Paul Andre, CRSP
Like many safety professionals, I entered the field of occupational health and safety with a technical background, which was a fit for my new employer, the Forest Products Accident Prevention Association. That was twenty-five years ago and even at that time, my new employer included the CRSP designation as a requirement of its front line consultant/trainers. So as much as I had technical expertise related to the forestry industry, I was relatively new to the field of occupational health and safety. With the support of my new employer, I pursued, through distance education, an occupational health and safety certificate through Ryerson University to increase my occupational health and safety knowledge. With the necessary experience, educational and professional development requirement now in place, I challenged the exam in 1996 and was successful in what at the time was a full day exam consisting of multiple choice questions, a series of short essay questions and a couple of case studies. That was over twenty years ago, and the designation has supported a career in Ontario's occupational health and safety system that has provided the opportunity to work for multiple employers in a variety of roles, each providing the basis for professional and personal growth.
The occupational health and safety profession is one of those rare fields of work where you have the ability and the privilege to positively influence the lives of so many. It's a rewarding career with many varied roles available. The CRSP designation sets apart practitioners from professionals, which in today's increasingly competitive world is one of the elements that can set an individual apart from the field. Now in a more senior role within my own organization, we continue to ask for and support our staff in pursuing their designation. It adds to both our organizational and to individual professionalism and credibility.
The certification scheme has come a long way since 1996. BCRSP and the CRSP designation is the only occupational health and safety designation in Canada certified to ISO 17024, a standard for certification schemes like the CRSP. The need for qualifications that can meet international standards is more important that ever and for those pursuing a career in occupational health and safety is the type of rigour you should look for when pursuing a designation.
Paul Andre, CRSP, Vice President Prevention
Workplace Safety North