7 Steps to CSP Certification
"What do I have to do to become a CSP?"
One of the most common questions by potential candidates is “What do I have to do to become a CSP?” The CSP process has several stages, each one building on the other, to create a knowledgeable safety professional.
1.) Are You Eligible?
First thing potential candidates need to do is determine application eligibility. Filling out the Am I Eligible For The Certified Safety Professional Certification? Test helps assess qualifications. In addition, it’s recommended for candidates to download the CSP Application Guide for more detailed information.
2.) Do You Have An Accredited Degree?
There is no waiver of the academic requirement and proof of a minimum qualifying degree must be provided. For U.S. degrees, BCSP requires the educational institution hold institutional accreditation from an accreditation body with institutional accrediting authority recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and/or the U.S. Department of Education. Degrees earned outside the U.S. must be evaluated for equivalency. Unaccredited degrees are disqualified. The degree must be awarded during the period of accreditation. More information regarding the academic requirement can be found on The Education Standard page.
3.) Do You Have Enough Experience?
In addition to the academic requirement, CSP candidates must have professional safety experience. Professional safety experience must meet all of the following criteria to be considered acceptable by BCSP:
- Professional safety must be the primary function of the position. Collateral duties in safety are not considered the primary function.
- The position’s primary responsibility must be the prevention of harm to people, property, and the environment, rather than responsibility for responding to harmful events.
- Professional safety functions must be at least 50% of the position duties. BCSP defines full-time as at least 35 hours per week. Part-time safety experience is allowed instead of full-time safety experience if the applicant has the equivalent of at least 900 hours of professional safety work during any year (75 hours per month or 18 hours per week) for which experience credit is sought.
- The position must be at the professional level. This is determined by evaluating the degree of responsible charge and reliance of employers or clients on the person’s ability to defend analytical approaches used in professional practice. This also encompasses their recommending how to control hazards through engineering and/or administrative approaches.
- The position must have breadth of professional safety duties. This is determined by evaluating the variety of hazards about which the candidate must advise and the range of skills involved in recognizing, evaluating, and controlling hazards. Examples of skills are analysis, synthesis, design, investigating, planning, administration, and communications.
Candidates may substitute advanced degrees and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Technologist (OHST) or Construction Health and Safety Technician (CHST) certifications for part of the experience requirement.
4.) Send In Your Application
BCSP reviews application materials (Official Transcripts, Application Form, Experience Form and Reference Form) determining eligibility for both the Safety Fundamentals and Comprehensive Practice examinations. Unless waived, candidates must first pass the Safety Fundamentals examination and meet education/experience standards before becoming eligible for the Comprehensive Practice Exam.
BCSP uses a point system to determine eligibility for examinations. Your total points are the sum of your academic points and your experience points. A candidate must have 48 points to sit for the Safety Fundamentals examination and 96 points to sit for the Comprehensive Practice examination.
5.) Purchase Your Exam(s)
Anytime during the eligibility period, candidates may register and pay for their applicable examination (Safety Fundamentals or Comprehensive Practice) by calling customer service at (217) 359-9263. BCSP notifies candidates how long they have to schedule and sit for their examination.
Candidates qualifying for the GSP designation and some candidates who have been examined through other acceptable credentialing programs, and currently hold such credentials, may be granted a waiver of the Safety Fundamentals Examination. BCSP currently accepts only the following certifications, licenses or memberships for waiver of this examination:
- Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
- Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the U.S. state or territory
- Chartered Engineer (CEng) from the Engineering Council (United Kingdom)
- Certified Health Physicist (CHP)
- Chartered Member of IOSH (CMIOSH)*
- Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP)*
- Chartered Professional Member SIA (CPMSIA), Fellow of SIA (FSIA) or Chartered Fellow of SIA (CFSIA) from the Safety Institute of Australia.
- Certified Occupational Health Nurse (COHN) or Certified Occupational Health Nurse Specialist (COHN-S) with a Safety Management credential from the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses (ABOHN)
- Professional Member of the Singapore Institute of Safety Officers (SISO)
*There is a streamlined application process for the CMIOSH and CRSP. For details, download the CMIOSH and CRSP Application Forms under the Reciprocal Agreement sidebar.
Those who receive a waiver of the Safety Fundamentals examination do not receive and cannot use the ASP title.
You may purchase an examination at any time, as long as you are eligible. BCSP will notify the examination service that you are an eligible candidate and also inform you how long you have to make an appointment and complete your examination.
6.) Sit For Your Exam(s)
BCSP's examination provider, Pearson VUE, has hundreds of test centers located around the world which are open every business day (some also have weekend and holiday hours). Examinations are delivered via computer at the test center. As soon as candidates submit their exam, unofficial results are available. BCSP sends official results within three weeks after examination dates. Candidates who fail remain eligible to purchase a new examination authorization.
7.) Pay an annual renewal fee and meet Recertification requirements
After completing all of the requirements, BCSP will award candidates who pass the Safety Fundamentals exam the temporary Associate Safety Professional (ASP) designation. The interim ASP designation is awarded on an annual basis and those holding this designation must pay an annual fee in order to retain the use. An annual fee also applies to those who pass the Comprehensive Practice exam and earn the CSP credential.
CSPs must remain up-to-date with changes in professional practice by compiling 25 Recertification points every five years.
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