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Diploma in Occupational Health Practice (DipOHPrac)

Diploma in Occupational Health Practice (DipOHPrac) – Regulations & Guidance

If you wish to read a list of training centres and exam dates please go to the introduction to the Diploma in Occupational Health Practice page.

ELIGIBILITY

D1.
Regulation
Candidates for the Diploma are required EITHER

(a) to provide evidence of full or limited registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of the United Kingdom; OR

(b) to possess a nursing qualification eligible for NMC registration under current NMC guidance. These candidates must produce their original nursing registration certificates, or diplomas of nursing qualification, and official translation of their diplomas if not in English.

 

D2.
Regulation
Candidates are, in addition to satisfying regulation D1, required to provide evidence of having completed a FOM approved Diploma Training Course by the application closing date. Candidates must provide a copy of their certificate as part of the online application process.

 

D3.
Regulation
In order to be awarded the Diploma, candidates must have passed both the written and portfolio assessment within five years of having completed a FOM approved Training Course.

 

D4.
Regulation
All candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts at each part of the examination, before being required to re-take a FOM approved Diploma Training Course.

EXAMINATION FORMAT

D5.
Regulation
The examination is in two parts. Candidates are required to pass;

a.       a written (currently MCQ “best fit”) examination paper AND

b.      a portfolio assessment and an oral examination based on that portfolio

 

D6.
Regulation
The written portfolio must be based on the candidate’s personal practical experience in the field of occupational health. Any subsequent sitting of the second part of the examination requires the submission of a new portfolio.

 

D6.
Guidance
Candidates can, if they wish, sit the two parts at the same time.

 

D7.
Regulation
Applications for admission to the examination must be made by the advertised closing date and submitted via The FOM’s online application system. The portfolio must be uploaded as part of the application no later than the advertised closing date. No updates or changes to the submission will be permitted once the closing date has passed.

 

D8.
Regulation
Both the written and the oral examinations are held in an online format.  Failure to log in to the examination by the specified time may result in a voided exam attempt, for which no refund will be given.  Detailed guidance on the examination format is available on The FOM website.  This will also be sent to each candidate once the examination deadline has passed.  Candidates should refer to section F9 of The FOM’s Examinations, Appeals and Membership regulations for information on the FOM’s policy regarding online examinations.

 

MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAMINATION PAPER

D9.
Guidance
The written examination paper is usually held twice a year.

 

PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT AND ORAL EXAMINATION

D10.
Regulation
The portfolio assessment/oral examinations are usually held twice a year.

 

D11.
Regulation
The portfolio should be in the form of two written reports. One report should be based on a visit to, and assessment of, a workplace and one report should be based on a clinical case seen and examined by the candidate. The reports should demonstrate that the candidate is able to apply the principles of occupational health and safety in practice. The entire portfolio should be 1500 – 2000 words in length. Text included in any appendix will not be marked and will not be included in the word count.

 

D12.
Regulation
Two examiners, who will subsequently conduct an oral examination of the same candidate, will assess the portfolio. Candidates are required to pass the oral examination (at least 50%) and achieve an aggregate mark of 50% or more for the portfolio and oral combined. If an examiner is absent on the day of the exam, a different examiner may substitute, but the original marks allocated to the written submission will be used.

 

D13.
Regulation
Candidates who fail and wish to re-sit are required to re-submit a new portfolio at the point of re-application.

 

D13.
Guidance
Whilst candidates are permitted to use the same location/patient as they had previously used, they are advised that it is very unlikely that they will achieve a different outcome by simply re-submitting the original piece of work. Candidates are therefore strongly advised to re-write their portfolio for each re-entry. Each submission is treated on its own merit at that particular examination sitting.

 

AWARD OF THE DIPLOMA

D14.
Regulation
Candidates who have successfully completed the requirements specified in D3 will be awarded the Diploma in Occupational Health Practice on payment of a fee. Candidates are not required to pass the two parts at a single sitting. Holders of the Diploma may use the post nominals DipOHPrac. This qualification is not recordable with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

 

Diploma in Occupational Health Practice {DipOHPrac} Guidance

INTRODUCTION

1.
Guidance
The Faculty of Occupational Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians of London introduced this qualification in 2022 for nurses who wish to demonstrate a level of proficiency in occupational health

 

2.
Guidance
Regulations governing the Diploma in Occupational Health Practice (DipOHPrac) have been published by the Faculty. It is the responsibility of candidates to ensure that they obtain the latest edition of the Regulations. These notes do not form part of the Regulations but are intended to provide guidance for candidates and those running courses to prepare candidates for this qualification.

DIPLOMA

3.
Guidance
This qualification is intended to meet the needs of registered nursing practitioners who wish to demonstrate by a combination of training, examination and practical evidence, a level of knowledge and competence in occupational health consistent with the practice of a generalist.

 

4.
Guidance
It is not a specialist professional exam and does not lead to specialist recognition by the NMC.

 

5.
Guidance
The qualification reflects the satisfactory completion of three main elements: training, written examination paper and portfolio assessment/oral examination.

 

TRAINING

6.
Guidance
A number of institutions offer Diploma Training Courses covering the core syllabus. These courses may be full time, part time or by distance learning. The core syllabus covers the basic topics necessary to understand the principles and practice of occupational health.

 

7.
Guidance
Diploma courses are reviewed and approved by the FOM Course Approval Panel. Applications must be made in writing at least six weeks before the course is due to start. Approval is valid for three years only and it is the responsibility of learning providers to reapply for approval.

 

8.
Guidance
The Diploma core syllabus requires a minimum of 55 hours direct training. To reach the required standard, candidates need to undertake further private study. This study includes reading appropriate books and journals, attendance at professional meetings such as those organised by the Society of Occupational Medicine and visits to workplaces. It is impossible to give a precise indication of the amount of time candidates should give to private study, but it is likely to be of the order of two to three hours per week over six months. Those providing Diploma Training Courses should include advice about further study in their teaching.

 

9.
Guidance
Successful completion of a FOM approved Diploma Training Course is mandatory before a candidate can apply to take the examinations. It is required for confirmation of completion of training, that candidates should attend at least 90% of the course, or other confirmation as approved by the FOM.

 

WRITTEN EXAMINATION

10.
Guidance
The purpose of this part of the examination is to test factual knowledge to the standard appropriate to a generalist.

 

11.
Guidance
The written examination consists of single statements or stems with up to five statements. Questions may be asked on any part of the core syllabus. The minimum number of responses that will be required is 50. Additional questions may be included for trial purposes and will not be used when calculating scores; candidates should be aware that these questions may appear anywhere in the test.

 

12.
Guidance
The examination is held online. Candidates are required to choose the single best answer for each statement. Only one answer per question may be chosen.

 

13.
Guidance
A negative marking scheme will not be used.

 

14.
Guidance
The written examination assesses a candidate’s performance in relation to an external standard set by the examiners. As a result, the pass mark and pass rate may vary slightly at each examination. This occurs because there are differences in the degree of difficulty of the examination.

 

15.
Guidance
Candidates must apply to sit the examination on the FOM’s online application form. Applications must be on or before the closing date. Late applications will not be accepted. The online application together with information on the dates and fees for the first part of the examination can be obtained from the DipOHPrac page of the FOM website. Applications must be accompanied by a copy of the certificate of successful completion of a Diploma Training Course.

 

PORTFOLIO ASSESSMENT AND ORAL EXAMINATION

16.
Guidance
This part of the examination allows candidates to demonstrate their competence in a practical setting. Training courses should provide instruction for this element of the Diploma in the Practical Module. Preparation of the portfolio may commence at any time.

 

17.
Guidance
Candidates must pass both the written examination paper and the portfolio assessment and oral examination within five years of passing the FOM approved Diploma Training Course; if more than five years has elapsed, the course must be retaken.

 

18.
Guidance
The portfolio must comprise two separate sections presenting occupational health problems, one a clinical case and the other a workplace assessment. The clinical case must have been seen and assessed personally by the candidate and should demonstrate an understanding of the principles of occupational health. The workplace assessment should demonstrate the process of hazard identification, risk reduction and continuing surveillance, including application of the relevant legislation. The portfolio must be submitted using the most current version of the template, which contains further guidance on the content, length and layout. The only source of the current version of the template is the FOM website.

 

19.
Guidance
An important part of the practice of occupational health is good, clear and authoritative written communication with employers and clinical colleagues and the portfolio provides a good opportunity to demonstrate these skills. As the portfolio is not produced under examination conditions, it is expected that it will be well structured and professionally presented. It is assumed that candidates have access to basic word processing resources and marks may be deducted for poor presentation.

 

20.
Guidance
Each portfolio is assessed by two examiners. Each examiner will question the candidate for 10 minutes, exploring in more depth the content of the portfolio and assessing the candidate’s understanding of closely related issues. Candidates should be able to demonstrate that they have personally undertaken the work described in the portfolio and that they can defend any statements made and, if necessary, defend any omissions. Examiners are seeking evidence that the candidate has understood the principles of occupational health and can apply them in practice. Half the marks are allocated for the written work and half the marks are allocated for the oral examination conducted by the same examiners. Candidates are required to achieve a mark of at least 50% in the oral examination and obtain an overall mark of at least 50%.

 

21.
Guidance
Candidates must apply to sit the examination on the FOM’s online application form. Late applications will not be accepted. Candidates are sent information on the dates for the second part of the Diploma upon passing the first.

 

DipOHPrac Core Syllabus

The core syllabus for the Diploma in Occupational Health Practice is available on the FOM website and can be accessed here.

DipOHPrac Portfolio Template

The portfolio template is available on the FOM website here.

1.
Guidance
This template is designed to provide guidance to candidates in the preparation of the Diploma in Occupational Health Practice Portfolio.

 

2.
Guidance
The text boxes give an indication of the relative emphasis that should be given to each section and show the number of marks available. Although all elements will not be present in each example in equal measure, careful selection of clinical cases and workplaces is necessary to ensure that the full range of issues is covered, including a sufficient length of involvement with individual cases. The only absolute limit is on the total number of words, which must not exceed 2000. The minimum expected is 1500 words. N.B. The notes are for general guidance. It is not sufficient simply to answer the questions posed.

 

3.
Guidance
A word count should be entered in the space provided at the end. Only the first 2000 words of the portfolio will be marked.

 

4.
Guidance
Text may be entered directly into the boxes or pasted from another document. Font size 10 to 12 should be used, with lines singly spaced. A narrative style should be employed in preference to lists or bullet points. A short bibliography or references should be included in the final box, which is not included in the word count.

 

5.
Guidance
Relevant photographs and illustrations may be included as an appendix.

A Word document template portfolio is available here.

Updated: 12 May 2022