The UCD Centre for Safety and Health at Work (CSHW), which has provided over twenty years of leading, innovative and practical education programmes, is now offering environmental management continuous professional education alongside its existing national-award-winning occupational safety and health (OSH) programmes. The protection of the environment is now an integral part of the fabric of society and has become a concern in every aspect of how we advance, develop and interact with the environment. Professions that previously had little or only peripheral involvement in environmental issues such as planners, solicitors, architects, mechanical and structural engineers are now required to interact with environmental scientists and civil engineers in order for their work to meet legal and regulatory requirements that did not exist a decade ago.

Sustainable development

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are driving global growth and development with a specific focus on how we can effectively manage and protect our environment through innovation and future proofing all aspects of society. The Paris Climate Change Accords too has directed our society to sustainably manage our environment for future generations. In particular, how our urban centres and infrastructure are designed, planned, constructed and managed is a critical driver for ensuring the health and well-being of all society. Cognisance of environmental legislation and assessment and management procedures is thus an imperative for successful career in a wide variety of professions that come together to advance global development. The global environmental services market as a whole is growing steadily and is likely to continue due to these drivers. A number of studies have estimated the value of this sector was in excess of €500 billion worldwide in 2005 and was likely to exceed €800 billion by 2015 (UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development Global Market Estimate, 2008). The environmental sector in Ireland was estimated to be valued at some €2.8 billion, with Northern Ireland accounting for an additional €0.79 billion approximately. This all-island figure of €3.6 billion does not include the market for environmental goods and services in building and construction materials and is therefore almost certainly an underestimate (Intertrade Ireland/FORFAS, 2008). Moreover, the environmental service sector has a range of key drivers that is facilitating this growth: compliance with EU environmental directives and regulations; rising energy costs; environmental goods and services; climate-change considerations; green consumerism; significant increases in public investment in environmental services and infrastructure; increases in investment in energy and environment-related research and development; and green public procurement. A best estimate suggests that there are more than 6,500 people directly employed in environmental services in Ireland (European Commission, 2004). In light of the key drivers listed above, it is expected that the size of the environmental sector and employment opportunities will continue to grow. Consequently, a wide variety or professions, exclusive of environmental science, now have to be conversant in environmental issues in order to capitalise on this growth. Many of these professions have little or no grounding in environmental knowledge and as such are not in a position to offer constructive input to many processes for sustainable growth and development in Ireland. Planners, architects, civil, structural, mechanical and chemical engineers, civil servants, occupational health and safety (OSH) specialists and legal professionals increasingly must interact with environmental specialists. These professions are now required to evaluate, critique and incorporate environmental specialist work into projects and plans that they are managing. As the environmental legal and regulatory process in Ireland becomes more complicated, and oftentimes onerous, these professions must be able to understand and incorporate scientific principles involved in environmental assessment and management into their work. Such processes also assist environmental scientists and environmental engineers that need input from these professions in order for them to complete their work with greater robustness.

Professional Certificate in Environmental Management

The UCD CSHW in 2014 developed a new programme to provide the knowledge and expertise required to accomplish this: the Professional Certificate in Environmental Management (15 ECTS Credits at Level 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications). This programme (PCert) introduces the student to the core principles of environmental management over three modules: Introduction to Environmental Science; Environmental Legislation and Regulation; and Environmental Assessment and Management. The PCert is designed for professionals who currently, or are planning to, work with environmental matters but who do not have any specific environmental qualifications, e.g. OSH specialists, engineers, geotechnical scientists, planners, etc. The PCert uses experienced environmental professionals to provide a robust practical overview of environmental management, human-environment interactions and their associated regulatory issues and complexities. At the end of the programme, successful candidates from any given profession should expect that they will have a clear understanding and knowledge of: environmental issues, the scientific principles underpinning those issues, the legal and regulatory system in Ireland relating to the environment and the assessment and management procedures necessary to ensure environmental protection. The programme is designed to primarily be self-directed online learning with occasional half day workshops held in UCD. There are two half-day (three hours) workshops per module. Each module is comprised of approximately twenty hours of online lectures utilising appropriate e-learning software. Each lecture also has accompanying reading resources and specified learning activities and assessment. The PCert is offered between September and April and the fee is €1,560. Closing date for applications is August 15 2016. Class size is limited so please apply early. For further information please click here. The UCD Centre for Safety and Health at Work continues to offer leading occupational safety and health programmes in both blended online and traditional teaching formats. For further information on our complete range of programmes including our award winning blended online Certificate in Safety and Health at Work and our Higher Diploma in Safety, Health and Welfare at Work, please go to: Please contact the CSHW for further queries via email: or via telephone: 01-7163420.