What does the CIEH consider research to be?

Ethically framed systematic enquiry which leads to the discovery and wider dissemination of knowledge. It enables the establishment of a credible evidence base for environmental health policies and practices both for the organisation itself (to support submissions and campaigning) and in the wider world. It encompasses research and the dissemination of research in many forms including letters, reports, write ups, reviews, self-publication, social media, articles for JEHR and other peer reviewed academic journals, specific studies, dissertations, thesis and commissioned research.

Why is environmental health research so important?

Most professions are focussed on a robust and continually evolving evidence base and for CIEH, as the environmental health professional body, this will enable us to provide leadership to develop and communicate a body of knowledge.

What is CIEH aiming to achieve with the research programme?

CIEH aims to achieve by 2020 a fully recognised professional research programme that;

  • Supports all levels of professional research that contribute to the professional body of evidence
  • Is accessible to members and to key stakeholders
  • Is responsive to and maximises research opportunities in the widest sense
  • Supports and provides seed funding for relevant bids and research proposals/ activity

What is the CIEH Research Strategy?

The CIEH Research Strategy encompasses the professional research and evidence base as well as the wider utilisation of professional intelligence that informs environmental health theory, policy and practice. Its scope reaches beyond CIEH members to the wider professional community and other relevant stakeholders.

 Research Foundations 

How is CIEH going to achieve these aims?

The CIEH will implement a five year action plan based on the three strategic pillars.

Research Strategy Group

The Research Strategy Group (RSG) was set up by the Board of Trustees and reports to the Professional Standards and Policy Committee. Its remit is to act as the main strategic focus for CIEH research and to provide the co-ordination of the five year programme. Importantly it also acts as the ethical body for environmental health research overseen by CIEH.

To contact the RSG, please email

CIEH Research code of ethics

The CIEH RSG is currently developing a Code of research guidance. More information will follow.

▼ Research Foundations 

Foundation 1 - Academic

This is undertaken by environmental health undergraduate and post graduate students in the form of their dissertations and supported by their CIEH accredited academic institutions (this could be in the region of 200 research projects per annum).

This also includes enviromental health academic professionals and those professionals researching environmental health related topics within the academic community.

Foundation 2 - Professional Practice

Includes a wide range of research linked intelligence and evidence based activity undertaken by environmental health professionals and can include reports, evaluations, systematic reviews, detailed reflective work, storytelling, case studies etc. This area of work is supported through the CIEH Research Mentoring Scheme, JEHR and promoted through the work of the Education and Research SIG, Membership Network, Assembly of Representatives and other professional networks.

This includes the development of research competencies and skills through supporting professional development programmes and post graduate opportunities in research.

This also involves using professional intelligence and the systematic review of the wealth of data that already exists to inform the development of professional theory, practice policy as well as the CIEH led products and services across the whole of CIEH operations and networks.

Ideas bank

Much of the day to day work that environmental health professionals undertake contributes to supporting healthier and sustainable environments, communities and businesses. Learning from this experience, what works, what doesn’t work and why, challenges for different communities, settings and sectors is all vital information and evidence for professional practice.

The purpose of this ideas bank is to provide an opportunity to share ideas, experience and learning on a range of environmental health led activities, initiatives, larger projects and programmes aimed at addressing the wider determinants of health and wellbeing. The CIEH will not be providing a review or commentary on the information provided. The ideas bank covers the following key themes:

  • Healthy workplaces and businesses
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Healthy homes
  • Healthy environment
  • Safe healthy communities

Foundation 3 - Priority / themed research programme

This is a matrix of opportunities including detailed projects, systematic reviews or commissioned research either directly commissioned by the CIEH or in partnership with other research funding organisations. Match funding or other alternative funding will be sought as part of the research programme, including for instance EU funding streams. Seed funding is available for CIEH to either respond to received bids or to promote the receipt of bids in relation to agreed priority areas or themes. Delivery of the commissioned research may be through the developing research cadre within the professional base and/or through the Advisory Services register of consultants as appropriate. The research will need to be available and readily accessible to CIEH members.

▼ Research Resources 

This section signposts a number of resources from NICE and from CIEH which provide support for the implementation of guidance.

See also examples of how guidelines are being implemented within environmental health practice.

NICE guidelines and pathways

Find guidance
This can be searched via topics or type of guidance. Implementation tools are published with clinical guidelines and public health guidance.

Public involvement
NICE produce versions of all of their guidance for patients, carers and the public, which are listed with the relevant guidance documents. This page also has a search mechanism which finds these versions along with associated documents.

Into practice
This section describes a range of free tools made available on the NICE website to help with putting guidance into practice. This includes costing templates, clinical audit tools, commissioning guides, ‘how to’ guides and guidance specific information. View also Local practice collection.

NICE pathways
NICE pathways is an online tool for health and social care professionals that brings together all related NICE guidance and associated products in a set of interactive topic-based diagrams providing a visual representation of what NICE has said on a particular topic.

NICE standards and indicators
NICE quality standards are a concise set of statements designed to drive and measure priority quality improvements within a particular area of care. They are derived from the best available evidence such as NICE guidance and other evidence sources accredited by NICE. Quality standards for social care focus on the services and interventions to support the social care needs of service users.


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