The PE-ABLE course is held in an e-learning platform, available in the IBV virtual campus (

The online structure of the course includes the following features:

  • Accessible learning contents (modules, sessions) available in different formats.
  • Guides, introductory topics, references and summaries at each module and session.
  • Specific activities to reinforce the contents.
  • Glossary and Bibliography.
  • Communication and interaction features: forums, chats, blogs, etc.

The course is divided into the following modules:

Module 1:  Background to ergonomics
Module 2:  Introduction to participatory ergonomics (PE)
Module 3: How to implement a PE program
Module 4: Personal abilities to conduct PE programs
Module 5: PE programs: approaches, examples and good practices
Module 6: Practices


Module 1: Background of ergonomics

This module provides a revision of the main ergonomics concepts and fields of application. Some of the concepts developed here will be familiar to some OHS professionals. For that reason the module combines general topics with more specific content. A special emphasis on the application of ergonomics (techniques and design principles) is provided in order to give a solid background for the development of participatory ergonomics programs.

Module 2: Introduction to participatory ergonomics (PE)

The module starts with the concept and definition of PE. The second session explains the concept of participation (general and in working environments), the participation categories and the philosophy behind this concept. The session also includes the failure and success factors in the participation process.

The last session in this module addresses the limitations of the participatory interventions. To solve these issues the PE leader must take into account the needs and requirements of participatory processes (conditions for success and the importance of stakeholders in the PE process). This session ends with a unit that is devoted to add perspective and future trends in the participatory interventions.

Module 3: How to implement a PE program

The third module is the longest in the PE-ABLE course. It develops in detail the steps to initiate and conduct a PE program in a company. It also includes the main tools and procedures that the professional can use to follow all the steps successfully.

The first session offers the detailed structure of a PE program. The second and third sessions explain deeply the phases of the PE intervention. Sessions 4 and 5 develop a set of tools that are commonly used in PE programs. This tools can be used in different phases of the process. They include damage and risk questionnaires, interviews, systematic observation, quantitative methods, and other tools for the intervention, planning, monitoring and control, coordination of activities and teaching/training.

Module 4: Personal Abilities to conduct PE programs

The conduct of a PE program implies dealing with aspects such as conflict resolution, team working, leadership, motivation, etc.  These aspects include specific skills that the PE mentor should have to ensure that the program becomes successful. This module is devoted to explain those personal skills and abilities.

The first session includes the concept and types of personal abilities and the specific aspects of such skills in the working environments. The following sessions of this module deepen different key personal skills that are very useful in the PE programs. Each session includes a definition of the skill, the areas of application, the potential problems and considerations and some tools and techniques that the professional can use to improve the quality of the work and of the human relations in the PE process. The personal skills that considered in the PE-ABLE course are: leadership, teamwork, resolution of conflicts, negotiation and communication.

Module 5: PE programs: approaches, examples and good practices

The last module of study in the PE-ABLE course is devoted to develop practical applications to implement PE programs. There are several institutions and organisations that have developed detailed protocols to implement PE programs. In the first session of this module the student will have the opportunity to check some of them. The session explains for each procedure the context of use, modes of intervention and process/steps.

The second session introduces some examples and good practices developed in different sectors (mainly industrial but also others like in primary or services) and in different countries.

Module 6: Practices

The main goal of this module is to put into practice the knowledge and skills acquired from the previous modules. The practices are based on the development of a simulated environment.