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Certification in Industrial Ergonomics & Human Factors Engineering

Accreditation of University Programs in Ergonomics or Human Factors Engineering


The University applying for accreditation of an Undergraduate or Graduate Ergonomics Program must submit the following:

  • Cover letter requesting accreditation.
  • Documentation that the University's program has been in existence for the past three years.
  • A copy of the University catalogue or brochure and degree requirements.
  • Course listings offered in the Department that has responsibility for the Ergonomics Program.
  • Oxford Research Institute will then review these course and degree requirements as they support the criteria skill set competencies.
  • Alternatively, the University can submit their own critique of their program that demonstrates how it supports the criteria skill set competencies.
  • Total number of full and part time Faculty.
  • Curriculum Vitae of faculty teaching in the University's Ergonomics/Human Factors program.
  • Total number of students that have graduated with a BS or Graduate level degree in Human Factors or Ergonomics since 1998.
  • Documentation that student Internet access is provided by the University.
  • Documentation as to the availability of laboratory space and facilities for student research projects in psychology, industrial engineering, and ergonomics.
  • Check payable to Oxford Research Institute, Inc. (ORI) in the amount of $1700 for initial review and accreditation. (Renewal is required every three years for a fee of $750).

    Core Competencies Required for a Graduate Ergonomist:

  • Ability to identify and prioritize significant biomechanical, physiological, psychosocial risk factors associated with any job or task regardless of where or when the job must be performed.
  • Ability to utilize and apply ergonomic tools based on anthropometrics, biomechanics, physiology, psychophysics, epidemiology and industrial hygiene to identify and solve ergonomic problems, resulting in increased efficiency, performance and safety to the worker.
  • Ability to quantify mental and physical workload.
  • Ability to conduct risk assessment using probability theory, statistics and other quantitative skills to identify and solve multidimensional and interacting problems associated with injury or error risk reduction.
  • Should be familiar with various ergonomic and/or Human Factors Standards, i.e. MILSTD 1472-D/E/F, ISO, ANSI, ASAE, IEEE, NIOSH, OSHA, NUREG 0700, etc.
  • Ability to perform advanced cost/risk/benefit or trade-off analyses.
  • Knowledge of experimental design and multivariate statistics, and ability to assess the statistical significance of multiple solutions or investigations. Plus the ability to read and discriminate between well executed ergonomic research studies and ill designed and poorly executed studies.
  • Ability to execute a complex job/task analysis. Correctly perform comprehensive analyses and derive testable solutions to any ergonomic problem or condition.
  • Skill in project and program management techniques suitable for schedule, budget, and resource allocation.
  • Ability to design, develop and empirically verify and validate a set of operating procedures used by workers to perform a specific task or operation.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of work design and process improvement concepts and techniques.
  • Knowledge of Group Dynamics and problem solving techniques.
  • Skills in technical writing and multimedia presentation.
  • Hands on experience in laboratory research projects and use of various data collection equipment such as motion capture, pressure and strain gage applications as well as physiological data gathering such as Oxygen uptake and electromyography. This also includes experience in work sampling and digital video and still frame analysis.
  • Ability to apply behavioral principals derived form the cognitive and sensory sciences to the design and evaluation of various information and computer interfaces to reduce human error and improve efficiency.


  • Benefits of University Ergonomics/Human Factors Program Accreditation Include:

  • All students graduating from an accredited University's Ergonomics/Human Factors program are exempt from ORI's CAE exam, and will be issued certificates as a Certified Associate Ergonomist upon graduation.
  • The accredited University will be listed on the ORI web site so that Ergonomists around the world will see and know the status of the University.
  • ORI typically directs about 30 graduate students annually to University programs that are accredited, i.e., New York University, Department of Biomechanics and Ergonomics; California State University; John Hopkins University, School of Public Health and others.
  • Universities with accredited programs will qualify for ORI Grants and student stipends.