The Public Health Inspector/Environmental Health Officer (PHI/EHO) is a vital member of the public health team and delivery system. The role of the PHI/EHO includes preventing disease, promoting health and improving the environment through the use of education, consultation, inspection and monitoring techniques and, if necessary, by the enforcement of health legislation. The scope of interest covers food hygiene, insect and rodent control, communicable disease investigation, public accommodation, community care facilities, public recreational facilities, water supply and waste disposal systems, occupational health and safety and environmental pollution - air, water, soil and noise. The graduate provides leadership and technical expertise in the development of long-range planning to protect and improve the public's health. To meet these demands, the candidate must be a mature, practical person and possess excellent communication skills, as well as considerable tact and discretion in working with people at all levels within the community. Proficiency is required in problem-solving and decision-making.
This program prepares students to enter the field of environmental health as professional, effective members of a multi-disciplinary health team. Graduates will be able to recognize, evaluate, and manage environmental factors that impact on human health. They will have the knowledge and skills needed to meet a growing range of environmental health roles and responsibilities, specifically:
General studies in health and the health engineering sciences, liberal studies, health care management, math, and the physical and social sciences are included. Instructional modes include lectures, labs, guided learning, field trips, directed studies, and practical experiences.
Practical experience is a significant component of this educational program. It consists of field trips, projects, hands-on activities, and a three month practicum off-campus at an appropriate health agency. The Practicum may require relocation due to limited Vancouver-area positions. In addition, the Practicum:
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
Employment possibilities include municipal, regional, First Nations, provincial and national health agencies, environmental and pollution control agencies, bylaw enforcement and health education as well as private consulting firms and industries such as food processing, catering and fisheries.
PHIs/EHOs are often employed by municipal, regional, First Nations and federal health agencies. Salaries in British Columbia currently range from $51,000 to $74,000.
Read more about post-baccalaureate opportunities.
Why are some entrance requirements required and others recommended?
The required entrance requirements provide the minimum background information for you to be successful in the program. The recommended entrance requirements will increase your background knowledge and improve your chances of being successful. For those with only 67% grades in the required entrance requirements, your chances of acceptance will increase if you have also completed one or more of the recommended entrance requirements with 67% or higher. If you are not accepted for a particular intake, you may be asked to upgrade course marks in both the required and recommended entrance requirements.Top
How do I contact a Public Health Inspector/EHO?
Select the agency you wish to contact and locate the contact phone number at health.gov.bc.ca/socsec. Or, if you live in the Greater Vancouver area, you can contact a practising health inspector by referring to the blue pages at the back of the White Pages telephone directory. Under the heading "Health Authorities" there are listings for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health. For those who live outside the Greater Vancouver area, similar listings may be available in your local phone book. Look for the subheadings for "Public Health Inspection" or "Environmental Health". These search terms may also yield results in your local Yellow Pages telephone directory.Top
What if I don't have Microbiology?
BHSC 1023 (Introduction to Microbiology) is offered starting every January as a classroom-based evening course at the Burnaby campus. Successful completion of this course will satisfy the microbiology entrance requirement for the program. For a list of approved courses at other institutions, please see the list of equivalency courses [PDF]Top
What if I don't have Biostatistics or Statistics?
It is strongly encouraged that you complete this entrance requirement in advance of entering the program. If you don't have time, you must complete an approved Biostats/Stats course prior to entering Level 7. The workload is such that most students in the program are not usually able to complete this course during the academic year and therefore end up taking it over the summer between Level 6 and 7. Applicants who have completed a course with less than a 67% may be required to upgrade their mark to a 67% or higher prior to Level 7.Top
Can you tell me more about BCIT BSYS 1001 or the Computer Skills course?
It is strongly recommended that applicants complete a computer course requirement prior to entering the program. We recommend BSYS 1001 (Business Systems 1, based on MS Office 2010) or you can review the list of equivalency courses [PDF].Top
Is there a list of approved entrance requirement equivalency courses available at other institutions?
Yes, Environmental Health has prepared a list of approved equivalency courses [PDF].
If a course you are planning to take doesn't appear on this list of approved courses, please seek approval prior to registration. Contact Lorraine_Woolsey@bcit.ca with the institution name and the course date, name, number and outline/description.Top
Should I take Liberal Studies elective courses prior to entering the Environmental Health program?
If you have not completed any LIBS electives, we strongly recommend that you complete at least one LIBS elective prior to entering the program. LIBS courses are not entrance requirements, but it is difficult to complete the two LIBS elective credits while you are in the program.
Tuition fees are waived for BCIT LIBS elective courses if taken while you are a full-time student in our program (subject to change), but we feel it is advantageous to take LIBS elective courses in advance if you can afford to do so.
View BCIT's list of Liberal Studies core courses.
If you are intending to apply to the Environment Health program and are seeking pre-approval for an acceptable non-BCIT liberal studies elective prior to submitting your application, send an email to Michael_Bourke@bcit.ca with the following information:
Requests may take 2-4 weeks to process and you will receive your approval/disapproval by email. Please save your email approval information and submit it with your applicationTop
I am on a waitlist; what does this mean?
If you have been advised that you are on a waitlist it means that the program is full to capacity. If a student drops out, you may be contacted and offered a seat in the program.Top
Lorraine Woolsey, BSc, MEd, CPHI(C)
Vincent Crozier, BASc, MHS, CPHI(C)
Helen Heacock, PhD, MSc, Gdip, BSc
Keith Herle, BA, BSc, CPHI(C)
Martin Macleod, MEd, CPHI(C)
Fred Shaw, BSc
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