Training and Certification
The National Healthy Homes Training Center, a program of Healthy Homes Solutions, is the national leader in the delivery of training on healthy housing. The Center:
- Provides training for public health and housing practitioners in the assessment and treatment of housing-related health hazards
- Has trained over 17,000 individuals since its inception in 2005
- Partners with 50 different trainers to present courses throughout the country.
- The target audiences for the training are environmental health practitioners, public health nurses,
What kinds of courses are available on healthy homes?
The Center offers the following courses:
- Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners
- Healthy Homes Essentials for Environmental Professionals
- Green and Healthy Management Strategies for Multifamily Properties
- Health Opportunities in Energy Audits and Upgrades
- Healthy Homes Assessment: Principles and Practices
- Healthy Homes for Community Health Workers
- Healthy Homes Rating System
- Integrated Pest Management in Multifamily Housing
- Launching a Healthy Homes Initiative
- Code Inspection for Healthier Homes
Course agendas, materials, exercises and references are posted for each course so it’s easy to figure out which ones would be of most interest to you. Most of the courses are approved for continuing education credits (CEUs) by various professional associations.
The flagship course, and the one most frequently offered, is Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners. “Essentials” is a two-day course targeted to professionals in the health and housing fields who provide health or inspection services in the home. The training complements hazard-specific training in such areas as lead-based paint, radon, mold, pests and asbestos and focuses on the seven principles of a healthy home. The course is a pre-requisite for two other courses: Healthy Homes Assessment: Principles and Practices and Healthy Homes Rating System. Healthy Homes for Environmental Professionals is a condensed version of “Essentials” and offered as a one-day course.
Are courses offered in Ohio?
Yes, courses are frequently offered in Ohio. The Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program of the Ohio Department of Health occasionally sponsors courses, usually free of charge. Occasionally, local health departments and other agencies sponsor courses.
Other ways to receive healthy housing training include attending national, state, regional and local conferences, forums and workshops. These include:
- The National Lead and Healthy Housing Conference – HUD combines training for lead hazard control program managers with an annual national healthy homes conference.
- Ohio Healthy Homes Conference – Ohio Department of Health’s Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Program usually presents an annual conference.
- Spring and Fall Healthy Homes Forums – The Ohio Healthy Homes Network (OHHN) has sponsored two annual Healthy Homes Summits. OHHN is sponsoring spring and fall Healthy Homes Forums in 2015.
- Local workshops – Health departments often sponsor workshops on lead and healthy homes topics.
- Future events – OHHN provides a listing of events in the healthy homes field in its monthly newsletter, Ohio Healthy Homes News. The newsletter is provided free of charge.
Is certification offered in the healthy homes field?
Yes. The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) offer a “Healthy Homes Specialist” credential designed for health and housing professionals in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. The credential is particularly helpful to professionals who conduct home assessments.
To obtain the credential, you must compete an exam on the seven principles of healthy housing. You must also be at least 21, have five years of experience in housing, environmental health or public health, and achieve a minimum score of 70% on the exam. Certification lasts for two years. Fifteen hours of continuing education credits are required during the two-year period.
Fees are charged for the application, exam and if you want to take the exam electronically versus manually. NEHA members receive discounts on the application and exam fees. See the Candidate Information Brochure for additional information, including a list of topics covered by the exam.
To save the $100 electronic testing fee, it is often possible to take the exam manually at the end of the two-day Essentials for Healthy Homes Professionals course. Your application for certification as a Healthy Homes Specialist must be submitted along with the required fees prior to administration of the exam.
How to sign up for a National Healthy Homes Training Center course?
Why become a certified Healthy Homes Specialist?
For many people working in areas like lead poisoning prevention, indoor air quality, asthma, public and environmental health, and affordable housing, having the credential may be helpful when seeking federal lead hazard control and healthy homes grants.
Some people may be required or encouraged by their employer to secure the credential to improve service delivery.
For others, the credential may be helpful in expanding the types of jobs for which they are qualified or make it possible for them to add new program services.