Pursuing the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP)® designation has been a goal for Sharmila Jayaprakash ever since she began her career in safety five years ago. This past April Sharmila achieved this goal and became the 6000th individual granted certification since the BCRSP was incorporated in 1976. With a background in mechanical engineering, Sharmila’s career in safety began by accident, or rather one accident in particular.
Wake Up Call
Concerned about the well-being of her coworkers, Sharmila joined the Joint Health and Safety Committee and was a very active member. Then one day a preventable accident occurred and a worker almost lost his life. This incident was her wake-up call and she realized that more needed to be done to protect the workers at her plant. From that day forward, Sharmila made a commitment to keep workers safe on the job.
“I pursued a career in safety because I love protecting people,” says Sharmila. “One accident or even a close call is not acceptable. My goal is simple: to make sure workers return to their families each day, the same way they left.”
Working as a Mechanical Engineer her role soon evolved to include occupational health and safety duties. In the months that followed, Sharmila began learning more about safety and realized all the benefits there are to becoming a CRSP® and it soon became her goal.
“We live in a competitive world so if you want to stand out you should definitely have a designation like the CRSP®,” says Sharmila. “I knew I wanted to stand out so I went for it.”
Making the decision to become a CRSP® was easy but the process itself was lengthy for Sharmila. If she wanted to attain the designation she had to go back to school while balancing a full-time job, two small children, family obligations and being fairly new to Canada.
Although it seemed difficult she knew it would be worth it. With hard work and determination, Sharmila finished her Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety from Ryerson University in August 2014 and a few months later applied for the CRSP® designation.
The entire CRSP® process took around 10 months for Sharmila to complete. Once she submitted her application, she took a preparation course and began studying for the CRSP® Examination, investing more than 200 hours.
Since Sharmila frequently travels and has a long commute she made a study guide recording of her own voice and listened to it daily. This strategy helped her to retain the information. Sharmila’s strategy paid off because she passed the CRSP® Examination on her first attempt; becoming the 6000th CRSP®.
“I’m so incredibly honoured to be the 6000th CRSP® because it solidifies this amazing journey in my life,” says Sharmila. “This year I’m also celebrating my 40th birthday and so is the BCRSP and I find that so significant.”
No Pain, No Gain
Other than her full commitment to the process, Sharmila attributes her success to her ability to anticipate the challenges and deal with them as they come. Her positive spirit kept her upbeat through the process and allowed her to remain focused and grounded.
“I did a lot of research so I knew what to expect,” says Sharmila. “Overall the experience was very positive. The interview was very organized and the interviewers were very friendly,” says Sharmila.
Although safety was not her first career Sharmila is incredibly committed to it.
“People who become CRSPs® come from very different backgrounds but have the same passion for protecting people,” says Sharmila. “I’m so proud to see those letters behind my name and although at times it was uncomfortable the old saying holds true no pain, no gain.”
Congratulations to Sharmila on becoming the 6000th CRSP®.