May 6, 2013

Maintaining the Integrity of EH&S Certification Exams

Written by  Russell Bowen

Some of our most popular and powerful exam resources are our Exam Logistics forums. In them, clients like yourselves post their impressions of the exams, including study tips and what to expect when you arrive at a test center. We encourage the use of these forums, because the shared contributions of all of us can help individuals who are studying by themselves feel less alone. We at Bowen strive to create a community of like-minded professionals seeking the same goals. However, even communities have rules, and one of ours is definitely non-negotiable: confidential exam details must not be posted. Here's why it's so important.

In order to become a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), or Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM), a candidate must complete the following steps:

  1. Meet a minimum number of years of professional experience
  2. Meet a minimum educational requirement
  3. Submit letters of recommendation written by people familiar with the person's work
  4. Pass a comprehensive exam

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to ensure the candidate possesses basic knowledge and skills in all topics related to the profession. It is not practical to fully evaluate the depth of knowledge in each topic, but it provides a sampling of fundamental comprehension and abilities.  It is absolutely essential that the exam content remains confidential. If people know exactly what is on the test, the test will no longer serve as an evaluation of basic knowledge. It will instead test the candidate's ability to memorize specific answers and study specific topics.

We at Bowen EHS, Inc. are committed to helping other professionals prepare for and pass their certification exam. However, we must be very careful and never forget the purpose of the exam. There are negative consequences if we allow our courses and our member center to become a conduit for our clientele to give away detailed exam information. The least negative consequence is that the certification boards will have to work harder to continually update their exam materials. The most negative consequence would be the overall lowering of the exam integrity and ultimately the degrading of the certification itself.

We, at Bowen EHS, Inc. have a responsibility to protect the integrity of the certification exams. One way we do so is by monitoring posts in our Member Center and avoid publicly publishing materials that give overly detailed information regarding the exam. I don't believe there is a definitive line between providing exam tips in the interest of helping others and giving away the exam. There is much fuzziness.

I encourage all of our members to help each other, but I also encourage members to remember the importance of protecting the integrity of the exams.

Read 3381 times Updated on May 6, 2013