Is the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) Legit?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jimwe, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. jimwe

    jimwe Member

    I came across this website and was wondering about it. The name is the National Organization of Safety Professionals (NASP). It is primarily focused on environmental and safety type courses and certifications. It seems to be a national organization and as their webpage says, “NASP Offers Twelve Professional Certifications and Thirty-Three Topical Certifications.” Many of them are online and are decently priced. I’m interested because one or two of them may be good low priced additions to my resume.

    I’m wondering about them because, it’s a private organization and I don’t see any RA or NA accreditation about them (besides what they give themselves). Although they do claim to be “Approved by the United Nations” as well as “Approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs as a Certifying Agency.”

    Another thing that makes me wonder is that the website is “Front Page generic rush job.” It looks like someone put it together fast and cheaply. Which in my opinion is a fair warning sign (but not always) of a fly by night operation. I was wondering if someone far more knowledgeable than me could comment about them? Thanks!
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Many private organizations issue professional certifications. Sometimes these organizations are widely recognized in their fields; they have rigorous standards and their certifications are widely respected. Sometimes these organizations are fly-by-night operations that exist solely to issue impressive-sounding certifications for the right price. "Credential mills" are even less regulated than "diploma mills", and they are generally legal. Anyone has the right to set up a private organization and set standards for membership or certification.

    RA or NA does not apply to private certifications. For technical certifications, the closest equivalent is accreditation by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (although there are many legitimate and respected certifications that are not CESB-accredited).

    For safety professionals, the credential that is most respected is the CESB-accredited "Certified Safety Professional" title from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. This requires a college degree, several years of experience, and two examinations. For engineers, a state PE license would be an even better credential.

    The numerous certifications from NASP seem to be based on short online courses, which reportedly take 20-24 hours each. The coursework may well have some value, but I don't think there is much prestige to attaching NASP-authorized titles to your name (Certified Ergonomics Safety Technician, Certified Hazard Analysis Technician, Certified General Health and Recordkeeping Specialist for Construction, etc. etc. etc.)

    You could certainly try an NASP course if it seems relevant, and list it as training on your resume. But NASP certifications are probably not worth bragging about. They seem rather easy to get, and many employers are probably aware of this.
  3. jimwe

    jimwe Member

    Thanks for the comment! :)
  4. cehi

    cehi New Member

    I support Caldog's comments 100%. The CSP is the most acclaimed certification for safety professionals out there. Thank you.
  5. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Maybe legit, but maybe inflated

    By the way, I am not suggesting that NASP is not "legit". Their training courses -- which I have never taken -- may well have real educational value, and may well require significant learning effort. So in that sense, they could be perfectly "legit".

    However, it seems possible that NASP may practice "certification inflation". As noted previously, the most respected professional certifications, such as the CSP, CIH, or PE, typically require a substantial amount of education and work experience, followed by rigorous examinations. It appears that NASP's numerous professional "certifications" can be earned much more easily, on the basis of a 20-24 hour online course.

    It would, of course, be entirely appropriate for NASP to issue a certificate of completion to those that successfully complete their training courses. But some might consider it overkill to bestow a fancy title like "Certified XXX Technician" solely on the basis of a short independent study program. Other organizations, like NICET, also certify technicians in engineering-related fields, but their certification requirements are far more stringent.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2006
  6. tfhardin

    tfhardin New Member

    The National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP) is a non profit membership association that provides training and certification for safety professionals worldwide. We currently have 30,000 members. We started out as a an association for the many thousands of safety professionals who are not engineers so do not qualify for the CSP. Another emphasis for us is to provide training for those people whose employers won't pay for it. Therefore 20% of our training is done on scholarships issued by us. We have never turned away a student because they couldn't pay. In our 12 years of operation many degreed safety professionals and engineers (including CSPs) have joined our ranks. We don't see ourselves as competing with the BCSP. Our members and students include people from every branch of the military, most branches of the federal government, most state governments, and many major industries. We operate internationally and have franchises in Cairo and Dubai. We are approved by the UN as a NGO in consultative status. Our association with the VA is that they approved us a training agency which is required for them to pay the tuition of veterans taking our courses. Our highest certification is the LSP (Licensed Safety Professionals) which takes several hundred hours of training to achieve. We have never had an employer refuse to recognize any of our certifications. I'll leave my personal email address for anyone who has further questions: [email protected].

    Thank you,
    Tom Hardin, President
  7. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    CSP and HEM are the most widely known and sought after certifications that I know of in the realm of safety. I have never heard of NASP but there are all sorts of certifications popping up all over the place. My coworker was just talking about these certifications the other day, and he jokingly referred to them as programs for those who can't put real initials after their name, lol.

    But even thought that was said, truth be told, many of them are worthwhile. I am currently slotted to take HEM here in the near future.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2012
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Thank you, Mr. Hardin. Can you refresh my memory: was/is NASP affiliated with, or connected in some way with, Western States University of Doniphan, Missouri?

  9. Ummmm...:nono::nono::nono: Aren't you the registered agent of NASP. Didn't you form two other businesses on the same day you started NASP. Didn't those two have their operating statuses 1)revoked or 2) suspended. I'm just going by what the North Carolina Secretary of State said right here. Correct them if there wrong. Where does the 12 years of operations come from? North Carolina says the business was formed in 2003? It would be nice to have full disclosure.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2012
  10. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    HEM? :reporter:
  11. NorCal

    NorCal Active Member

    Healthcare Environmental Manager (HEM)
  12. soupbone

    soupbone Active Member

    I was unaware of this credential. I may have to look into it. Thanks.
  13. BSFatonovich

    BSFatonovich New Member

    Some food for thought

    In this age of everyone trying to be marketable with certifications, our profession should do a better job in investing in certifications that are externally recognized. The NASP has a variety of certifications, but the profession does not have the same level of recognition for those certs as those rendered by the BCSP or ABIH (both are accredited by outside and independent agencies). To suggest that the NASP possesses an avenue for helping those that don't qualify for the CSP is a bit disingenuous. The OHST and CHST are both certifications that are recognized throughout our profession, and they are offered through the BCSP. I am all for using the NASP as a resource to better one's understanding of safety related topics; I merely suggest that we not place the NASP's certifications in the same category as industry recognized hallmarks.

    Using the term "certified" is also something that gets me a little bit. As the safety profession struggles to carve out a niche as a recognized and respectable occupation, we must be diligent in policing ourselves. Oferring a certified title suggests occupational recognition. The BCSP goes through a process where education, experience, and knowledge are tested. One can argue to feel comfortable certifying an individual some background information should be collected and verified prior to issuing a designation declaring one, "certified".
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2012
  14. Ksalzman

    Ksalzman New Member

    I have read ALL of the threads associated with this post and I have to ask, why is one certification any less valuable to said profession than the other?
    I get that the ASP/CSP has the BCSP, however isn't that board made up of "Safety Professionals"? And is that board not paid? is there an agenda?
    The integrity of a "Safety Professional" should be one that is of their ability to perform the duties and responsibilities...not on a certificate, regardless of where it comes from.
    I know to many CSP's that wear the acronym like a badge of honor and honestly maybe text book smart but are clueless to the actual responsibilities of a Safety Professional on a day to day basis.
    Then I have met others who have plenty of work experience and knowledge and have the integrity of a "Safety Professional", but cant get the CSP because lack of education. NASP is a great way for "Safety Professionals" to grow and develop and carry with that development Certificates to show their achievment and level of ability.
    To say one is better than the other is a matter of opinion and honestly to say that a person is only as good as a Certification and say things like:
    "The CSP is the most acclaimed certification for safety professionals out there" or
    "But NASP certifications are probably not worth bragging about. They seem rather easy to get, and many employers are probably aware of this." or
    "My coworker was just talking about these certifications the other day, and he jokingly referred to them as programs for those who can't put real initials after their name, lol."
    These statements only show a level of arrogance and lack Professionalism!
    Those who put there value in a piece of paper or to put acronyms after their names are truly lost as to what their purpose is as a "Safety Professional"!
    Don't get me wrong education is Important and continued learning is key to development and staying on top of the Reg's and requirements, but lets not be so arrogant to say that one is better because some outside organization recognizes it. Employers have an obligation to verify an employees background and experience, by saying the CSP is somehow better because of the BCSP, basically says the BCSP is a Employment Agency. Doesnt NASP require testing? Is recertification required to maintain certs? Answer is YES........
    The NASP has a long list of Nationally/Internationally recognized Companies and US Gov't agencies who recognize and use NASP.
    And NO I do not work for NASP....
  15. texpat

    texpat New Member

    I am taking Safety Courses from the University of Texas at Arlington which has Department of Labor, OSHA backing and all. I asked an OSHA official of a legit training school and he replied with the UT at Arlington. However I have a few questions that some of you might answer:
    1. The Certifications of CSHO, SEP and MC are recognized by the industry? To put these initials after your name a joke? Always thought it was for Doctors and Master Electricians.
    2. For those without a degree and have worked in the field verses those who never have and are seeking a reputable training certificate without a degree. What reputable schools and courses are there? I am assuming those sponsored by a brick and mortar university.
    Comment. After being at a couple of trainer courses I have to say about 1/4 of the instructors that never worked in the job are the absolute worse people I have ever seen. Does a supervisor want to recognize them? Watch and see if the workers stop work and go on break when the guy shows up. Watch the workers body language reactions when the guy talks about safety to hear himself talk. College is good adn should be a requirement but so many years in the trade I think should qualify to replace the college requirement.
  16. jim44

    jim44 New Member

    I enrolled in the NASP Certified Safety Manager (CSM) course back in 2007 as it seemed a cost effective, week-long program. I had been doing safety for about five years at this point and needed something as our company was closing. As we had made tremendous improvements in safety to that point and this raised my level of expertise. Having the homework assignments / projects that required our then plant manger to review and sign-off on shows accountability. This is then sent in to NASP for review so no 'sign and drive'.
    I've taken the recert test in 2010 and am due again this year though I like the fact you can test for the next higher level; pricey though good.
    It may be the this certification may not look as glamorous on the resume as a CSP though I think is a good bang for the buck. I will let me resume say the rest of the story!
    About the only negative thing I can say is there is no service after the sale, so to speak. No newsletters, events and so forth that many of my friends have from the others.
  17. recruiting

    recruiting Member

    The Certifications of CSHO, SEP and MC are recognized by the industry? They are by the Federal Government.

    To put these initials after your name a joke? No, that is like saying a person in project management should not use MSOL, PgMP, CSM and so on.

    Listen, we are all adults (although some fail to act like it) and this is not high school, what others think about what you do is irrelevant. Just because CSP and ASP is what some call the industry standard does not lessen the value of other certifications you may get, they are just different. The unfortunate thing is there are some here that are known through actions to take joy in discrediting others for the sake of doing so - I've seen it over the many years of being on this board, don't you listen to it. Everything that is not high profile in professional certifications and academics is NOT a scam. Not everyone can go to Harvard, that is a fact.

    If a certification is from NASP (or anywhere else for that fact) is what you want to get, and you OR your employer believe it's worthwhile go for it. Education is about LEARNING not the letters one can put after their name. However, a certification is a certification use it as it was intended.

    Always thought it was for Doctors and Master Electricians. No, just look on linkedin. There are all kinds of professionals with certs after their name. Some more well known than others nevertheless they are certifications.

    CSP and ASP are great certifications to get, but like the fella from NASP states it's not intended to replace or compete with BCSP however, NASP fills an industry niche. And yes their certs revolve around making some money as well, just like it does for the BCSP.

    1) How did CSP become so well known and why are they called the industry standard by some? Is it testing, education and experience requirements?

    Or was it clever marketing over the years? Were they first ones to actually start safety certifications?

    3) Was BCSP always known this way? Nope

    4) When the BCSP hung a sign on their door the first day they opened the shop were they the "industry standard"? Nope

    My point is all these certification associations and corporations had to start somewhere. The GREAT news is there IS room for OTHER QUALITY industry certifications. The old schoolers need to accept this fact. You would figure some people on a "distance education" forum would be all too aware of this, not all I guess.:bs2:

    Good Luck

    I forgot to answer the OP's question: yes it is legit.
  18. greeny786

    greeny786 New Member

    @Ksalzman, i am 100% agree with your comments. i am working in UAE as HSE manager and i recently passed CSM, i became HSE Manager just because of the 15 years expereinece in HSE field, not because of NEBOSH in UK or CSM in USA, i am from pakistani origion, i am also studying CHST. i found a huge differnece between BCSP and NASP.
    The issue is not like NASP is not good or BCSP is good, The important thing is how you better learn,
    As i told about CHST study material. its totally like those engineering book question answers which i studied in my civil engineering, which do not have any mean and these never helped me to become a intelligent civil engineer, engineering books can help us to get civil engineering degrees, and those who have degree no body can say that they can become a civil engineer in field because they might not have guts to become civil engineer, simple is that a uneducated civil supervisor with huge field experience in field is much better then a degree holder in civil engineering, because whenever i wnet for interview for job i got an answer taht i ahve degree but i am not so good in field.
    later i changed the field and joined health and safety becauase i start taking interest in it, NASP is like a who provide basic foundation of health and safety which really helps in the field to understand the issues in safety because NASP has easy and understandable study material which works in field of safety and thatsy i said NASP provide a basic foundation and without foundataion knowledge we are nothing either we are certified CSP from BCSP , does not matter we will be ZERO even we have CSP from BCSP but have no field knowledge,
    Now come on BCSP point of study, i have seen study and i can say that BSCP can give you CSP but in the field you cannot perform better because the study material whoich BCSP gives its like i explained about civil engineering above, so i don't think that CSP CHST can make or can help to become fully professionals , but NASP at least give the foundation to become a better professional in field. mine example is a big example for all of you :) and my dear i am very much agree wth your comments
  19. SafetyFossil

    SafetyFossil New Member

    Thoughts on the Legitimacy and Credibility of NASP’s Safety Certifications

    As an older safety practitioner from north of the border, I thought I would offer my thoughts on this topic.

    Safety designations/certifications that someone can qualify to acquire when having minimal formal education (a high school education only in some cases) and little relevant work experience, where the breadth and depth of subject matter covered is, shall we say, narrower and more shallow than that required to perform competently in the role does (and is currently doing) an enormous disservice to the credibility of those serious practitioners working in the occupational health & safety field.

    Certifications/Designations in general are all about demonstrating to the consumer of those services that you have demonstrated that you possess the skills and knowledge required to perform to certain level of competency.

    BSFatonovich comments about the safety profession struggling to carve out a niche as a recognized and respectable occupation, and being diligent in policing itself are absolutely spot on. Anyone working in a field where they have responsibilities to ensure the health and safety of others should have the expectation that those persons are genuinely competent to perform that work. The safety profession’s challenge is to make sure that the consumers of our services have every confidence that this is the case.

    There is nothing dishonorable about aspiring to improve your credentials and career opportunities, but like every other field, safety practitioners should do their homework on what certifications/designations are out there, what is required to qualify to apply for and then earn them, and which ones are generally seen as being worthy of the time, money and effort required to achieve. There will always be many more people that hold a Bachelor’s degree than those that hold a Master’s or PhD. Not everyone can, needs to or should seek to earn a CSP, CIH, or CMIOSH designation (there are more credible safety designations out there than these by the way). If employers were educated about what the various designation acronyms actually mean-and what is required to earn them, then I respectfully suggest that there would much less interest in and demand for safety designations that can be acquired by completing one (or perhaps a few) very basic course(s), a basic online exam, and require only minimal formal education to qualify to write. ANY certification/designation in ANY field that uses this approach suggests to me of opportunism in the marketplace, and little more.

    As some last words, I offer a brief comparison between the CSP (Certified Safety Professional) designation offered by the BCSP and the LSP (Licensed Safety Professional) designation offered by the NASP.

    Licensed Safety Professional

    Academic prerequisite: Other than completing a few of the 10 required courses before registering for the others, there are no required academic prerequisites for any of these courses.

    10 mandatory courses, with an estimated total study time of 349 hours (all 10 courses). Each course has its own online examination.
    Each course carries its own Certification. For example, you can become a BSS –Behaviour Based Safety Specialist after completing 30 hours of study and passing an online exam.

    Experiential prerequisite: None.

    Certification exam: It appears candidates must also pass an online exam in order to earn the LSP designation, but this is not clear on their website, nor is any information about exactly what the exam entails provided on their website.

    Certified Safety Professional

    Academic prerequisite: Must possess either a Bachelor’s degree (any field) or an Associate’s degree in safety, health or environment. Not any degree from any institution is accepted. Institution must be accredited by one of the identified accreditation bodies.

    Experiential prerequisite: A minimum of three years of acceptable safety experience (specific criteria must be met). Additional experience may be required.

    Certification exam: There are two exams you must pass (unless you hold one of four existing safety designation recognized by the BCSP, then there is only one). Both the ASP and CSP exams are online. The ASP exam is (I believe 3 or 4 hours long). The CSP “Comprehensive Practice” examination is 5.5 hours long, and is very challenging indeed.

    Is there a place for a safety certification/designation known as a “Licenced Safety Professional” which to the uninformed would suggest professional level knowledge and competency? Compared to the CSP, which practitioner do you think is better qualified to ensure your workplace is safe?

    It’s high time for the safety practitioner community to step up and acknowledge that minimum practitioner qualifications are in everyone’s interest. The Australians are already well on their way: Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board
    The SafetyFossil
  20. Hazmat1951

    Hazmat1951 New Member

    I applied to the nasp about 6 or so months ago.
    I applied for the certified safety manager program.
    I documented my extensive history in safety though education as I teach several classes. (Hazmat, hazwoper and ICS to name a few)
    I applied and subsequently was awarded a scholarship
    Only problem was that before the class began and access is given is that the class they wanted PAID IN FULL. I subsequently was turned away until I can have it paid in full. So the statement I read never turned away a student is not fully accurate
    No payment plans was even an option.
    Speaking as an educator and business owner, it's customary practice that no certificates or Continuing Education Units are awarded until paid in full.
    I am still working on gathering the full amount required. Should I have been offered a payment plan as it's is extensive work and time intensive. I subsequently went and applied to the BCSP paid the $140 plus the 300 to Pearson Vue and was almost immediately approved for the OHST.
    The amounts would have been paid well before I competed the certificate class.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018

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