OSHA’s Safety and Health Fundamentals Certificate Program (formerly the OSHA Public Sector Certificate) supports OSHA’s mission by training employees in occupational safety and health to reduce incident rates for workers in state and local governments. Although this program originally was primarily aimed towards public sector employees, it is available for anyone interested in furthering their practical knowledge while earning a national safety and health credential.
The certificate program is separated into tracks for Construction, General Industry, and Maritime Industry can be completed in as few as 10 days. Participants must successfully complete a minimum of seven courses, comprised of three (3) required courses (39 hours), and at least four (4) electives (29 hours). Participants can choose from a variety of OSHA courses offered by the Southeastern OTI Education Center. OSHA courses are transferable from other OTI Education Centers.
How to Apply
To begin, complete the Registration Form for the OSHA Certificate Program, at no charge. You will receive additional information and instructions by email.
Review program requirements for your preferred certificate program track (Construction, General Industry, or Maritime Industry) and register for the required and elective OSHA courses. (NOTE: Some OSHA courses can be used for both industries.)
Upon completion of all required and elective OSHA courses, complete and submit the Application Verification Form provided in your registration email, and all course completion certificates to SoutheasternOTI@ncsu.edu.
Upon verifying that all requirements have been met, you will receive a link to pay the $95 processing fee. The certificate will be printed by OSHA and shipped from the Southeastern OTI Education Center.
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.
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:
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.