Certified safety professional
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The Certified Safety Professional (CSP) is a certification offered by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). The CSP is accredited in the United States by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and internationally by the International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC 17024) (see ANSI).
The requirements to become a CSP are:
- an associate's degree in safety and health, or an accredited bachelor's degree in any field
- four or more years of professional safety experience
- passing the Safety Fundamentals and/or Comprehensive Practice examinations
CSPs are further required to provide BCSP with proof that they are maintaining a high level of competency in safety work by re-certifying every five years.
About the Board
The BCSP was established in 1969 based on recommendations from a study performed by the American Society of Safety Engineers. Eight professional organizations are affiliated with the BCSP; they are:
On September 26, 2003, BCSP signed an alliance with the United States' Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental, and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) to collaborate on training, education, outreach, and advocacy.
On December 31, 2008, BCSP acquired CCHEST and its multiple safety certifications.
NOTE: The BCSP is not an accredited academic institute. The BCSP only facilitates testing and does not offer a training curriculum. Moreover, unlike most accredited institutions for higher learning, one must pay dues to maintain membership.
BCSP also offers accredited certifications which were formerly offered by the Council on Certification of Health, Environment and Safety Technologists (CCHEST). These include the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST), Certified Environmental, Safety & Health Trainer (CET), Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) and Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) certifications.
All four of these programs are nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), require specific combinations of knowledge and experience and successful demonstration of safety competency through examination. As with the CSP, those who hold these certifications must continue to prove competency to maintain the credential they have earned but recertification requirements and their scheduling varies.
CRSP (Canadian Registered Safety Professional)
Similar to the CSP in the US, Canada offers the CRSP (Canadian Registered Safety Professional) designation, through the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals
Applicants must meet some prerequisites prior to submitting a formal application:
- Educational Pursuits: Must have minimally completed high school. By 2009, this requirement will change to college or university education in health and safety.
- Past Work Experience: Must have at least three years of continuous work experience in the Occupational and Environmental Health & Safety field
- Current Employment: Must include greater than 50% (over 900 hours/year), in Occupational and Environmental Health & Safety activities.
1. Application: Once the applicant has met the prerequisites, they must complete the "Application for Canadian Registered Safety Professional Designation", obtained from the BCRSP board. The lengthy application requires a compilation of all the applicant’s course and job descriptions.
2. Evaluation: The BCRSP Board reviews the application. The applicant is then advised if they meet the minimum requirements or not. If the application is accepted, then the applicant is advised that they will soon be contacted for an interview.
3. Interview: The interview is set up with a member of the BCRSP’s Regional Screening Centre personnel in the applicant’s geographical area. It’s an informal meeting, where the applicant’s work and educational Occupational Health & Safety experience are discussed.
4. Examination: The applicant has to write a comprehensive 3.5 hour multiple choice exam that covers Accident Theory, Environmental Practices, Ergonomics, Fire Prevention and Protection, Health Promotion, HSE Auditing, Law and Ethics, Occupational Health Safety and Environment Systems, Occupational Hygiene, Risk Management, and Safety Techniques and Technology. Study guides and books are recommended by the Board, and numerous preparatory courses are available through:
4. Approval: If the applicant minimally achieves the passing score on the examination, they receive notification of such.
5. Confirmation: The applicant revives the CRSP Designation along with their designation registration number.
In Order to maintain a professional safety designation continuing education is often required with most designations. To be in good standing with the certification body, continuing education units (CEU) or professional developmental conferences (PDC) must be completed within a designated time frame and approved by the certification body. Some provincial trade associations and safety associations have their industry designations such as:
Safety Certification in Europe
Internationally, other countries have set up similar programs. In the UK the highest professional standing is that of a chartered safety and health practitioner or fellow of IIRSM. The standards are maintained by both the UK’s largest body for safety professionals (IOSH) and also the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). Like North American safety professional programs, to achieve these grades the applicant must be professionally qualified and have relevant experience. Continuing professional development (CPD) is also a strong requirement of both memberships. IIRSM also offer Recognised Safety Professional (not to be confused with 'registered safety practitioners' of OSHCR) these honorary post nominal letters given by IIRSM to recognised safety practitioners.