7 Steps to Becoming a Safety Professional

In fiscal year 2017, OSHA’s list of the top five safety violations topped a whopping 21,748 incidents. More than half involved fall protection and hazard communication. Each day, occupational accidents and deaths such as these cost employers billions of dollars. Safety+Health identifies some of the more costly injury types (per worker’s compensation claim from 2015 to 2016) as those caused by motor vehicles ($74,559), burns ($49,107), and falls or slips ($46,297).  

It pays to have an in-house safety professional in place, and it doesn’t take much to implement this role in the workplace. Whether you’re in the construction industry or manufacturing, it is the goal of the National Registry of Environmental Professionals® (NREPSM) to establish the guidelines and set the standard for environmental and safety certification on a global scale. We’ve gathered all the necessary steps to help guide you on your journey to become a safety professional.  

Pick a Certification Right for YOU  

Certifications are industry specific. In order to find the best fit for you, it’s important to explore every avenue. Consider your education, background, skills and job duties to determine the best certification for your specific situation. The following are just a few of the safety and compliance-related certifications available via NREPSM

Meet the Education Requirement

Each certification has its own specific education requirements. Some, like the Registered Environmental Manager certification, require a bachelor’s degree in an environmentally-related field or five years of work experience in environmental engineering, health, science or management. There are some safety certifications without a degree. In some instances, an exchange for work experience is acceptable. In the above example, every three years of experience counts for one year of a four-year degree program.    

Meet Work Experience Requirements

Similar to the education requirement, the work experience requirement varies from certification to certification. As an example, becoming certified as an Emergency Planning Professional requires two years of experience in emergency planning and preparation, while certification as an Associate Environmental Professional requires no previous work experience.  

Apply Online

The National Registry of Environmental Professionals® makes the application process easy. You can apply online for all available certifications. After exploring each certification and narrowing down the one that is right for you, simply click the “Apply for Exam” link to register, log in, request sample questions, explore study guide options and check out exam and exam retake fees. NREPSM currently offers 10 certified safety professional exams found here, including Certified Environmental Scientist, Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer®, Certified Environmental Stormwater Compliance Professional, Certified Environmental Systems Manager, and Registered Industrial Hygiene Professional. Application fees range from $100 to $150.  

Purchase Your Exam

Following the application process and once approved, exam options are provided on each certification page for purchasing, scheduling, and sitting for testing. Exam fees are $200, with exam retakes costing $100.  

Sit for Your Exam

Applicants can become certified as a Safety Professional by completing certain program such as a REM®, REPASM or CES certification. Applicants attending workshops for these certifications will be given an exam at the conclusion of the workshop.  

Alternatively, applicants can also sign up for and purchase an exam. An NREPSM customer service representative can assist in scheduling the exam. Depending on the exam, sample questions and study guides may also be available for purchase. Exams generally last 2-3 hours and can be taken remotely or in-person during one of the in-person workshops hosted throughout the year. Contact us to learn more about workshops and/or scheduling your exam.  

Meet Recertification Requirements

At the NREPSM, we are committed to helping environmental professionals stay up-to-date with latest technologies, practices, and science. Our recertification program does this by offering continuing education opportunities. To assure maintenance of these strict standards, routine reassessment is necessary to confirm that knowledge and competencies are maintained.  

The NREPSM recertification cycle is valid for one year, with the cycle ending on the annual expiration date of the credential. The recertification page allows the certified professional to recertify their credentials by submitting Continuing Education Credits according to the NREPSM standards through an easy step-by-step process.  

Organizations like NREPSM offer professional certification programs that help individuals further their careers and gain the esteem necessary to keep practicing in their very specialized field. This is especially important given how closely these professionals are tied to their environment. At NREPSM, we are pleased to serve professionals working in the environmental industry, as our certifications pertain to specific and highly specialized skills sets.