National Environmental
Health Association Position on

Direction and Usage of NEHA's
REHS/RS and CFSP Credentials
 

Adopted December 2003

 

PURPOSE

 

This policy is designed to clarify the proper direction and use of two of NEHAís credentials, the REHS/RS and CFSP credentials.

 

POLICY

 

The REHS/RS credential demonstrates competency in the environmental health profession. This profession is a synthesis of numerous disciplines such as: Food protection; Wastewater; Solid and Hazardous Waste; Potable Water; Institutions and Licensed Establishments; Vectors, Pests and Weeds; Swimming Pools and Recreational Facilities; Statutes and Regulations; Housing; Hazardous Materials; Radiation Protection; Occupational Safety and Health; Air Quality and Noise; Disaster Sanitation; etc., none of which individually represents the profession as a whole. NEHAís position is that that this credential be obtained and properly used by all individuals in the environmental health profession to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge and experience to begin practice in nearly any area of our profession. Attaining this credential requires the candidate to demonstrate knowledge in many specialty areas of environmental health practice, thus he/she is seen as being better prepared to apply a more holistic approach to problem solving, analysis and communications. This credential is for all environmental health professionals who aspire to reach the highest levels of this profession and demonstrate the dedication necessary to achieve a higher degree of professional stature.

 

            The CFSP is a specialty credential that demonstrates competency in the food safety discipline. This profession is a fusion of food safety principles such as: Causes and Prevention of Foodborne Illness; Inspection of Food Establishments; Enforcement; Equipment and Utensils; Management and Personnel; Sampling Procedures and Interpretation of Results; Physical Facilities, Water, Plumbing, and Waste; Cleaning and Sanitizing; Vector and Pest Control; Purchasing, Shipping, Receiving, and Storing; etc., none of which individually represents the profession as a whole. NEHA recommends that this credential be obtained and properly used by all individuals who specialize in the food safety profession to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge and experience to begin practice in the food safety area of this profession. Attaining this credential requires the candidate to demonstrate a knowledge in many food safety areas, thus he/she is seen as being better prepared to apply a specific level of expertise to food safety problem solving, analysis and communications. This credential is recommended for all food safety professionals who aspire to reach the highest levels in food safety and demonstrate the dedication necessary to achieve this degree of professional stature.

 

The REHS/RS and CFSP credentials have distinct and complementary purposes. The REHS/RS is a general environmental health credential and the CFSP is a special food safety credential. These credentials do not conflict with each other by design.

 

PROCEDURAL STATEMENTS

 

        NEHA will promote, support and endorse the REHS/RS credential as the premier credential of the environmental health profession and of NEHA.

        NEHA will promote, support and endorse reciprocity of the REHS/RS credential with all states that regulate the environmental health profession with an equivalent credential.

        NEHA will work with CDC and various federal and state agencies to endorse the use of the REHS/RS when working in the environmental health profession.

        NEHA will work with FDA and USDA to sanction the REHS/RS credential and the CFSP credential at the local health department level with their respective agencies in accordance with the above policy.

NEHA will disseminate information that promotes the REHS/RS credential as the premier credential in the environmental health profession and the CFSP credential as the premier credential in the food safety industry. This information will promote the value of employing personnel who have demonstrated their competence by obtaining the REHS/RS credential and/or the CFSP credential.

 

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