Our history

Coat of arms - Our mottoAmicus Humani Generis 

The translation is ‘Friend of the Human Race’ which sums up the role of members of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, who are concerned about people’s health, safety and wellbeing - the things that are crucial to life itself.Our Crest 

The CIEH’s history can be traced back to the 1840s. Edwin Chadwick, a Poor Law Commissioner, conducted an inquiry into the causes of poverty which concluded that people often became poor because of ill health due to a bad environment. He believed that improving sanitation was the key to breaking this vicious circle.

Chadwick led a vigorous campaign for change which eventually won over the establishment, resulting in the Public Health Act 1848. The Act provided for the appointment of Inspectors of Nuisances – the forerunners of today’s environmental health practitioners – in areas of need. 

The Association of Public Sanitary Inspectors – the organisation which was to become the CIEH – was established in 1883. Over subsequent decades, the role of environmental health practitioners changed and grew, with standards of qualification rising until, in the 1960s, it became a graduate profession. The grant of a Royal Charter in 1984 set the seal on this enhanced role and status.

Training through the decades

The Public Health (London) Act 1891 required sanitary inspectors to gain the Certificate of the Sanitary Inspectors Examination Board. The qualification was updated in 1942, with the introduction of a three-stage Diploma Examination in Sanitary Science and Administration.

In 1951, a Ministry of Health working party examined the training of sanitary inspectors. A new diploma that was completed after formal training helped raise standards. This led to another change in title, to public health inspector. Environmental health finally became a graduate profession in the 1960s, when diplomas were phased out and replaced by degree courses.

In 1974, general public health work became the responsibility of the National Health Service. Environmental health work remained in local government. That situation changed in April 2013 when public health once again became the responsibility of local government under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. Today, the CIEH continues to promote the importance and standing of environmental health in local government as well as in a range of other organisations.

Past Presidents

2012-2014   Janet Russell
2008-2011   Dr. Stephen A. Battersby
2004-2007   Alan M. Higgins
2002-2004   Brian P. Hanna
1999-2001   David W. Purchon
1996-1999   Alan M.T Johnson
1993-1996   Andrew E.J Banfield
1991-1993   John W. Tiffney
1987-1990   Eric W. Foskett
1984-1986   Roy Emerson
1980-1983   Albert (Mick) Archer
1977-1979   E. N. Wakelin
1974-1976   John Marriott
1971-1974   E.M Birtwistle
1970-1971   Eldon Griffiths
1967-1970   John Graham
1966-1967   Robert Mathew
1963-1966   Arthur Blenkinsop
1960-1963   Rt. Hon James Griffiths
1957-1960   Lord Bossom of Maidstone
1956-1957   Sir Ivor Jennings
1952-1956   Lord Milner of Leeds
1938-1952   J.C Dawes
1926-1938   Sir Leonard Hill
1921-1926   Sir William J. Collins
1901-1921   Sir James Crichton-Browne
1899-1901   Sir Hugh Gilzean Read
1896-1899   Sir John Hutton
1890-1896   Sir Benjamin Ward Richardson
1883-1890   Sir Edwin Chadwick  

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