Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much time will I need to spend each week?
They typical amount of time required to complete this course will range between 10-15 hours of time. There will be 3-4 hours of lecture material per week, 2-4 hours of reading material, 1-2 hours spent on discussion boards/communication with students and instructor, and 2-5 hours per week spent on assignments and projects. Remember the content from each course covers material presented in a typical semester course.
2. How do these courses differ from typical online education courses?
These courses are more analogous to a University course than your typical online education course primarily due to the scope and depth of the material presented and the guidance and interaction offered by instructors. Most online courses present content but do not have an instructor that holds office hours, is available to answer your questions, and provides feedback on assignments and assessments (quizzes and exams). Think of this as taking a University course with all that a college course has to offer, but in the comfort of your own home or office (and without the Bay Area commute!)
3. How do these courses differ from typical University courses in Human Factors & Ergonomics?
From a curricular or content perspective, they don’t. However, since they are not offered for credit toward a degree, these courses may not be used towards a Masters or PhD Degree.
4. Why do the courses cost $1650 each?
If you compare the cost of this course to a course taken at a University, you will quickly see that the $1650 price tag is an incredible deal. Our goal is to provide education that is accessible from anywhere at any time yet does not compromise on the quality of instruction. The only way to reduce costs further would be to post the material online and eliminate the instructor-led features of this course. However, most online courses have a very low completion rate. Our instructors will be available to teach you the material through lectures, thoughtful discussion, and feedback on assignments. Further, instructors hold office hours each week to make sure your questions get answered.
5. Why does the program include 6 courses?
We took all of the core content requirements outlined by leading professional certification authorities and mapped them to the 6 courses we designed. This ensures that you will have been exposed to all of the content you will be assessed on during your certification exam.
6. Do I need to take all 6 courses?
No, you can pick and choose which classes will best supplement your existing education. Not everyone will need to take all 6 courses and you should feel free to pick the courses that best fill the gaps of your Human Factors and Ergonomics Education. However, if you have a degree in a related field but no formal education in HFE, we strongly encourage you to take all 6 courses to optimize your effectiveness in the field and prepare you for certification. You can learn more about what is required by BCPE for Certification online here: https://www.bcpe.org/how-to-certify/? and can explore what topic areas fall into which Core Competencies for BCPE online here: https://www.bcpe.org/why-certify/core-competencies/.
7. How can I ensure that I develop my hands-on/field skills?
You will be learning about best practices while taking measurements and other hands-on skills during all 6 courses. The Summer Skills Workshop during the 2nd week of July is the best way to practice your hands-on skills with in-person instruction. Simulated jobs and tasks are set up to help you gain confidence in measuring exposures and estimating risk.
8. Who teaches the classes?
We have a superb group of instructors who have both professional and academic expertise. Together, the group has decades of research, teaching, professional consulting, and program management experience.
9. What else do I need for professional certification?
Depending on the country you are applying for professional certification from, you will need a Bachelors Degree (BCPE) or Masters Degree in an affiliated field, and at least 3 years of experience in the field. You will also need to pass the professional examination.
10. Are there exams?
Yes. There are online exams that are open book but timed. Based on the honor system, they are to be completed individually. Exams are an important way to identify topics that need further clarification from your instructors and are designed to help you learn the material.
11. What types of assignments are there?
Each class has 3-5 assignments and a class project. Some assignments are individual and some are paired or in small groups. The assignments are designed to help you apply what you have learned about specific topics. The class project is designed to help you transfer knowledge to the field.
12. Is there a minimum requirement to pass the course?
Yes. This course is offered on a pass / fail basis for continuing education credit. Note: Learners must obtain an overall Final Grade of 70% or higher, and a Final Exam grade of 60% or higher, to pass the course, and to obtain a Certificate of Completion.
13. What happens if I fail a course?
If you fail an exam or a course (receive less than a 70% in the class or 60% on the Final Exam), you will be asked to remediate to demonstrate that you have learned the materials. Remediation will be specific to the individual and material. You will have 3 months to complete the remediation, though typical remediation will be resolved within a couple of weeks.
14. Will these classes be available next year?
Yes. We are committed to providing these classes annually.
15. Who are these classes designed for?
These classes are designed for people who are new or practicing ergonomists in the field who are looking for a more formalized education to providing excellent, evidence-based services. Many ergonomists fall into their position because they have a related degree but they lack formal education in Human Factors & Ergonomics. Therefore, these classes are ideal for those individuals who have some background in a related field and have a Bachelors or Graduate degree.
16. Can I receive University credits for taking these courses?
No. Although the Center of Occupational & Environmental Health is based out of UC Berkeley and includes programs at UC San Francisco and UC Davis, there is no University course credit that is available for these courses. We find that most people in HF&E have a degree but lack HF&E courses. Therefore, in order to keep the price down, we are offering these courses as continuing education, and participants who successfully complete the courses will receive continuing education units. In order to receive University Credit, one would need to enroll in the in-person/on-site classes at UC Berkeley. Please email Dr. Harris (email@example.com) directly if you are interested in this option.
17. What do we submit to the accrediting agency as verification of taking courses that cover the core competencies?
You should submit the Course Completion Certificate that you will receive from us when you successfully pass/complete the course and a copy of the syllabus. Each BCPE application is reviewed by blind reviewers so this level of detailed information is required.