Can I become certified or get a certification through the Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program (formerly the OSHA Public Sector Certificate)?
No. OSHA does not certify individuals, nor offer certifications. Certifications are awarded by a third-party, standard-setting organization such as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Certification results from an assessment process by which individuals are evaluated against predetermined standards for knowledge, skills, and/or competencies. The certification indicates a competency of a subject-matter as measured against a defensible set of standards that are set by an industry-wide process. Certification programs typically require some amount of professional experience and/or academic degrees from approved institutes of higher-education. Most certification programs have ongoing requirements to maintain certification such as Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).
Certificates are generally awarded to recognize completion of a training course or series of courses. The requirements to receive a certificate are determined by the training provider and can vary widely. Requirements can range from being in attendance to meeting the American National Standard ANSI/ASTM E2659-09, which requires developing a quality education/training course that has an assessment at the end to determine if the learning outcomes have been achieved.
The Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program results in a certificate being issued to the participant to recognize successful completion of a specific series of courses related to occupational safety and health.
How does OSHA’s Certificate Program differ from the MESH Certificate Program?
The Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program is a national credential and supports OSHA’s mission by training employees in occupational safety and health to reduce incident rates for workers in state and local governments. All of the required and elective OSHA-numbered courses included in OSHA’s Certificate Program must be taken at an authorized OSHA Training Institute (OTI) Education Center, such as the Southeastern OTI Education Center.
The MESH Certificate Program (Manager of Environmental Safety and Health) is a North Carolina-based program sponsored by NC State Industry Expansion Solutions, NC Department of Labor, and the Safety and Health Council of NC and can be earned after taking 100 hours of safety training through a variety of training providers, including the Southeastern OTI Education Center. Some OSHA courses taken for MESH credit may also be applied to the OSHA Certificate Program.
Do I have to be a public sector employee to participate in the Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate Program?
No. While the program was originally designed for and aimed at public sector employees, it is available for anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of occupational safety and health, and benefits those who may work in, with, or have customers in the public sector.
What are the required and elective courses to achieve the Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate?
The three (3) required courses for the Construction, General Industry, and Maritime Industry Certificates include:
- OSHA #510 Standards for Construction or OSHA #511 Standards for General Industry or OSHA #5410 Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Maritime Industry (depending on which industry)
- OSHA #7500 Introduction to Safety and Health Management
- OSHA #7505 Introduction to Incident [Accident] Investigation
A minimum of four (4) elective courses, which add up to at least 29 hours, can be selected from a series of OTI Education Center courses relevant for Construction or General Industry.
Can safety and health courses completed at organizations other than an OTI Education Center be substituted for the OSHA courses listed in the certificate program?
No. OTI Education Centers are the only organizations authorized to offer OSHA-numbered courses. Each OSHA course has a specific set of learning objectives and minimum student contact hours that must be met for the student to receive a certificate of completion.
No course substitutions will be accepted for required and elective OSHA-numbered OTI Education Center courses.
Can the Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate be earned online?
No. All required and elective OSHA courses are classroom or live webinar courses. OSHA does not currently authorize any OTI Education Center to offer OSHA-numbered courses online (self-paced).
How do I apply for the Safety & Health Fundamentals certificate?
Complete the program registration form. Choose your track(s) and begin registering for courses. Upon completion of the last course toward earning the certificate, complete and sign the Application Verification Form you received from the Southeastern OTI Education Center during registration. Submit the form along with proof of successful completion of each required and elective course, and remit the processing fee to Southeastern OTI Education Center. (NOTE: You must have completed at least one of the required or elective courses through the Southeastern OTI Education Center in order for us to process your application.)
What is the appropriate proof of successful course completion?
Appropriate proof of successful course completion is a course completion certification or official transcript from the respective OTI Education Center.
What is the cost associated with earning the Safety & Health Fundamentals certificate?
The registration fees for the OTI Education Center courses vary depending on the length of the class. Once you complete all of the course work, there is an administrative fee of $95 to submit your application for the OSHA Public Sector Safety & Health Fundamentals certificate.
Additional FAQs can be found on OSHA’s website HERE.