Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions. 

1.0 As an OHS professional, why should I pursue the CRSP® designation?

The OHS profession is becoming more and more competitive. You will set yourself apart from others in your field with certification. It will make a remarkable impact on your career path. 

The Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP)®/Professionnel en sécurité agréé du Canada (PSAC)® designation is considered a benchmark in the OHS profession and the designation of choice for Canadian OHS professionals. 

Many employers prefer or require applicants for OHS positions to hold the CRSP®/PSAC® designation, particularly for mid-career and senior positions. CRSPs/PSACs also receive the best opportunities for career advancement and are sought for their expertise.

Established in 1976, the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (BCRSP) serves to protect the public through the certification of qualified occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals.
 
The BCRSP is accredited to ISO 17024 (Personnel Certification Body) by the Standards Council of Canada and to ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) by BSI Management Systems and is a member of the Canadian Network of National Associations of Regulators (CNNAR), the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE) and the International Network of Safety and Health Practitioner Organisations (INSHPO). As a public interest body, the BCRSP does not provide the types of services offered by self interest organizations (professional development, conferences, local Chapters, etc). Its sole mandate is to provide a certification program.

1.1 What are the minimum eligibility requirements for making application for the CRSP® designation?

The minimum eligibility requirements are:

  • a one year college/university certificate/diploma in OHS OR a two year college/ university non-OHS certificate/diploma. Applicants who completed formal education above the minimum requirement (e.g. undergraduate degree or college diploma in any discipline) meet the formal education requirements for certification.  If your formal education was completed outside of Canada, you must have your transcripts evaluated by a recognized foreign credential assessment agency.
  • current full-time employment in a position with OHS responsibilities comprising greater than 50% (minimum of 900 hours per calendar year), and 
  • at least three continuous years of OHS experience immediately prior to making application (Note: Gaps in employment due to parental leave, LTD, returning to school full-time, unemployment, etc. to a maximum of 12 months will not negate the 36-month continuous employment requirement but must be identified on the application. Employment gaps of more than 12 months will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.)
  • proof of professional development in the last 5 years (minimum requirement is 15 points (1 point awarded for 6 hours professional development) over 5 years immediately prior to submitting the application)

All eligibility criteria must be met in order for an application to be assessed by the Qualifications Review Committee. 

1.2 If I meet the minimum eligibility requirements, do I automatically proceed to the examination writing?

No, there is a point system requiring candidates to obtain at least 150 points from Factor 1 (Formal Education), Factor 2 (Professional Development) and Factor 3 (Professional Practice). Candidates must also obtain a minimum point score in Factors 1 (minimum 50; maximum 100), 2 (minimum 15; maximum 100) and 3 (minimum 50; maximum 100) reflecting the minimum eligibility requirements.

Candidates must successfully proceed through the Qualifications Review Committee's application assessment and Regional Screening Centre's interview before being eligible to write the CRSPEX.

1.3 How does the BCRSP determine OHS professional practice/related experience?

The Qualifications Review Committee (QRC) evaluates each job position to determine whether it is accepted as professional practice. In order to qualify for certification,

The position must be full time.

The OHS function must be greater than 50% (minimum of 900 hours in a year) of the listed position duties - the position's responsibility must be the prevention of harm to people, property and the environment, rather than the responsibility for responding to harmful events.

The position must be at a professional level. This is determined by evaluating the responsibilities, activities, and reliance by peers, employers, or clients on the person's ability to defend analytical approaches used in professional practice and the recommendations made for controlling hazards through engineering and/or administrative approaches.

The position must have a broad scope of duties. This is determined by evaluating the variety of hazards about which a candidate must advise and the range of skills involved in recognizing, evaluating and controlling hazards. 

While the Board recognizes the value of specialists within the broad parameters of OHS, the CRSP®/PSAC® is a generalist designation. Candidates are expected to demonstrate knowledge in the nine domains identified in the CRSP® Examination Blueprint.

1.4 Are there deadlines for submitting an application to the BCRSP?

Yes, for details of application submission dates please refer to the Application Processing Schedule.

1.5 I have submitted my certification application to the Board, may I state that fact on my résumé?

If you have submitted your certification application and are in the process of seeking new employment, you may advise prospective employers that you have made application to the Board of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals. You may NOT indicate that you are a CRSP®, a candidate CRSP®, a CRSP® in process or a pending CRSP®. The designation may not be used until such time as you have successfully completed the certification process, been awarded the designation by the Governing Board and received your certificate.

1.6 What are the costs associated with obtaining the CRSP® designation?

The current costs associated with an application and the examination are:

Application fee: $525.00
Examination fee: $150.00
Extension of examination writing period: $100.00

 

1.7 Are foreign applicants considered for the CRSP® designation?

Yes. However, foreign applicants must be prepared to make a minimum of two visits to Canada as part of the application process. One for the Regional Screening Centre interview and a second to write the examination (CRSPEX). If the first writing of the CRSPEX is unsuccessful, foreign applicants will have to arrange subsequent visits to Canada for re-examination purposes.

Foreign candidates whose first language is neither English nor French must:

  • Submit documentation verifying a minimum level of 94-101 (IBT) on a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL®) IBT; a band score of 7 on the International English Language Testing System or a score of 785-900 on a Test de français international (TFI™). (Equivalent proof of language proficiency (e.g. a university assessment) will also be accepted)
  • Foreign credentials must be translated to English or French and be verified by an official translator. 
  • Foreign credentials must be submitted to a Canadian Credentialing Agency prior to application submission. List of Foreign Credential Assessment Agencies.

How soon after immigrating to Canada, may I apply for certification? 

As long as the minimum requirements are met, including current employment in an OHS function, applications may be submitted at any time. However, candidates are encouraged to start the certification process prior to immigrating to Canada.

 

1.8 What are the steps to applying and receiving the CRSP® designation?

The process begins with the submission of an application form.

Applicants prepare the application form (Factors 1 - 3) and submit the original plus an additional copy along with an additional copy of supporting documentation and the application fee of $525.00 (+GST/HST) to the BCRSP office. There's a schedule of application deadlines  to assist the candidates with applicable timelines. 

Each application receives an initial review by the Qualifications Review Committee (QRC). This committee meets three times each year to conduct a review of applications. Following this review, applications that are awarded 150+ points are forwarded to Regional Screening Centres (RSC) across Canada (there are currently 28).

If the applicant does not meet the minimum criteria, has not submitted the appropriate documentation or the QRC requires clarification of qualifications, the applicant is advised, in writing, as to what is required and this information/ documentation must be supplied to the QRC for a supplementary assessment. 

The Regional Screening Centre personnel are responsible for conducting applicant interviews. These interviews are conducted to verify the applicant's information, clarify any questions raised by the QRC's review, and allow the candidate the opportunity to present additional information (in most cases, this will be related to professional development completed since the application was submitted to the BCRSP). The Regional Screening Centre personnel, following a successful interview, will recommend that the applicant be permitted to proceed to the examination (CRSPEX) stage. 

The CRSPEX is held three times per year in February, June and October during a 10 day window. The BCRSP has contracted with Pearson VUE to deliver all of its certification examinations by computer at testing centres throughout Canada. Candidates who do not receive a passing mark are permitted up to three rewrites of the examination. The examination fee is $150.00 (+GST/HST).

The names of the successful examination candidates are forwarded to the Governing Board with a recommendation from the Qualifications Review Committee that they be granted the CRSP®/PSAC® designation. 

Upon approval of the Governing Board, applicants are advised of their certification number, must complete and have witnessed the Code of Ethics and submit pro-rated dues for the current year before they are entitled to use the CRSP®/PSAC® designation. 

1.9 How long does the entire certification process take?

Applicants should expect the process to take from six months to a year or more and certainly longer if additional documentation/clarification is required after the initial review process or if re-examination is required. Once applicants have completed their interview and are recommended by the Regional Screening Centres, they are granted a two year window in which to write the examination for the first time.

Examination candidates may request, for a fee of $100.00 (+GST/HST), a one time, one year extension should they be unable to schedule the examination writing within the initial two year period.

2.0 Am I eligible for certification (self assessment guidelines)?

IMPORTANT: The final determination of the acceptability of an application to proceed to the Regional Screening Centre (RSC) interview is made by the Qualifications Review Committee (QRC). Applicants should not assume that their assessment of points awarded will be the same as that of the Qualifications Review Committee. 

Factor 1 – Formal Education
(minimum points required-50, maximum points available-100)

All completed formal education programs may be claimed to a maximum of 100 points. The awarding of points is follows. The highest level of completed formal education will be awarded the maximum number of points as per the matrix below. Each additional level of formal education completed will be awarded 50% of its point total. The maximum Factor 1 points that may be awarded is 100.
 

Formal Education **The minimum formal education eligibility criteria is a one year OHS college or university certificate or diploma OR a two year non-OHS college or university certificate or diploma. Points My Score
NON-OHS    
**Two year non-OHS college or university certificate or diploma 50  
Three year non-OHS college or university certificate, diploma or degree 60  
Four year non-OHS college or university diploma or degree 70  
Post graduate non-OHS college or university degree 80  
OHS    
One year OHS college or university certificate or diploma 50  
Two year OHS college or university certificate or diploma or one year post diploma 70  
Three year OHS college or university certificate, diploma or degree 80  
Four year OHS college or university diploma or degree 100  
Post graduate OHS degree 100  

 

Example #1
Applicant has a 4-year, undergraduate, non-OHS university degree and a 1-year, OHS university certificate.

4-year, undergraduate, non-OHS degree 70 points
1-year, OHS certificate (50% of 50 points) 25 points

Total Factor 1 = 95 points

Example #2
Applicant has a 3-year, OHS college diploma and a 2-year, college non-OHS certificate.

3-year, OHS college diploma 80 points
2-year, non-OHS certificate (50% of 50 points) 25 points
Total Factor 1 = 100 points (maximum allowable)

Factor 2 – Professional Development

(minimum points required-15, maximum points available-100)
The time limit for claiming OHS-related professional development activities in Categories A1 and A2 is five (5) years from the date of the original application submission. There is no time limit for claiming OHS-related professional development activities in Category B. 

Professional Development Activity Points My Score
A1. OHS courses/seminars/conferences of a minimum one day (6 hours) duration 1 point/day  
A2. Non OHS courses/seminars/conferences of a minimum one day (6 hours) duration 1 point/day (max 5 points) (max 5 points)
B. College/university OHS credit courses (not part of formal education-Factor 1) 10 points/course  

Factor 3 - Professional Practice
(minimum points required -50, maximum points available-100)

   
Full-time OHS related experience Value My Score
Minimum 36 months (3 years) 50  
37-60 months (3 years - 5 years) 65  
61-84 months (5 years - 7 years) 80  
85+ months (7+ years) 100  

A minimum of 150 points from all three Factors is required for an applicant to proceed to the Regional Screening Centre interview. Applicants must obtain a minimum of 50 points in Factor 1 (Formal Education), 15 points in Factor 2 (Professional Development) and 50 points in Factor 3 (Professional Practice) in order to meet the minimum eligibility requirements for certification.

2.1 How often are the study guides and Examination Blueprint updated?

The Board, through the Certification and Examination Committee, has a program to update a minimum of two study guides (domains) each year. Up-to-date study guide material is made available to applicants and examination candidates on an "Applicants Only" section on the website.

The CRSP® Examination Blueprint is scheduled to be updated every five years following the administration of the Survey on the Competencies Required of Canadian Registered Safety Professionals. Updates of the Examination Blueprint will be posted to the BCRSP's website.  The 2015 CRSPEX Blueprint will come into effect for the CRSP® examination administration in February 2015.

2.2 Are there any circumstances when the examination requirement is waived?

No. The examination became mandatory for all applicants on January 1, 1982.

2.3 I have an old application, may I still use it to make by submission to the Board?

No, you must use the current application version. All applicants who have purchased a Guide prior to January 1, 2013 must email the Board office to request the revised application form reflecting the current requirements.

2.4 Does the BCRSP offer examination preparatory courses?

No. However, there are a number of organizations that offer "Examination Preparatory Courses". While none of these courses are endorsed/accredited by BCRSP, nor is enrollment in any of these courses a prerequisite for pursuing the designation, BCRSP provides interested persons with contact information for these organizations.

2.5 Does the BCRSP have a recommended list of texts which may be used in preparing to write the examination?

The following references have been identified by the Board's Certification and Examination Committee as suggested reading by candidates preparing to write the certification examination (CRSPEX). Texts must be ordered directly from the publisher-they may not be ordered through the BCRSP. Texts are subject to revisions or may be withdrawn at the discretion of the publisher without prior notice. In most instances revised editions, e.g. National Safety Council texts, may be used as previous editions may not be available for purchase. 

Recommended Reference Bibliography (Revised to March 2016) 

  • Accident Prevention Manual for Business and Industry, 14th Edition, Administration and Programs, National Safety Council, PO Box 558, Itasca, IL 60143-0558, (www.nsc.org)
  • Accident Prevention Manual for Business & Industry, 14th Edition, Engineering and Technology, National Safety Council, PO Box 558, Itasca, IL 60143-0558, (www.nsc.org)
  • The Accounting Revolution and the New Sustainability Implications for the OSH Professional, Center of Safety and Sustainability, available online at http://www.centershs.org/assets/docs/CSHS_2015_Accounting_Revolution_and_the_New_Sustainability.pdf
  • Disability Management: Theory, Strategy and Industry Practice, 5th edition. Dyck, Dianne E. (2009).  Markham, ON: LexisNexis. Available through http://www.lexisnexis.ca/bookstore/bookinfo.php?pid=494
  • Ergonomic Intervention, Marie St Vincent (2014), IRSST http://books.irsst.qc.ca/ergonomics/
  • Fire Safety Management Handbook, Third Edition, Daniel E. Della-Giustina, Ph.D., CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, ISBN 13-978-1-4822-2122-0, http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9781482221220/
  • Fitting the Human: Introduction to Ergonomics, 6th Edition, Karl H.E. Kroemer, Taylor and Francis Group, ISBN 978-1-4200-5539-9 http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/details/9781420055399/
  • Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene, 6th Edition, National Safety Council, PO Box 558, Itasca, IL 60143-0558, (www.nsc.org)
  • Health, Safety and Environmental Management Systems Auditing, Design Fundamentals and Applications, Second Edition, Gene Marie Shematek, Paul MacLean, Peter Lineen, LexisNexis Canada Inc., 700-123 Commerce Valley Drive, Markham, ON L3T 7W8, ISBN 978-0-433-48833-0, (http://store.lexisnexis.ca/).
  • Health promotion in the workplace, 3rd edition. O’Donnell, Michael & Associates (2002). Toronto, ON: Delmar Thomson Learning. Available through www.amazon.ca  
  • Occupational Health & Safety: Theory, strategy and industry practice, 2nd edition. Dyck, Dianne E. (2011).  Markham, ON: LexisNexis. Available through http://www.lexisnexis.ca/bookstore/bookinfo.php?pid=494
  • Pocket Dictionary of Canadian Law, D.A. Dukelow, 3rd Edition, Carswell, Toronto, 2002 (www.chapters.ca)
  • Practical Loss Control Leadership, Third Edition, Frank E. Bird, Jr., George L. Germain and M. Douglas Clark, ISBN 0-88061-054-9, Burnell & Associates, PO Box 43070, Calgary, AB T2J 7A7, 1-800-691-7233, (www.managingrisk.ca)
  • TLVs® and BEIs® - Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. Published annually by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), (www.acgih.org)
2.6 Once I am approved to write, how do I register for the CRSPEX?

The BCRSP will initiate the process by emailing eligible candidates a notice for the next CRSPEX writing. The candidate must sign and return this document to the BCRSP office to confirm intent to write. Once a complete list of all confirmed candidates for the upcoming examination is complete, they will be emailed notification of their login and password in order to access Webassessor. Webassessor is a web portal that is used by each individual candidate to book their examination time, date and location. Once access has been granted each individual candidate will go online to select the location, date and time of the CRSPEX within a two week period of time. Testing centre's have varied hours of operation, but are generally open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

2.7 Where is the CRSPEX written?

The BCRSP contracts with Pearson Vue (exam delivery provider)  to provide third party test centres across Canada. The BCRSP is working with Pearson Vue on establishing additional test centres across Canada. Refer to the Pearson Vue information for current test centre locations.

2.8 How is the CRSPEX pass mark set?

The standard or pass mark is set in reference to the content and the difficulty of the examination questions. The standard is set by a panel of content experts (all Canadian Registered Safety Professionals) from across Canada who work closely with the Board's examination consultants, Assessment Strategies Inc. to ensure that the examination meets the Examination Blueprint guidelines.

The pass mark is set at a level that represents the performance expected of a competent safety professional. The standard setting method used to establish the pass mark for the CRSPEX is the modified-Angoff method. Using this method, a panel of representative content experts from across the country and from various areas of practice reviews each examination question and produces ratings based on a common understanding of a competent registered safety professional who has met the eligibility requirements to write the CRSPEX. In addition to these ratings, a variety of relevant data (for example, information on the preparation of candidates, data on results from previously administered examinations) are carefully considered to ensure the standard that candidates must achieve on the examination is valid and fair. Based on this information, an appropriate standard or pass mark is set. This procedure is repeated for every newly-created examination form.

2.9 Why does it take 4-6 weeks to get my results from writing the CRSPEX?

Following each CRSPEX administration, the data is transferred from the test centres to the Board's examination consultants, Assessment Strategies Inc. for marking and analysis. Once the examinations have been marked and the results analyzed, a conference call is arranged with the Certification and Examination Committee to review the results and to discuss poorly performing questions (items). Each poorly performing item is discussed, the statistical analysis is reviewed and a decision is made whether or not to retain that item on the examination.

Some items may be deleted based on poor performance, analysis of the statistical data and on the recommendation of the examination consultants (that is why, for example, candidates may see that only 190 items out of 200 appearing on the examination were counted towards the final mark). Once problem items have been deleted, Assessment Strategies Inc. prepares individual "CRSPEX Candidate Profiles" providing a breakdown of the nine subject areas with the total number of items counted for each subject area and the total number the candidate got correct.The "CRSPEX Candidate Profiles" are then forwarded to the Board office. Covering letters are prepared detailing the next step in the certification process, attached to the profiles and mailed to the candidates.

3.0 Does the Board recognize other OHS certifications?

Currently the Board has Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (USA) and the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (UK). If you are certified by either of these organizations, please click here for more information.

 

3.1 I have my NCSO designation can I use it towards the eligibility criteria for CRSP?

Yes. If you have obtained your NCSO no more than five years prior to the date of application to the BCRSP for the CRSP designation, you can use the individual courses taken in the NCSO program towards the Factor 2: Professional Development section on the application.

If you utilized your NCSO as a transfer credit into a College or University OHS program, then you cannot use the individual courses taken for your NCSO in Factor 2.

 

4.0 Is there a process to file a formal complaint against an applicant or certificant?

Yes, the Board has a process for complaints that is overseen by the Professional Conduct Committee. Complaints must address alleged violations of the Code of Ethics using the Professional Conduct Complaint Form describing the allegations and attaching supporting documentation.  The complaint must be sent to the Executive Director. For more information click here.

5.0 Once I obtain the CRSP® designation, what is required to maintain the designation?

CRSPs/PSACs must pay annual dues and complete a declaration of continuing OHS full-time employment .

All CRSPs/PSACs (except those who have been reclassified as 'non-practicing') are required to participate in the BCRSP's Certification Maintenance Program (CMP). Non-practicing certificate holders who have held that status for five or more years must, as part of being reinstated to a practicing certificate holder, successfully pass the CRSPEX.

Information on the CMP is provided to each new CRSP®/PSAC® in the Candidate Handbook. The program requires CRSPs/PSACs to maintain an individual record of OHS activities and when requested, to submit worksheets to the Board claiming CMPs for (a) Academic Activities, (b) Examinations and Additional Qualifications and (c) Professional Pursuits. The CMP is based on the calendar year and begins January 1 following the year in which the designation is obtained. For more information click here. Certificants should log-in to the website to find additional information on the CM Program.

 

6.0 Does the BCRSP offer scholarships to OHS students?

Yes. BCRSP Scholarships may be applied for by any full-time or part-time student in a two, three or four year Occupational Health and Safety Program at the undergraduate level. For more information click here

7.0 Can I apply if I’m an OHS Consultant?

Yes, OHS consultants will be considered by the board. Like all other applicants a consultant must be able to show their work history with supporting documentation. 

8.0 What can I use as job verification?

You must complete a Professional Practice Experience Form for each position for which you are seeking professional practice experience credit. In addition you must also provide an employment verification letter from your employer(s) (one for each position being claimed) stating the position you held and the duration of time you held the position. A job description for each position is also required. 

9.0 How do I properly claim professional development?

In order to obtain credit for professional development you must list all OHS related training/ courses/ seminars and conferences that you’ve completed within the last 5 years (60 months) from the time you submit your application; as well as any supporting documentation.

You must outline:

  1. Course Length
  2. Course Content
  3. Completion

Supporting documentation may include:

  • A course outline that shows the name of the course, length of time and the provider
  • A copy of any certificate received or a letter from the course provider stating that you’ve completed the course/training