Recertification Update and the BCSP Code of Ethics

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November 18, 2023
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Patrick J. Karol,

As a BCSP credential holder, you agree to follow a code of ethics. You may remember reviewing the BCSP Code of Ethics to prepare for an exam. Ethics questions show up on all BCSP exams. You may even remember seeing the code of ethics after signing in to take an exam; however, when did you review the BCSP Code of Ethics last? We review the BCSP Code of Ethics at length in all Nito Solutions workshops.

Regardless, you need to be aware of an important change in the recertification process. BCSP has added an ethics requirement to recertification. Beginning with cycles that started this past July, the process now requires credential holders to achieve 0.5 recertification points from ethics courses.

Have you read the code of ethics since taking the exam? If not, now is a good time for a review. The BCSP Code of Ethics is a set of eight (8) principles that guide our decisions and actions as safety and health professionals. Following this code of ethics ensures that collectively, we act with integrity, trust, and honor. To take it a step further, the code of ethics reflects leadership characteristics that establish our credibility and increase our ability to influence decisions and behaviors at all levels of the organization. Adherence to these principles reflects positively on our profession and us as individuals.

CSP Code of Ethics

HOLD  paramount the safety and health of people, the protection of the environment and protection of property in the performance of professional duties and exercise their obligation to advise employers, clients, employees, the public, and appropriate authorities of danger and unacceptable risks to people, the environment, or property.

BE honest,  fair, and impartial; act with responsibility and integrity.  Adhere to high standards of ethical conduct with balanced care for the interests of the public, employers, clients,  employees, colleagues, and the profession.   Avoid all conduct or practice that is likely to discredit the profession or deceive the public.

ISSUE public statements only in an objective and truthful manner and only when founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.

UNDERTAKE  assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved.  Accept responsibility for their continued professional development by acquiring and maintaining competence through continuing education, experience professional training, and keeping current on relevant legal issues.  

AVOID  deceptive acts that falsify or misrepresent their academic or professional qualifications.  Not misrepresent or exaggerate their degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments.  Presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, or past accomplishments with the intent and purpose of enhancing their qualifications and their work.

CONDUCT their professional relations by the highest standards of integrity and avoid compromise of their professional judgment by conflicts of interest.  When becoming aware of professional misconduct by a BCSP certificant, take steps to bring that misconduct to the attention of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.

ACT in a  manner free of bias, discrimination or harassment on the basis of race,  color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin  (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, veteran status or any characteristic protected by the law of the applicable jurisdiction.

SEEK opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community and their profession by sharing their knowledge and skills.

Three principles always come to the forefront of my mind. First, “accept responsibility for their continued professional development.” The safety profession continues to evolve. Staying abreast of current leadership theory, technology, and trends establishes our credibility. Decision-makers seek us out when they know we have the capabilities to provide solutions.

Second is the requirement to report the ethical misconduct of a BCSP certificate holder. BCSP provides a form on their website to report misconduct. Reporting misconduct is our duty and protects the integrity of our profession. Sometimes, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

Third, “SEEK opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and well-being of their community and their profession by sharing their knowledge and skills." We all have a level of knowledge that others can benefit from, and there are many opportunities to share knowledge. The American Society of Safety Professionals provides numerous opportunities through local chapters. There are many safety groups within the LinkedIn community. Mentoring young professionals is a great way to pass along valuable knowledge and skills. We are all better professionals when we are willing to share our experience and knowledge.

Ethical behavior should guide our actions and decisions, especially those of us who are credentialed. As BCSP notes, “Our Code of Ethics goes beyond the basics to include a standard encouraging personal responsibility for advancing SH&E practice by actively sharing knowledge and skills.” We can positively impact our profession and ourselves daily by remembering these principles.