Resources to support teaching social determinants of health in environmental public health curriculum
Resources are available in English and French unless indicated otherwise.
Public health inspectors (PHIs) and environmental health officers (EHOs) have a critical role to play to address the social determinants of health (SDH) and address health inequities. Through inspections, enforcement of health protection regulations, as well as educational roles, PHIs encounter individuals and communities that live with inequities every day and are well positioned to take direct action as part of their essential public health practice.
Prioritizing social determinants of health (SDH)
The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI) Board of Certification Instructional Objectives (IOs) represent a set of standards that guide the training and certification of PHIs in Canada and are used as a standard for the accreditation status of the educational institutions responsible for this.
In 2018, the IOs were revised to integrate SDH and health equity as priority areas of environmental public health practice. To support this increased attention to health equity concepts into the education and training of PHIs, the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health (NCCDH) and the National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health (NCCEH) have compiled a collection of resources to support the teaching and learning environments of environmental public health training programs, as well as PHIs currently in practice.
Supporting public health inspectors (PHIs)
Research and resource collections
- Health equity and environmental public health practice: Web page featuring knowledge products for addressing SDH and health equity in environmental public health practice. Resources include reports, presentations, workshop summaries and links to other sources. (Available in English, with most resources available in French.)
- Equity in environmental health practice: Findings of a pilot study: Report summarizing two focus groups with PHIs exploring how they manage encountering SDH and health inequities in their practice.
- Key resources for environmental public health practitioners to address health equity: A curated list: Curated list of resources for environmental health practitioners providing concrete information on addressing the SDH and health equity.
Tools to strengthen practice
- Toward health equity: Practical actions for public health inspectors: Framework and user guide developed for environmental public health staff and other public health agencies or departments that work to address environmental health issues. This resource is also designed to help identify potential actions on the SDH and health equity.
- Through an equity lens: A collection of materials to support the integration of approaches addressing the SDH and health equity at multiple levels of environmental public health practice. (English only)
This collection includes:
- Handbook of health equity in environmental public health practice, a resource containing frameworks, tools, supporting information and fact sheets
- A series of five short Health equity 101 videos exploring health equity concepts in environmental public health practice
- Equity in environmental public health workshop toolkit, including presentation and evaluation materials that are adaptable for delivering teaching sessions
- “Health equity and environmental public health practice: Stories from public health inspectors”: A series of blog posts written by PHIs in the field to highlight how they have addressed SDH and health equity in their work. The posts also aim to celebrate the diverse skills and approaches that environmental public health practitioners can apply to these issues.
- Equity 101 Blog Series: A three-part blog series providing an overview of key health equity concepts and their definitions, highlighting the importance of health equity in environmental public health practice.
Foundational health equity concepts
- Introduction to health equity online course – A free, self-directed, online introductory course including five modules to help public health staff and managers develop the knowledge, skills and competencies to support action on health equity.
- Health equity learning pathway for public health middle managers: A self-directed learning tool designed to specifically help middle managers in public health. The goal is to help this audience cultivate the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to facilitate the development and implementation of public health strategies that reduce health inequities.
- Public Health Training for Equitable Systems Change (PHESC): A series of six prerecorded webinars describing the application of key health concepts to all areas of public health practice. This includes assessment and reporting, public health roles, intersectionality and organizational capacity.
- Let’s Talk series: A collection of introductory resources designed to promote discussion and understanding of how key concepts in health equity apply in public health practice. Each resource contains discussion questions to spark dialogue, reflection and action to address the SDH.
- Glossary of essential health equity terms: A glossary including definitions and examples of key health equity concepts. It can be used to promote the use of clear and effective language — within public health and across sectors and regions in Canada — in order to enhance powerful communication and action on the SDH and health equity.