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. It's recommended for candidates to download the The Complete Guide to the CSP (PDF) 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. Further details on these requirements and the evaluation of international degrees can be found on our education standard webpage.
3) Do You Have Enough Experience?
In addition to the academic requirement, CSP candidates must have four (4) years of 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 a variety of hazards, 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.
4) Apply Online
Apply online by selecting the My Profile button on the BCSP website, your login for BCSP's Certification Management System (CMS). BCSP reviews application materials determining eligibility for the CSP examination. Unless waived, candidates must first pass the ASP examination and meet education/experience standards before becoming eligible for the CSP Exam. BCSP randomly selects applications for audit. If selected for audit, you must submit all supporting documentation.
5) Purchase Your Exam
Once their application is approved, new candidates may register and pay for their examination online by logging into "My Profile" and selecting “Purchase Exam” from the menu buttons. Candidates will have one-year once their application has been approved to schedule and sit for the examination. Those 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 ASP Examination. BCSP currently accepts only the following certifications, licenses or memberships for waiver of this examination:
- Associate Safety Professional (ASP)
- Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP)
- Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH)
- Chartered Member of IOSH (CMIOSH)*
- National and/or International Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (NEBOSH)*
- Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP)*
- Professional Member of the Singapore Institute of Safety Officers (SISO)*
- Member in the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (MISPN)*
- Diploma/Certificate in Industrial Safety, as issued by the State Government Departments/Boards of Technical Education, Government of India*
You may purchase an examination at any time, as long as you are authorized. BCSP will notify the examination service that you are an eligible candidate.
* Must meet eligibility requirements when pursuing CSP
6) Sit for Your Exam
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, results are available.
7) Pay an Annual Renewal Fee and Meet Recertification Requirements
After completing all of the requirements, BCSP will award candidates who pass the exam the CSP certification. An annual fee also applies to those who pass the CSP 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.