Safety Management Specialists (SMS) are individuals with management skills required for a business’s safe operation, applying these safety skills on a full-time or part-time basis as part of their job duties. Some examples of an SMS’s activities include defining and utilizing an organization’s safety management systems; risk management; incident investigation and emergency preparedness;
maintaining current knowledge of safety, health, and environmental (SH&E) concepts; and identifying the business case for safety.
- Will work part-time or full-time in occupational health or safety with a minimum 35% of job tasks related to the management of safety related programs, processes, procedures, and/or personnel.
- Will have ten (10) years of experience in occupational health or safety.
- Must pass the SMS examination.
To retain the SMS certification, individuals must:
- Pay an annual renewal fee.
- Meet Recertification requirements.
View additional information on the SMS in this webpage’s Resources section.
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Many professions recognize the need for certification to identify competency in their respective fields. Just as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in accounting denotes a measurable standard of competency, the CSP, SMS, ASP, OHST, CHST, STS, STSC, and CET are recognized as having met the professional challenge of illustrating competency through education and/or training, experience, and examination.
In the past twenty years, the responsibilities of safety professionals have expanded. Safety issues have become more complex and today's safety professionals must be continually better qualified. BCSP credential holders are among the most highly trained, educated, and experienced individuals in the safety field. In general, those who hold a BCSP credential are more likely to be hired, earn higher salaries, and receive more promotions and leadership assignments than their peers who do not hold the certification.
The BCSP credentials CSP, ASP, OHST, CHST, STS, STSC, and CET are nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). In addition to NCCA accreditation, the CSP, SMS, ASP, OHST, CHST, STS, STSC, and CET are internationally accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under the ISO/IEC 17024 standards for personnel certification programs.
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Benefits of Certification
Hiring Preferences and Salary Increases: Advertisements for safety professionals often identify the CSP certification or other BCSP credentials as desired or required qualification along with education and experience. Human resource managers and those hiring people for government positions depend on professional certification to ensure candidates have met minimum qualifications.
Enhance Your Self-Esteem: The most frequent reported value derived from achieving a BCSP credential is increased self-esteem and personal satisfaction. Most newly certified individuals report that achieving their certification increased their personal worth. A major factor is having met standards established by peers for professional safety practice. It indicates that you have risen above the competition, because, you have been evaluated by professional peers against those standards.
Share Your Knowledge for Professional Safety Practice: Having achieved a certification shows you have mastered the core knowledge required for professional safety practice. The Safety Salary Survey shows that the certification process made them learn the field. The certification did what it is intended to do - ensuring the knowledge necessary for practice.
Gain an Advantage Over Your Peers: Because a BCSP credential is high quality, as demonstrated by its compliance with national and/or internationally recognized standards for certification of persons, most holding it have created an edge for themselves. As recognition for BCSP credentials grow among employers, government agencies, peers and the public, those holding one have a competitive advantage for safety positions and assignments.
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The Certification Process
BCSP requires you to create a profile at bcsp.org to start the application process. You will need to login for the first time by creating an account through the “My Profile” portal on the right hand corner of every bcsp.org webpage. Once you have created your account you will click on the “Apply for Certification” menu button to start your application.
Are You Eligible?
Do You Have An Accredited Degree?
For a certification with a degree requirement (CSP and ASP), BCSP needs the educational institution to 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.
Do You Have Enough Experience?
In addition to the academic requirement, BCSP 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 a function of the position
- The responsibility must be the prevention of harm to people, property, and the environment, rather than responsibility for responding to harmful events. CETs must have 135 hours of training in safety.
Purchase, Schedule, and Sit for the Exam
Once your application has been approved you may purchase an examination at any time during by logging in to “My Profile” at bcsp.org and clicking on the “Purchase Exam” menu button. You have one (1) year from the approval of your application to purchase and sit for examination, and may sit for exam at any time in that period as long as your exam attempts are not within six (6) weeks from the last time you sat for examination. BCSP will notify the examination service that you are an eligible candidate so you may schedule a convenient time to sit for the exam.
BCSP's examination service provider, Pearson VUE, has hundreds of test centers located around the world (locate a test center). Pearson VUE test centers are open every business day, some also having weekend and holiday hours. Examinations are delivered via computer at the test center. As soon as candidates submit their exam, official results are available. Candidates who fail may still be eligible to purchase a new examination.
Pay an Annual Renewal Fee and Meet Recertification Requirements
After completing all of the requirements, BCSP will award candidates who pass the certification exam the credential. All certifications are awarded on an annual basis and those holding one must pay an annual fee in order to retain the use. All credential holds must remain up-to-date with changes in professional practice by compiling their Recertification points every five years.
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