August 24, 2016

Goldilocks and the Certification Review Course

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Once upon a time, there was an EHS (Environmental, Health, and Safety) Professional named Goldilocks. 

Goldilocks worked for a shipping company.  She was a valued member of the management team, and she was well respected by her co-workers. 

One day Goldilocks decided to enhance her career by becoming a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).  She knew she needed to submit an application and pass a written test in order to become certified.

“I know I need to prepare, but where do I get started?” she wondered.

After some investigation, she found there are many paths to certification preparation. Some certification paths wander through the forest of self-study, while others lead through the village of independent group study.  Still other paths get bogged down in the swamp of too much information.

Goldilocks first chose to prepare for her test by walking through the forest of self-study.  She bought 20 books, and she began to read.

She read a book on ventilation controls.

She read a book on safety management.

She read a book on system safety.

Goldilocks read and read and read.  The more she read, the more she learned that there is always more to learn. 

Goldilocks soon realized she didn’t need to know everything she read to pass the exam.  She just needed enough fundamental information coupled with critical thinking skills.

Goldilocks continued down the path and found a small village on the edge of a stream in the forest.  It was the village of Independent Group Study.  Some of her EHS friends were gathered in a circle at the center of town.  They were studying radiation intensity and the inverse square law.

Goldilocks thought it was time for a rest and she joined the circle.  It was awfully hard to haul around all of those books on her back, and it might be fun to work with this group.

At first, the group was full of energy and lots of fun.  People shared stories and tried to help each other solve problems.  It lifted her spirits to be studying with other people preparing to take the same test.

But something wasn’t  quite right.  The group would sometimes spend all their time telling jokes and not really working hard.  Other times, members of the group would argue, and it became uncomfortable.  There wasn’t really anyone in charge.

Goldilocks continued to study on her own, and she checked in on the study group once in a while,  She continued through the forest, but became lost.  She wandered for hours and hours, becoming tired, hungry, and discouraged.

Eventually, Goldilocks found a new path leading to a school offering CSP review courses.

“I think I’ll go inside and see what they have to offer.” she thought to herself.

The first room had an instructor spewing out facts.  The words came out like water from a fire hose.  Goldilocks knew this course was too fast.

In the second room, Goldilocks, found a class where it appeared the participants were not paying close attention.  They kept asking the instructor the same questions over, and over, and over, and over again.  The instructor kept repeating himself.  Goldilocks knew this course was too slow.

Goldilocks went into the third room, and listened to the instructor speak, and it almost sounded like he was speaking in another language.  The concepts were very difficult to understand.  It almost seemed the instructor was more interested in demonstrating how smart he was than in helping participants understand the concepts.  This course was too hard.

Goldilocks entered the fourth room, and could easily understand the instructor.  He spoke pleasantly, but he was only covering material she already knew.  It seemed the instructor was more interested in making sure everyone felt good rather than mastering some of the more difficult concepts.  This course was too easy.

Eventually, Goldilocks entered a fifth room.  She found the instructor to be pleasant, and competent.  The instructor frequently cajoled the participants to focus on the material and avoid getting lost in the weeds.  It was obvious he was interested in helping her pass the exam.

Goldilocks stayed in the fifth room through the end of the course. 

Goldilocks took her ASP exam and her CSP exam shortly after completing the course.  She didn’t know everything, but she was ready. There were areas in which she was weak, but she knew taking the exam was the most important step of all.

On the big day of the exam, Goldilocks was nervous.  She made sure she ate a good breakfast and arrived early at the testing center.  She remembered much of the advice she had received through her journey.

  • Go through the exam twice.
  • Skip the math problems and difficult word problems on the first pass
  • Take a silent meditation break after the first time through the exam
  • On the second pass, work the easiest problems first and save the hardest for last
  • Be sure to answer every problem even if she had to guess

It was a draining process, but in the end, Goldilocks earned her CSP credential.

She thanked everyone who had helped her along the way.  She thanked her boss at the shipping company.  She thanked her friends from the study circle, and she thanked her instructor at the CSP review course.

Her biggest thanks of all went to her family.  Their support was a big part of her success.

Goldilocks got a big promotion and a big raise, and she lived happily ever after.

The end.

Read 448 times Updated on August 24, 2016