The Influence of Experience and Credential Status on Perceptions of Agency Competency

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Contributions made by the environmental health (EH) workforce in reducing human disease are some of the most significant to public health. A shrinking workforce and increased work complexity have called for workforce training in the 10 essential public health services. The preliminary study discussed here assesses perceived competency of the Kansas EH workforce in the 10 essential public health services and evaluates credentialing influence on perceptions. State and local food service inspectors were anonymously surveyed using the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice Environmental Health Workforce Questionnaire. Credentialed respondents reported more years of experience and supervisory responsibilities. Noncredentialed respondents were more likely than credentialed respondents to answer that their work unit was capable of providing the 10 essential public health services. Kansas should establish an accredited EH program and national credentialing requirements established for EH practitioners would encourage and institutionalize ongoing workforce training programs.

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