What Exactly is OSHA Certified?
We need OSHA Certified training
by Dwayne Towles
The other day, I received an unsolicited sales email from a company stating “We offer 12 OSHA certified downloadable training outlines for only $899.99!!!” Then just a few days later, I received another email offering to get me “OSHA Certified”. At first, I laughed both of these off but then I began to wonder how many folks buy into the myth of OSHA-certified training. We get calls and requests quite often where the employer is requesting OSHA-certified training. Then, whether they like it or not, they get my explanation that there is no such thing as OSHA-certified training or people being OSHA-certified. Buyers beware, don’t be fooled by the term “OSHA certified”. It’s not. OSHA does not certify workers, programs, or training materials. You simply can’t get “OSHA-certified”. If someone is claiming to the contrary, they are either mistaken or worse, lying to you. The closest thing to certification from OSHA is the OSHA Outreach Training and even there, OSHA is very clear that the materials, participants, nor trainers are certified. These courses and trainers are considered OSHA “authorized” and students receive course completion cards. Here is the actual language from OSHA to Outreach trainers:
The OSHA Outreach Training Program is not a certification program and must not be advertised as such. Outreach Training Program trainers, students, and curriculum are not certified. The Outreach Training Program trainer is authorized and students receive student course completion cards. Advertisements must not use any form of the word “certify” including the word “certification”, or imply that the Outreach Training Program class will result in the individual being certified.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are valid certifications when it comes to safety. However, none of these are from OSHA. Probably the most recognized in the industry is the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) which is a legitimate certification. However, it is obtained through and established by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). Other recognized entities include the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), the Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM), and the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (ABOHN). There are many more out there as well and there seem to be more popping up every day, but it is important to have a clear understanding of who is granting the certification. Ask who the certifying entity is – if you are told it is OSHA, know that it isn’t.