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Frequently Asked Question about the MPH IPAC Track

Here are answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the Infection, Prevention and Control (IPAC) Track.    

You will find questions and answers on eligibility, career paths and job prospects, and certification.

Don't see your question answered here? Contact the Master of Public Health Graduate Assistant by email at: MPHadmin@queensu.ca 

 

 

Eligibility questions 

 

Who is eligible for the Queen’s MPH IPAC Track?  

The IPAC Track is for students enrolled in the Queen’s University Master of Public Health program. Graduate students from the Queen’s Department of Public Health Sciences are eligible to take the IPAC-specific elective courses. Graduate students enrolled in other departments at Queen’s University may also be eligible to take the IPAC-specific elective courses, with permission of the instructor. 

 

When is the Queen’s Master of Health Program’s IPAC Track available? 

Now! IPAC-specific elective courses were offered for the first time in January 2022. The first IPAC-specific practicum placements were completed in summer 2022.  

 

Is the IPAC Track offered in person or online?

In person. The IPAC Track is an embedded specialized training opportunity within the Master of Public Health Program (MPH). The MPH is delivered in person, on the main campus at Queen’s University. Part-time study options are available.

 

How do I indicate my interest in the IPAC Track on my MPH admission application? 

Note your interest in the IPAC Track in your Statement of Interest.

 

I am a current Queen’s MPH student. How do I enroll in the IPAC Track? 

Inform the MPH Graduate Assistant that you would like to enroll in the three IPAC courses as your electives. And, inform the Professional Development Officer that you are seeking an IPAC-specific practicum placement. 

 

I am a current Queen’s MPH Accelerated student. Can I complete the IPAC Track? 

Yes, but completing the IPAC Track would require you to take one extra course beyond the requirements of the Accelerated MPH program. The Accelerated MPH program requires two elective courses; the IPAC Track includes three elective courses. To complete the IPAC Track, you would take EPID 853 Healthcare Safety, Quality and Risk, an online course, concurrently with your summer practicum. For Accelerated MPH students with full-time status, there is no increase in tuition fees to complete this extra elective.  

 

 

Career paths and job prospects 

 

What is an Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP)? 

An Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP) is an individual who is employed with the primary goal of helping to prevent infections/transmission of microorganisms in their setting or system. They do this through a range of tasks including developing policies, implementing new practices and procedures, monitoring the amount and type of infections (surveillance), educating staff, patients, and residents and liaising with public health agencies. ICPs work in various settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, congregate settings, public health agencies and other workplaces. Integral competencies to the role include knowledge of infectious disease processes, microbiology, routine practices and additional precautions, surveillance, principles of epidemiology, outbreak management, quality improvement, research utilization and education.  

 

Are there job opportunities for people with knowledge and skills in infection prevention and control?  

Yes. Our public health system needs people with technical knowledge and leadership skills in infection prevention and control. Pursuing the IPAC Track can help position you to enter the field, or advance your career in new leadership roles. Job titles include but are not limited to: Infection Prevention and Control Practitioner, Infection Control Professional, Infection Control Specialist, and Infection Preventionist.   

 

Will completing the IPAC Track guarantee me a job or position as an Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP)? 

No. If you are interested in a job as an infection control practitioner or other role, it is important you understand the basic employment requirements set out in the position by the individual facility/province/country.  

 

If I complete the Queen’s MPH IPAC Track, can I call myself an ICP (Infection Prevention and Control Professional)? 

Some of the students who pursue this Track will already be ICPs! Other students will be in the early stages of exploring this profession. To call yourself an ICP, you should be actively engaged in the work of preventing and controlling infections in your job role.  

 

I already work as an Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP). How would taking the Queen’s MPH enhance my skills and job prospects? 

Queen’s MPH graduates learn how to effectively define, search, appraise, synthesize, adapt, implement and evaluate public health evidence, so they can take Evidence-Informed Action for Public Health. Completing an MPH with the IPAC Track combines foundational training in public health competencies with technical training and experiential learning in infection prevention and control.  The degree will help position you to advance your career in leadership roles.  

 

Certification questions 

 

Does completing the MPH IPAC Track mean I am officially Certified as an Infection Control Professional? 

No. Pursuing Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) is an extensive process, and includes successful completion of a standardized written examination governed by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology (CBIC). Find more information on certification here: https://www.cbic.org   

 

How does an Infection Prevention and Control Professional (ICP) get formally certified? 

Certification in Infection Control (CIC®) is governed by the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (CBIC), a voluntary, autonomous, multidisciplinary board. Pursuing CIC® certification is an extensive process, and includes successful completion of a standardized written examination. To be eligible for the exam, candidates must meet all CBIC criteria which include completion of a post-secondary degree, evidence of direct responsibility for infection prevention and control within your current job role, and at least one-year of full time IPAC-related paid employment. More information on CIC®, including detailed eligibility requirements, may be found on the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology website here: https://www.cbic.org