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    November 25, 2019

    Safety Certifications, Your Career, and You: A Short Guide

    Are you a brand new EHS professional looking to find your footing in the industry? It’s an exciting and valuable career, one that can reward and fulfill you for years to come.

    But if you’re like many fledgling safety professionals, you’re still trying to make sense of where your career could go. You’re learning what a day in the life is like, what areas you could focus on as an EHS professional.

    The truth is, your day-to-day experience depends on your focus area. The EHS professional credentialing you pursue qualifies you for various avenues of work. So the real question is, what do you want to focus on?

    We’re here to help you figure it out.

    Board of Certified Safety Professionals

    The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) is the certifying organization for safety professionals. All BCSP certifications are recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is the primary source for internationally-recognized accreditations in US-based practice.

    BSCP currently offers ten different credentials:

    1. The Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification is for individuals who spend at least 50% of their time performing professional safety duties, such as identifying hazards and controls, maintaining and evaluating incident and loss records, and preparing emergency response plans.

    2. The Safety Management Specialist (SMS) certification is slightly more specialized. It’s designed for individuals in management positions helping businesses operate safely, which can be done on a full-time or part-time basis. Unlike the CSP, which requires a Bachelor’s degree and four years of experience, the SMS requires a minimum of 10 years of experience.

    3. The Associate Safety Professional (ASP) certification is sort of like an entry certification for the CSP. Similar to the CSP, it requires that a professional spend at least 50% of their time performing safety duties like those outlined in CSP. However, the ASP only requires an Associate’s degree with at least four courses in safety, health or environment, as well as one year of professional experience.

    4. The Occupational Hygiene and Safety Technician (OHST) certification is tailored for individuals who perform occupational hygiene and safety duties on a full-time or part-time basis, with at least 35% of tasks focused in this area and at least three years of relevant experience.

    5. The Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) certification is the most tailored of the certifications thus far, designed specifically for safety professionals in the construction industry. These are typically individuals who work on construction sites as an owner, contractor, or subcontractor. You need at least three years of relevant experience and must spend at least 35% of your time on construction safety tasks.

    6. The Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) certification is designed for business leaders–executives, managers, directors, and superintendents. You are a leader, regardless of your leadership level, who has input on and knowledge of safety topics.

    7. The Safety Trained Supervisor Construction (STSC) certification is similar to the STS, but tailored for construction supervisors. These are the leaders who supervise construction safety at all levels and make decisions that impact employee safety on the job site.

    8. The Certified Instructional Trainer (CIT) certification is for more than just leaders–it’s for teachers. If someone in your organization is teaching others how to stay safe on the job, you’re the one doing it. You’re behind the scenes developing training programs and educational materials and guiding employees through the learning process.

    9. The Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) isn’t a certification, per se–it’s a pathway for recent safety graduates to start their route toward the CSP certification and start preparing for professional safety practice.

    10. Last but not least, the Transitional Safety Practitioner (TSP) isn’t a certification either–it’s a designation available to individuals who complete a BSCP-equivalent program as an alternate path to the CSP.

    The CSP certification was actually the first-ever certification in safety, health, environment, and ergonomics accredited by ANSI. When you get your safety certifications, you get them from an organization whose safety roots run deep.

    Considering EHS Professional Credentialing?

    As you can see, EHS professional credentialing offers you a wide array of potential career pathways. So the question is: which road will you take? It’s a learning process, and as in all things safety, the more you know, the safer you are.

    If you’re looking to learn more about the EHS profession you’re joining, make sure to check out our blog for more great tips, like these essential workplace safety skills for EHS professionals.

    Katy Lyden, MS, OHST

    Katy Lyden is a Domain Analyst and EHS Subject Matter Expert for StarTex Software, the company behind EHS Insight. Prior to her current role, Katy spent 17 years successfully leading EHS programs for several large companies within the manufacturing industry. Katy is a Navy veteran, retired Emergency Medical...