Aegide International partners with UFred to add value in key European, African markets
The University of Fredericton (UFred) has entered a partnership with Aegide International, a provider of occupational health, safety and environmental services based in Bordeaux, France. The organization runs a variety of NEBOSH, IOSH and IEMA accredited and licensed courses for major industrial actors operating in high-risk industries around the world.
The partnership will see Aegide offer UFred’s OHS programs as part of its suite of health and safety auditing, consulting and training services.
Adrien Bourdon-Feniou, president of Aegide International, says the organization’s first priority was to extend their training offering to diploma-level courses, which it was not in a position to provide to clients prior to the partnership.
“UFred’s SHEM Diploma offers a well-rounded curriculum, which would allow any OHS professional to develop the necessary knowledge and skills to manage health and safety issues in the workplace effectively,” he said.
The primary goal of the partnership is to provide more visibility to some of Aegide’s key markets in Europe and Africa. Adrien believes the distance learning diploma-level course will add value for working professionals in East and West Africa, where there are few institutions of higher learning providing recognized OHS degrees.
“Delivery from an accredited Canadian university provides value and recognition that a generic OHS online course would not. UFred’s Diploma in Safety, Health and Environmental Management offers robust content, delivered with the flexibility required by working professionals. The program is relevant whether these professionals are transitioning or are already working in the field,” he said.
UFred’s Vice President of Academics, Dr. Sheri McKillop, says she is pleased that Aegide International recognizes the importance of OHS education when offering such services to their clients and feels the university is a good fit, given Aegide’s international client base and the flexibility offered through UFred’s 100% online programs.
“Our programs are not limited to a person’s geographic location. The coursework is accessible any time and extends beyond Canadian standards. The curriculum is based on international OHS frameworks so that students gain the knowledge and the confidence to practice OHS strategies from anywhere in the world.” When Aegide first began partnership discussions with UFred, Adrien realized that the School of Occupational Health and Safety could also help Aegide add training solutions in psychological health and safety (PHS). Adrien believes there are vast opportunities to provide PHS programs in Europe as there is a growing awareness and consensus that mental well-being is emerging as one of the primary challenges facing organizations in all industries.
“PH&S issues are a growing concern for OHS professionals in all industries, and as such providing a foundation certificate that covers key concepts, frameworks and tools for managers to maintain healthy workplaces seemed logical,” he said.
In addition, Adrien says the organization was looking to develop its distance-learning offering, which was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Recent travel restrictions and social distancing norms have underlined the growing role that synchronous and asynchronous distance learning models will play in professional education in the near future. UFred brings a decade of pioneering experience in this field, and we are happy to be associated with them and learn from their expertise.”