Continuing Professional Development

The Continuing Professional Competencies (CPC) program

The CPC program began January 1, 2010 for all regular members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI). Prior to this, environmental public health professionals (EPHPs) were not required to demonstrate continued competency following certification. As such, any CPHI(C) holder remained certified regardless of whether or not they still practiced in the field or pursued educational or professional development.

CIPHI developed the CPC program to facilitate the professional recognition of CPHI(C) holders, to keep them abreast of continuing developments in the field of environmental public health, and to support their continued professional development. The Council of Professional Experience (CoPE) was founded in 2010 to administer the program.

The CPC program is a tool incorporated by CIPHI to ensure all EPHPs incorporate continuing professional development while active in the environmental public health field. In addition, the CPC program:


Provides certified EPHPs protection against challenges to personal competence


Provides employers the opportunity to assess staff competencies and help focus professional development


Supports EPHPs in achieving and maintaining competencies essential to their role


Aligns with the CPHI(C) certification, enhancing the recognized status of EPHPs as specialized professionals

CPC program overview

Code of Ethics

The baseline expectation for
professional conduct of all EPHPs

Frequently Asked

Questions (FAQs)

Have questions about the CPC program?

CPC Professional

Development (PD) Model

The PD Model specifies the annual
professional development hours (PDHs)
required of regular CIPHI members



The essential knowledge, skills, and abilities
necessary for success in the role of an EPHP
beyond CPHI(C) certification (see page 21 of CPC Program Reference Guide)

Professional development hours (PDHs)

Regular CIPHI members are required to obtain PDHs throughout the calendar year. It is their responsibility to review CIPHI’s professional development requirements each year.

Learning plans

The CPC program is designed to encourage EPHPs to critically reflect on their practice and to evaluate their capacity against the discipline-specific competencies. Through completion of a learning plan, EPHPs can reflect on the learning activities in which they take part. In this way, knowledge developed through learning activities can be used in everyday practice.

The Council of Professional Experience (CoPE)

Founded in 2010, the Council of Professional Experience (CoPE) administers the Continuing Professional Competencies (CPC) program. CoPE is composed of members appointed through consultation with the CIPHI branches and the National Executive Committee.

You can contact CoPE by emailing

Regulations Governing the Council of Professional Experience

Karen Hann


Karen Hann is an environmental health officer in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, who has been a CIPHI member since 2004, and CoPE member since 2019. She values CIPHI for representing environmental public health professionals in the field of public health as it continues to expand and evolve, and joined CoPE so she could be involved with the process and development of core competencies.

One of Karen’s career highlights is working at the majestic Gros Morne National Park.

Karen loves challenging her culinary skills, camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting, so she probably has a recipe for braised moose that will knock your socks right off.

Education: Bachelor's Degree

Cameron Weighill

Past Chair

Cameron is a senior public health inspector in the York Region of Ontario. A CIPHI member since 2000, he joined CoPE in 2021. He has been active with CIPHI at the provincial level as a councilor and previous president of the CIPHI Ontario Branch, and recognizes CIPHI’s importance in maintaining the integrity of the CPHI(c) credential and ensuring its members have the knowledge and skills to protect the lives of Canadians.
A long-time, strong supporter of CoPE, Cameron was active at the national level during the initial implementation of the CPC program, and in advancing key requirements around the program, the CPHI(C) credential, and CIPHI membership.
Cameron is so passionate about public health that the only person who would marry him was another public health inspector. He also enjoys aerial photography and triathlons.
Education: Bachelor of Environment Health (BCIT); Master in Science (University of Calgary)

Stacey Sowa


Stacey became a CIPHI member in 2011and joined CoPE in 2018. She is currently working in Nanaimo, British Columbia as the Regional Drinking Water Coordinator with Island Health. Stacey began her career with the First Nations Inuit Health Branch, flying into small, remote communities in northern Manitoba, followed by a year with Manitoba Health. She joined the council to help build the profession and contribute to CIPHI in a meaningful way.

Stacey has been working with CIPHI in one capacity or another since 2012. Prior to joining CoPE, she held a position as a Councillor with the BC Branch and Stacey recently retired from her position as the BC Page Editor after 9 years of publications. She values both her branch and CIPHI for serving as a unified voice for environmental public health professionals (EPHPs) and the work being done to elevate the profession.

After a long day of drowning in drought and other water related crises, Stacey loves to have a classic cocktail and dream about the -40℃ winters in her home province, Manitoba.

Education: Bsc in Microbiology; BTech in Environmental Health

Jennifer Guth


A public health inspector in Edmonton, Alberta, Jennifer has been a CIPHI member since 2015, valuing the organization as integral to maintaining the reputation of the environmental public health profession. Jennifer joined CoPE in 2021 to help improve professional development opportunities.

In the field, Jennifer has dealt with a month straight of rural boil water orders and a badger in a well shed, while, outside of work, as a former lifeguard she is a devoted swimmer.

Education: BSc in each of Science, Education, and Environmental Health; university certificate in Infection Prevention and Control; Master in Educational Technology (ongoing)



Debbie Hylton


A public health inspector working for Toronto Public Health, Debbie has been a CIPHI member since 1999, and a CoPE member since 2018. She joined CoPE to support the objectives of the CPC program by supporting public health inspectors in maintaining standards for their CPHI designation and keeping up the integrity of the profession.
Debbie’s career highlights include working as lead inspector with a team for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games in Toronto, which was the largest multi-sport event ever in Canada, where over 800,000 meals provided to the athletes and volunteers.
Debbie enjoys spending time with family and friends, cycling, and travelling. She has visited two of the seven wonders of the world, and intends to see them all. Go Debbie!
Education: BASc (Ryerson University)

Dr. Wendy Pons


A Professor in the Bachelor of Environmental Health at Conestoga College, Wendy has been a CIPHI member for over 10 years. She recognizes the community of practice that supports its members and enhances knowledge. She currently sits on the advisory board for the NCCEH and is an associate editor of the Environmental Health Review. She joined CoPE in 2022 to contribute further to the profession and to build new connections.

Wendy's career highlights include educating future EPHPs at Ryerson and Conestoga, and working in the Region of Peel in various roles (PHI, health promoter, research and policy analyst and a supervisor of the vector borne team).

In her spare time, she loves travelling with her husband and two daughters. Her dog loves to tag along when he can! Ask her a thing or two about horses and she will be sure to impress you!

Education: Public Health Degree (Ryerson University); Masters of Environmental Science and Management (Ryerson University); Doctorate in Epidemiology

Karen Edgar


An environmental health officer with the PEI Department of Health & Wellness in Charlottetown, P.E.I., Karen joined CIPHI in 2013, and CoPE in 2020. She sees the CPC program and its emphasis on continuing professional development as a key component of CIPHI membership, and joined the council to meet other environmental public health professionals from across Canada.

Career highlights include mentoring an environmental health officer candidate in the summer of 2019, and working as an environmental health officer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karen has a dog, Toby, who is the size of a small horse. It almost won the Kentucky Derby (unconfirmed fact).

Education: BTech in Environmental Health (BCIT); Diploma of Technology in Food Technology (BCIT); BSc in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (SFU)

Jessica Crawley


A Public Health Inspector with 18 years of experience, started in Ontario then moved back to NB where she has been working for the Department of Justice and Public Safety for the past 12 years. Jessica has been a CIPHI member since 2004. As a bilingual Public Health Inspector she is excited to have joined CoPE in 2022 so she can further contribute to CIPHI by getting more involved with the organization.

Jessica enjoys family movie night outdoors during the summer and going on family vacation to Disney World.

Education: B.Tech in Environmental Health

Garth Gosselin

National Representative

Garth is a manager in the Central Zone of Alberta Health Services. Garth has been a CIPHI member since 1995 and joined CoPE in 2022.

Garth has been involved with CIPHI at the provincial and national level in the past including as a zone councilor, organizing provincial conferences, assisting with national conferences, and seven years on the Board of Certification including a term as chair. Garth is a firm believer that we all need to do our part to build and support the organization and the profession and is looking forward to a new chapter with CoPE.

Garth is married with three adult children. He enjoys hiking, backpacking, camping and just generally being outdoors and busy.

Education BASc Toronto Metropolitan University

Khatija Essaji


Working as an environmental health officer with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Khatija works on the Northern Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland, and the north coast of Labrador.

Khatija has been a member of CIPHI since 2016, and a member of CoPE since 2023. As the only EHO working in a rural office, Khatija wanted to get involved with CoPE to connect with other health inspectors across the country and contribute to the development of the profession.

Khatija enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cooking up a good scoff!