New CRSP, Troy Winters, Shares His Opinion on What Constitutes a Safety Professional

New CRSP Troy Winters is one of the most recent safety professionals to achieve the CRSP® designation. After seven successful years in the field, Troy, who is the Senior Officer of Health and Safety at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) decided to pursue the designation because it was the next natural step in his career.

“I felt that if I wanted to be the best, I had to get certified,” says Troy.

Troy began his career in safety working as a sessional professor at Dalhousie university teacher where he taught several safety related courses, with future plans of becoming a safety educator, when he was approached about a role with CUPE.

With a strong desire to help businesses and workers achieve better health and safety programs, Troy jumped at the opportunity.

Make the Workplace Better

“My objective is always to make the workplace better,” says Troy.  A goal he pursues on a daily basis in his current role and although it is challenging at times he believes it is worth it. 

Troy discussed his perspective this past September at the BCRSP’s 40th Anniversary Thought Leader Session in Vancouver. His message focused on empowering employees, which has developed into his mantra.

“When I go into workplaces they frequently get defensive,” says Troy. "But my goal is to empower them and give them the tools they need to be successful in building safety into their practices. Having my CRSP® designation has given me the upper hand with businesses that are committed to health and safety and has made the conversation run more smoothly, because they often recognize that I know what I’m talking about.” 

The Road to Certification

Troy was originally introduced to the CRSP® designation through interactions with CRSPs in social and professional groups. These interactions prompted him to research the program and once he did he knew he wanted to become a CRSP®, but like many health and safety professionals Troy couldn’t find the time to pursue certification.

Troy’s big push towards beginning the process came from CRSP®, Peter Strum.

“I’m grateful to Peter for pushing me to go for it,” says Troy. “It really gave me the confidence I needed to finally begin the process, and just setting aside the time at the and beginning was probably the hardest part.”  Now Troy gives his colleagues that same push. “My thoughts are that if you qualify for certification nothing should hold you back,” says Troy. “It just makes sense.”

Troy admits that process was challenging but worth it. Troy offers the following tips to those preparing to pursue CRSP® certification:

  1. Expose Yourself. Learn and expose yourself to as much as you can. When there’s an educational opportunity take it because everything you learn come in handy, the more you know the better.
  2. Be Prepared. Stay organized and know the steps. If there’s something you don’t know the guides do a great job of giving you an idea but go further and do the research. You need to know your stuff in order to be successful.
  3. Make a Commitment. If you qualify and you make the full commitment, then the sky is the limit. Be committed not only to getting the designation but also be committed to the process of lifelong learning.
  4. Take Advice.  There are a lot of professionals with the CRSP designation that you can learn from.  You can’t know everything about all things so listen to what they have to say, it could be very important later on in your career.  

Troy successfully wrote the CRSP® Examination in June. He attributes his success to his drive and commitment to safety.

“There’s an ongoing conversation taking place in the safety community on what constitutes a safety professional,” says Troy.  “The most obvious way to know is by getting the CRSP®.”  

Congratulations to Troy and all the OHS professionals who received the CRSP® designation in June 2016. For a full list click here.

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