Update on BOHS Modules

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I hope everyone had a good Christmas break and are looking forward to 2011. It’s year that is going to see some significant changes to the BOHS examination system.

Module Examination Timings

As mentioned in a previous post, this month sees an increase in the time allowed for BOHS Module examinations. For the SAQ section of the papers, candidates will be allowed an average of three minutes per question, i.e. 120 minutes for Part A. For Part B, the time allowed will be extended to 60 minutes (12 minutes per question). This means that the exam duration will be increased to 3 hours.

The increase in the length of the examination means that if we continue with our current policy of starting at 11 a.m. it wouldn’t finish until 2 p.m., so candidates wouldn’t be able to have lunch until mid-afternoon. We were, therefore, faced with the choice of starting the examination earlier in the morning or after lunch.  After consulting with candidates attending the last few courses during 2010, the overwhelming response was that it would be better to start earlier, so that is what we’ve decided to do.  From now on we’ll be starting the final revision session an hour earlier at 08:30, allowing us to run the examination between10.00 and 13:00.

International Modules

Another development on the horizon is that BOHS intends to align their Modules with the International versions, developed by the Occupational Hygiene Training Association, at the end of the year.

The International modules were based on the BOHS system, so the overall structure will be very similar. There will be some modifications to the content as the syllabi have been reviewed, but they will largely cover the same ground. The main change are that there will be a compulsory assessed practical element to all the courses. Also, the International version of the exams are “open book” consisting of 40 short answer questions (with no “micro-essays”). This would be a major change to the current way courses are examined in the UK if it is implemented here.

The changeover will inevitably have some implications for how we run our courses and, having reviewed the OHTA syllabi and course contents, we have highlighted some issues to the Faculty that we feel need to be addressed. We’ll keep you posted on developments, so watch this space!

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