The Education Standard

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The Academic Requirement

A CSP candidate must hold either a bachelor's degree or higher in any field or an associate degree in safety, health and environment or a closely related field. There is no waiver of the academic requirement.

For U.S degrees, BCSP requires the educational institution hold institutional accreditation. There are two organizations that set standards for accrediting bodies. One is the U.S. Department of Education. The other is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). These organizations identify the accrediting organizations that meet their standards.

Unaccredited Degrees

Unaccredited degrees are a growing concern and at least five states now have laws making it illegal to use unaccredited degrees. Applicants and certificants cannot use unaccredited degrees. Their use is a violation of the BCSP Code of Ethics. The State of Oregon prohibits people from using unaccredited degrees and operates a website providing additional details. Visit the Oregon website at www.osac.state.or.us/oda.

BCSP relies on institutional and specialized/professional accreditation to determine acceptability of degrees and establish credit toward eligibility to sit for CSP examinations. Institutional accreditation establishes whether a college or university meets minimum standards as a degree granting institution. Specialized/professional accreditation evaluates specific degrees to determine whether the degree program meets minimum standards for preparing individuals for a field of practice covered by the accreditation procedure.

International Degree Evaluation

BCSP requires that all degrees from colleges and universities outside the United States be evaluated for U.S. equivalency. You must have your degree evaluated by a member of the National Associate of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES®). To complete the evaluation process, contact any one of the agencies listed on the NACES website, all of which BCSP currently accepts. BCSP recommends that you have your academic degree evaluated before applying for certification.

Be sure to indicate within your NACES application that an official copy of your evaluation be sent directly to BCSP. The evaluation must contain the legal name of the applicant as it will appear on the BCSP certification application, the name of the institution that awarded the degree, the name and date of degree awarded, and the U.S. equivalency of the degree. These requirements are often found on the general or basic evaluation. The official degree evaluation report must be mailed directly to BCSP from the NACES member organization. Your degree evaluation will be matched with your application once it arrives.

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional accreditation evaluates whether an institution of higher learning has adequate resources, faculty and staff, facilities, policies and procedures and meets other standards.There are two groups of institutional accrediting organizations:regional and national. Regional accrediting bodies accredit colleges and universities within their geographic regions. National accrediting bodies accredit colleges and universities that operate across geographic regions. 

Specialized/Professional Accreditation

Specialized/professional accreditation addresses the issue of whether the degree program of study meets minimum standards.

ABET. In safety and related fields, accreditation of safety,industrial hygiene and health physics degrees is handled by the Applied Sciences Accreditation Commission (ASAC) or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

ATMAE. The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (formerly The National Association of Industrial Technology) accredits industrial technology degree programs and the preparation for graduates for the industrial technology field. Some industrial technology programs include safety degrees or options.However, ATMAE currently does not have written standards covering the extent to which graduates are prepared for professional safety practice. ATMAE holds CHEA recognition.

EHAC. The National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council accredits environmental health and related degree programs. It does not evaluate specifically with regard to preparation for professional safety practice. EHAC holds CHEA recognition.