Statement of Purpose
NORA councils are a national venue for individuals and organizations with common interests in occupational safety and health topics to come together. Councils will start the third decade by identifying broad occupational safety and health research objectives for the nation. These research objectives will build from advances in knowledge in the last decade, address emerging issues, and be based on council member and public input. Councils will spend the remainder of the decade working together to address the agenda through information exchange, collaboration, and enhanced dissemination and implementation of solutions that work.
Although NIOSH is the steward of NORA, it is just one of many partners that make NORA possible. Councils are not an opportunity to give consensus advice to NIOSH, but instead a way to maximize resources towards improved occupational safety and health nationwide. Councils are platforms that help build close partnerships among members and broader collaborations between councils and other organizations. The resulting information sharing and leveraging efforts promotes widespread adoption of improved workplace practices based on research results.
Councils are diverse and dynamic, and are open to anyone with an interest in occupational safety and health. Members benefit by hearing about cutting-edge research findings, learning about evidence-based ways to improve safety and health efforts in their organization, and forming new partnerships. In turn, members share their knowledge and experiences with others and reciprocate partnerships.
NORA councils meet at least once per year, but some choose to meet more frequently. Most meetings are held virtually using Adobe Connects, but some are in-person. Agendas are set by the co-chairs (a NIOSH sector or cross-sector program leader and another volunteer), with input from council members. Agenda items often include presentations from members or guest speakers, open discussion periods, and/or small group breakout sessions.
NORA councils have achieved a lot in the first three years of this decade (October 2016-September 2019). Sixteen councils published research agendas and all made strides in information sharing, partnership building, and promoting evidence-based solutions. Learn more in the reports:
- National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Councils: FY 2019 Highlights pdf icon
- National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Councils: 2016-2018 Achievementspdf icon
NORA Council Evaluation
NIOSH, as steward of NORA, coordinated a process evaluation in 2019 to help councils function as effectively as possible and maximize their contributions towards improved occupational safety and health. Using a council member survey, administrative records, and annual reports, the evaluation sougth to understand how well councils were achieving their stated purposes of information sharing, networking, and disseminating/implementing evidence-based solutions, as well as assessing council member satisfaction. The evaluation offered solutions to increasing engagement and fully achieving all three purposes of NORA councils. Learn more in the report, National Occupational Research Agenda Councils: 2019 Evaluation Findingspdf icon
NORA Sector Councils
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
- Healthcare and Social Assistance
- Oil and Gas Extraction
- Public Safety
- Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities
- Wholesale and Retail Trade