Lee-Anne M. Lyon-Bartley, BASc, CRSP, CP-FS
I had known about the CRSP designation from attending Ryerson University. I had actually gone through the Public Health Stream with the intention of becoming a Public Health Inspector, but my exposure to the Occupational Health courses opened my eyes up to another side of possibilities.
Coming out of Ryerson, I was at a bit of a crossroads and had to choose between completing my 12-week public health practicum, or taking a full-time position with the largest Canadian grocery company as a Health & Safety Analyst, so I chose the full-time opportunity. From there, I have over 15 years of experience working in Health & Safety and Food Safety related positions. The ability to approach safety from both lenses is a unique perspective that few can bring to any organization and the designation was an important step in my career and development. You also started to notice more and more job postings were requiring the designation and that also pushed me to finally get my designation in 2009.
I think prior to 2009, I was a little timid to get the designation and thought I wasn’t ready yet, but now that I have gone through the process, I would encourage anyone that has met the eligibility requirements to just go and do it. Don’t wait. It is worth the time and effort.
I obtained a professional designation in food safety through the National Environmental Health Association in the US in 2004, which is a similar process to obtaining the CRSP. Having gone through that experience, I truly began to understand and value having a designation, having to complete continuing education requirements to stay current and most importantly for me, is the code of ethics to govern us all. One thing I’ve learned in this career is that you can never stop learning, and you need to have the code of ethics to govern you as a professional in any organization you find yourself in. I also noticed being a woman in a very male dominated profession has been difficult at times, and having the CRSP designation helped get more respect and credibility amongst my peers and others.
I would tell anyone interested in becoming a CRSP that first and foremost you have to have passion for safety, and once you have the passion and honestly want to make a difference, becoming a CRSP is a great step forward. I would also caution anyone that having your CRSP doesn’t make you an expert, but it does provide credibility and pushes you to keep up to date on your skills and learning through the maintenance program requirements. Once you get the designation, it’s also important to be engaged in the safety industry, volunteer where you can, and make connections with other safety professionals.
I have been fortunate enough to take my passion for safety to television, and have appeared several times on CBC’s The Steven & Chris show. During these segments, I shared simple safety tips that the general public could use in their own personal homes. In addition to this, I was a part-time instructor at Keyano College teaching Fundamentals of Occupational Hygiene, and I am currently instructing Accident Theory at Humber College and have now started teaching a safety course at Seneca College as part of the Bridging Program for Building Operators. Having my CRSP helped my confidence level to go after these great experiences and opportunities. I am CRSP proud, and now look forward to being a brand ambassador for the BCRSP.
Lee-Anne M. Lyon-Bartley, BASc, CRSP, CP-FS lovingly known as the Safety Diva