Certification FAQ’s

1. Background and Benefits

ASTTBC has been providing the CSO Certification Program since 1997, when the City of Vancouver requested ASTTBC take over governance and management of a construction safety practitioners certification program.

ASTTBC holds the National Registered Marks of Construction Safety Officer (CSO) and Registered Construction Safety Officer (RCSO) to ensure that only safety practitioners certified by ASTTBC can use those titles.

ASTTBC registrants within the CSO Certification Program are in the unique position of having their certifications awarded by a Professional Association which is entirely independent from industry or any outside agency. Mandatory continuing education and adherence to a strict Professionalism and Ethics in Practice Policy ensures ASTTBC certified safety officers are held to the highest standard.

ASTTBC Construction Safety Professionals are respected as “Qualified”, “Registered” and “Accountable”.

2. Who Evaluates Applications and Offers Certification?

The Construction Safety Certification Board (CSCB) has been set up by ASTTBC to establish and maintain certification standards, evaluate applications and offer certification to qualified applicants.  The  CSCB comprises ASTTBC construction safety registrants and representatives from industry, educational institutions, regulatory authorities, technical and professional associations.

3. What are the Levels of Certification?  (also see #13)

There are three levels of certification:

3.1 Provisional Construction Safety Officer – CSO (Provisional)

All successful applicants will initially be awarded this certification. A CSO (Provisional) must meet the criteria as set out in the CSO Certification Policy and apply for reclassification to CSO within a maximum of 5 years. This can be accomplished in a minimum of 1 year if the training and experience requirements are met and the registrant is fully employed in the role of construction safety for that year.

3.2 Construction Safety Officer – CSO

A CSO registrant may retain this certification for as long as they are a member of ASTTBC in good standing. A CSO may apply for reclassification to RCSO once the required criteria for   reclassification are met.

3.3 Registered Construction Safety Officer  – RCSO

This is considered the senior construction safety certification within ASTTBC.

4. Who is Eligible for Certification?

Applicants must be able to prove the competencies required by the ASTTBC CSO Certification Policy. In general this means an applicant has successfully completed a Construction Safety Officer Training Course through an ASTTBC accredited course or other equivalent program recognized by the CSCB.

5. What if I’m not Ready for Certification?

If you apply for certification and are evaluated by the CSCB as lacking the training required for certification you will be advised of the requirements to achieve certification.

6. What is Involved in Getting Certified?

6.1 You should first complete an ASTTBC accredited Construction Safety Officer Training Course and obtain proof of successful completion. Alternatively, if you have completed a similar course of training which provides you with the necessary competencies an application may be made. In this case there may be a requirements to take an exam to prove competencies or provide sufficient information to allow the CSCB to assess your qualifications.

6.2 The next step is to submit an ASTTBC Application for Certification – Construction Safety. Make sure to fill out the online form exactly as described and provide all required documents. When you fill out the application, document all forms of education and training to provide a complete profile of your qualifications. You will also attach copies of all diplomas, certificates and transcripts of marks where this is available for that training which is relevant to your experience in construction. Certified English translations must accompany documents written in any other language.

A physician’s report stating that you are physically and mentally fit to work as a CSO must accompany the application.  Occupational First Aid Level 2 or Level 3 will be accepted in lieu of a medical examination.

6.3 Your application is received by ASTTBC, a file is opened with a registration number and information is entered on our computer database.

You will be required to successfully complete a Professional Practice and Ethics Exam and to sign the ASTTBC’s Privacy Policy declaration.

6.4 Upon receipt of your application, a Professional Practice and Ethics Exam will be released to you and must be completed.

6.5 Your application is then reviewed by the CSCB. If acceptable, your application will be approved and certification granted. An ASTTBC certificate signed by the CSCB Chair and the Registrar plus a photo identification card will be mailed to you.

7. How Should I Describe my Education and Experience?

Applicants should include the following information:

  • documentation of their education and training
  • a detailed description of your work experience in construction or related field including previous experience in construction safety.
  • the name of applicant’s employer or the firm for whom the applicant worked during that period, the firm’s address, phone and contact name.  The applicant will be advised that the Panel Reviewer may contact this person to verify information.
  • your position or title and the immediate supervisor you report to (if applicable)
  • a list and detail description of the duties and responsibilities (the work you did) in each position
  • provide a job description prepared by the company if available
  • if your education or training were not at an ASTTBC accredited or recognized training agency, please include details about curriculum, course content, duration of course, training agency location of and date of training.

8. Is Experience Considered in Lieu of Formal Training?

The CSCB may grant recognition of non-formal learning for applicants having extensive work experience but lacking formal education or training required for certification.  Past practice indicates very few applicants will be considered under this policy. The CSCB encourages applicants to complete an ASTTBC accredited training program.

9. How Long Does it Take to Process an Application?

When all requirements have been met and your application received by ASTTBC it typically requires approximately 2 or 3 months to process. An incomplete application will delay the process.

10. What Happens When I Get Certified?

Once certification has been approved you will receive a letter, member certificate, personal ID card, and other relevant information. Your name will be listed on the ASTTBC Construction Safety website.

11. What if my Application for Certification is not Successful?

You will be advised by letter of the reasons for the decision and requirements to achieve certification.

12. May I Appeal a Decision?

If you are not satisfied with the decision you may appeal in writing within 30 days of the original decision. The Registrar will appoint an Examiner to reconsider your application.

13. How do I Reclassify?

A registrant may apply for reclassification once all conditions of the certification policy are met.  There will be fees to cover administrative costs.  You will be issued a new ID card, certificate and acceptance letter.

14. What is Covered by the Application Fee?  What is not Covered?

The application fee is non-refundable and must be submitted with your application. The fee is used to offset the cost of processing your application including a review of your qualifications, verifying your work experience with the references you identified and the cost of issuing certificates, identification cards and posting your name in the online registry.  The application fee does not include your annual dues to maintain your registration. The Annual renewal fee is pro-rated for the first year so you only pay from the date your certification was approved. Annual renewal of your registration is required. Each year in April, you will receive an invoice for your annual renewal for the period June 1 to May 31.

15. For What Period of Time is my Certification Valid?

Certification is granted on the understanding that a registrant continues to practice in the field and is able to competently perform works at the level of certification granted.

Certification is renewed annually unless circumstances warrant a further review by the Practice Review Board.  You are required to pay an annual renewal fee.  You will receive a current year’s decal for your certificate and sticker for your ID card.

The ASTT Act and Regulations (By-laws) and the CSCB Policy require all ASTTBC members to pursue self-directed, continuing professional development (CPD). Failure to meet the minimum requirement for annual CPD may result in withdrawal of certification.

16. What Other Services will be Provided?

In addition to certification each registrant will receive newsletters (at least 2 per year); information on seminars and workshops suitable for CPD and will have access to a number of group benefits such as professional liability and errors and omissions insurance life, long term disability and extended health plans, and a wide range of other benefits added from time to time.

17. Any Other Questions?

If you have any other questions regarding the application process please call the ASTTBC Technical Specialist Certification Department at 604-585-2788, ext. 258.