Certified Safety Manager vs. Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer®
CESCO Certification Basics
While CSM is a fine certification, it has a radically different focus than CESCO certification. Whereas CSM touches on environmental concerns as part of its overall instructional framework, CESCO puts those concerns front and center. As we state on our Certified Environmental & Safety Compliance Officer page, the certification “is intended to identify professionals claiming to understand the basic and most significant laws and regulations pertaining to air, water, waste water pollution, solid/hazardous wastes and safety.”
CSM Certification Basics
CSM certification is provided by the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP’s), a nonprofit dedicated to providing training for members across a variety of fields. These include general industry, construction, petroleum, and environmental.
According to the NASP, CSM “is an indication to employers, potential employers, regulatory agencies, and the courts that you have the knowledge, skills, and abilities equivalent to a level of proficiency expected of a professional who is capable of working with little or no supervision while managing the safety programs, policies, and procedures common to business and industry.” Learning outcomes focus primarily on:
- Familiarization with common workplace safety
- Development of safety programs
- Remaining compliant with local and federal safety regulations
- Managing safety inspections and audits
- Instilling proper safety habits in employees
Studying for CSM involves an online or in-classroom course. Because it’s not the NASP’s highest safety certification, it doesn’t require any prerequisites, although the nonprofit recommends that enrollees know the fundamentals of workplace safety. The NASP estimates that most students will require 40 hours to complete the course. It requires passing an exam by answering at least 80 percent of the questions correctly, and once certified, you will need to complete a refresher course and an additional exam once every three years. CSM initially costs $2,295.00, and the refresher course costs $395.00.
Note that NASP’s environmental certifications don’t include CSM. Instead, they include:
- Certified Environmental Manager (CEM)
- Environmental Health and Safety Professional Certificate (EHS)
- Environmental Specialist (ENS)
- Hazardous Waste Management Specialist (HMS)
- Spill Containment Specialist (SCS)
- Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
CSM is part of the organization’s general-industry specialization.
Why CESCO Is the Superior Choice for Most Professionals
For environmental professionals already ensconced in their careers, the choice is plain: CESCO offers far more value. CSM best serves those with minimal educational and job experience, while CESCO shows the wider world that safety professionals with an environmental emphasis possess the skills necessary to meet various laws and regulations.