EHOs or their equivalents can be found in most countries that have been part of the Commonwealth of Nations and the Republic of Ireland. Internationally EHOs are also referred to as Public Health Inspectors, Sanitarians, Health Protection Officers etc.
In Australia EHOs are also known as "Environmental Health Practitioners", a term used to describe a collective group of professionals that work directly or indirectly in the Environmental Health profession, for example, food technology, microbiology, health promotion, immunization, environmental law, etc.
In July 2008 the peak body for Environmental Health Officers, Environmental Health Australia launched the Certified Environmental Health Practitioner scheme, which was designed to enhance the career prospects of Environmental Health Practitioners in Australia.
Some typical areas of work include:
The undergraduate course, Bachelor of Public Health (Environmental Health) is being offered by La Trobe University located at its Bendigo campus.
New Zealand Entrants to the profession must have either a BAppSc Health Protection or BHSc Environmental Health. Alternatively, suitably qualified science graduates can obtain a graduate diploma in environmental health.
Republic of Ireland To become an Environmental Health Officer it is necessary to hold an environmental health degree approved by the Department of Health & Children. The study of Environmental Health in Ireland also requires students to undertake a period of professional practice with the Health Service Executive. Following the period of professional practice, competence must then be demonstrated through an experiential learning logbook and oral examination.
England & Wales EHOs must hold an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification recognised by the Environmental Health Registration Board.
Canada Public Health Inspectors have a university degree in Applied Science and a national professional certificate in Public Health Inspection - C.P.H.I.(C).
EHOs bring to the position an understanding of microbiology, risk assessment, environmental science and technology, food science, as well as skills and knowledge related to the tracking and control of communicable disease and the investigation and enforcement of legislation related to public health and the environment. Working in partnership with Government Ministries such as Health, Agriculture and the Environment, local municipalities, businesses, community groups and agencies as well as individual members of the community the EHO plays a major role in protecting public health.