional practice. The final examination has the same value as a State examination, which qualifies the holder to exercise professional activities; it is conducted in two sessions in line with the timeframes and methods prescribed by the relevant decree of the Ministry for University and Scientific and Technological Research, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, before a Board formed in line with Article 7, paragraph 4 of Ministerial Decree dated 19 February 2009. The Chairman nominates a Co-speaker from the members of the Board for each of the candidates. This generally occurs at least one month prior to the discussion of the paper. The Co-speaker introduces the discussion at the end of the presentation by the candidate he or she has been assigned to. According to the Course regulations and the Educational Programme, the student has a total of 5 University credits which must be dedicated to educational activities in the run-up to the Final Examination. The University Credits will be acquired by the student once a lecturer or internship mentor has issued a declaration that he or she has qualified. The final examination involves proving the professional skills (practical exam) and discussing a written dissertation (thesis). The examination is taken before a Board nominated by the Dean, generally made up of a number of members that varies from 7 to 11 (of which no less than 2 indicated by the UNPISI board), stipulated by the relevant decree issued by the Ministry for Universities in conjunction with the Ministry of Health.
The following elements contribute towards the degree grade: the arithmetic average of exam marks, assessment of the final examination (practical exam and thesis dissertation), the duration of the university career (whether the student has graduated within the allocated time or otherwise). The grade is given out of 110. The best candidates may be awarded the mark of 110 cum laude, by unanimous decision of the Board. The minimum score for passing the final examination is 66/110. Graduate Specialists in Environment and Workplace Prevention can access the post-graduate course in Medical Prevention disciplines without any credit deficits. The Course Council for the Degree in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques schedules the degree examinations in Environment and Workplace Prevention Techniques on specific dates indicated on the course website.