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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-43

Occupational health training in India: Need for a competency-driven approach

1 Occupational Medicine Division, National Institute of Occupational Health, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
2 Academic Programs, Public Health Foundation of India, Delhi, India
3 Indian Institute of Public Health-Delhi, Gurgaon, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajnarayan R Tiwari
Occupational Medicine Division, National Institute of Occupational Health, Meghani Nagar, Ahmedabad - 380 016, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5278.183843

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Background: In order to cater to the changing business scenario, employment and education profiles of labor, newer occupations, and emerging occupational health challenges, it is time to improve the performance of occupational health professionals by adapting core professional competencies while drawing on global knowledge. Objective: To delineate the competencies required for medical graduates, medical postgraduates, and Masters in Public Health (MPH) graduates practicing occupational health in India. Materials and Methods: First, offline and online literature searches were carried out to enlist the core competencies for occupational health. A draft template was prepared for the identified competencies and stakeholders were asked to rank the listed competencies on a three-point scale stating "must," "desirable," and "not required" for each of the three categories of professionals, i.e., medical graduates, medical postgraduates, and MPH graduates. Results: Through the extensive literature search, 23 competencies were identified for occupational health practitioners. According to stakeholders, five competencies were a must, nine were desirable, and nine were not required by a medical graduate. Similarly for a medical postgraduate, except the ability to judge the ergonomic design of the workplace and working tools, which is considered desirable, all other competencies were considered a must while for an MPH graduate all the enlisted 23 competencies were considered a must by the stakeholders. Conclusion: The framework of occupational health competencies developed through this research can be used to strengthen the training of occupational health professionals in India.


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