ITI, SMOHIT team up to offer Infection Control self-paced online course

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies that “nearly 1.7 million hospitalized patients annually acquire health care-associated infections while being treated for other health issues.” More than 98,000 of those patients die due to those infections. Several studies suggest that simple infection-control procedures can save lives. This includes following the proper procedures when performing construction in a health care facility.

Because health care related construction is one of the fastest growing segments of the construction industry, the International Training Institute (ITI) and the Sheet Metal Occupational Health Institute Trust (SMOHIT), have teamed up to offer an online, self-paced Infection Control Risk Assessment (ICRA) Awareness for the Sheet Metal Worker course.

When successfully completed, class participants are eligible to sit for the International Certification Board/Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (ICB/TABB) American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Infection Control Awareness certification.

“SMOHIT created the ICRA course several years ago,” said James Page, ITI administrator. “Using that course, we were training the trainers, and they were going back and teaching it in the classroom. Now, with some slight modifications made by ITI, we are able to offer a self-paced, online version.”

The course introduces the rationale for infection control assessment and plans in health care facilities during construction and renovation and is made up of four parts, with lessons that explain various aspects of effective infection control and mitigation. Some of those lessons include: why infection control is critical for worker and patient health; how hospital-acquired infections are spread; the costs associated with those infections; the complexities of health care facility construction; the hospital accreditation mandates set by federal, state and local municipalities; and regulations and guidelines set by organizations like the CDC.

The online course allows students to review the materials at their own pace and requires them to take and pass periodic knowledge assessments before moving on to the next section.

“There is a lot of complex information involved in this course, especially as it pertains to contaminants and hazards,” Page said. “The online format for this course allows the student to take as much time as they need to really become familiar with the information.”

The learning portal also includes handouts and booklets for students to supplement the course and assist them when taking the knowledge tests.

Those interested can visit the ITI Online Learning portal at to enroll. There are no course prerequisites. Every SMART (International Association of Sheet Metal Air, Rail and Transportation Workers) member is eligible to complete the course.

More than 14,000 apprentices are registered at over 150 training facilities across the United States and Canada. The ITI is jointly sponsored by SMART (formerly the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association) and the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

ITI supports apprenticeship and advanced career training for union workers in the sheet metal heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), welding and industrial, architectural and ornamental, and service and testing, adjusting and balancing industry throughout the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, the ITI develops and produces a standardized sheet metal curriculum supported by a wide variety of training materials free of charge to sheet metal apprentices and journeymen.

For more information about ITI and its available training curriculum for members covering sheet metal trade work, visit its website or call 703-739-7200.