Becoming a certified safety professional is no easy feat. It requires time, dedication, and a lot of hard work. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I finally received my certification in 2019. However, I quickly realized that the journey didn't end there. If I wanted to maintain my certification, I needed to continuously engage in professional development and meet certain requirements. In this blog post, I will share my experience with maintaining my certified safety professional credential and offer some tips and insights that may be helpful to other safety professionals.
Renewing Your Certified Safety Professional (CSP) Credential
Before we delve into the specifics of recertification, it's important to mention the annual renewal fee. In my view, this fee is like a due required to maintain eligibility to use the credential and be part of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals group. It's a pretty straightforward process. I am fortunate enough that my employer recognizes the value of having a certified safety professional on board, and so, covers the annual renewal fee. Your employer might also see the worth in maintaining such credentials and be willing to pay the fee. But remember, you won't know until you ask, so don't hesitate to bring it up!
The Recertification Process
Recertification Cycle Targets
Now that we've got the renewal process out of the way, let's tackle the slightly more complex recertification process. But don't be alarmed, it's not overly complicated, though it will require some effort and potentially some investment on your part. The standard recertification cycle is five years, though your first one may be slightly shorter. During this period, you are required to acquire a minimum amount of points to maintain your certification. There's a vast array of avenues for earning these points, such as practicing as a safety professional, rendering services to the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, or attending relevant courses and seminars. Each of these activities is worth certain points or a fraction thereof. The specifics of how these points are allocated can be found in the Board of Certified Safety Professionals' recertification guidebook. So, while the recertification process does entail effort, it offers a fantastic opportunity to further enrich your professional expertise, network with fellow professionals, and stay abreast of the latest safety practices.
My CSP Recertification Strategy
As part of my strategic approach to recertifying my Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential, I have chosen to actively practice as a safety professional. This will not only earn me recertification points but also keep my skills sharp and up-to-date in this ever-evolving field. I've also become a member of a national safety organization, specifically the American Society for Safety Professionals (ASSP). This membership will provide an excellent platform for networking, sharing knowledge, and staying informed about the latest safety practices. Additionally, I will be using the Board of Certified Safety Professionals' RecertPro program to track my recertification progress, manage my points, and stay organized. Lastly, I am open to the idea of taking on-demand safety courses, as I am aware of the value they offer in gaining practical insights and earning additional recertification points. All these strategies are designed to ensure I remain a competent and effective safety professional.
Having had experience as a safety professional before obtaining my Certified Safety Professional (CSP) credential, I found it quite natural to continue practicing in this field to earn recertification points. What's brilliant about this approach is that it doesn't incur any additional costs for me. In terms of joining a safety organization, my primary motivation was the desire for networking and information exchange with fellow professionals. It's not just about connecting with like-minded individuals; I truly value the diversity of perspectives within the profession. Engaging with differing viewpoints often leads to changes in my perspective, or vice versa. While there is an annual fee to join the ASSP, it is relatively affordable, totaling a little over $200 for both the national and local chapter membership fees.
As for using RecertPro, the decision was based on the substantial number of points it offers for a relatively low expense. With a one-year access, it was an easy choice. However, I anticipate that I will still need additional points to meet my recertification requirements. Therefore, I explored the ASSP's on-demand courses and discovered an annual subscription that potentially provides up to 10 continuing education units, equating to 10 points. The cost of this subscription is comparable to that of RecertPro, and I consider it to be quite affordable, especially when compared to the prices of some individual courses I've taken.
A Slight Change in Recertification Direction
Moving forward, my practice as a safety professional will remain a constant in my journey toward recertification - it's a pragmatic and cost-effective route. Furthermore, I plan to sustain my membership with the ASSP, valuing the wealth of knowledge and networking opportunities it brings. However, after some recalculations, I've decided to leverage the ASSP's annual on-demand essential pass for another round; it's a good deal for the recertification points I need.
Yet, I don't plan to stop at merely accruing points. I aspire to contribute more to my local ASSP chapter, perhaps stepping up as an officer. It's an exciting prospect that will further enrich my professional experience.
You might have noticed that I didn't mention renewing RecertPro. Undeniably, it offered valuable insights, but it didn't quite align with my learning preferences. I gravitate towards on-demand, interactive courses, a feature that I found lacking in RecertPro. If there's sufficient interest, I might delve into my experience with RecertPro in a subsequent post.
In the blink of an eye, five years can pass us by, so it's crucial to avoid procrastination when it comes to readying your Certified Safety Professional credential for recertification. It's worth taking a look at the BCSP's guide to recertification to understand the various requirements and options available. Everyone's situation is unique, so it's important to find the route that works best for you, factoring in both time and financial commitments. I wouldn't advise going through the test-taking portion for recertification, especially if you've already surrendered your Associate Safety Professional credential. You might end up having to take two tests instead of one, which could prove to be quite time-consuming. For those considering certification, I can't stress enough how valuable it is. Start making moves today, and if you found this post helpful, feel free to like or comment. Stay safe out there!