Required Documentation for CIH Applicants
Unacceptable Academic Degrees or Credit
Remedies. If you have an unacceptable bachelor’s degree, you may remedy the situation with additional academic science coursework from an acceptable college or university or by completion of an acceptable cognate graduate degree.
Nonrelevant Courses. Academic credit granted by a college or university that is unrelated to appropriate coursework will not be accepted by BGC. Examples are the completion of:
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
- College Level Examination Program (CLEP) examinations
- DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSSTs)
- Similar equivalency credits granted by an institution for work/life experience
These are not considered educational courses that satisfy BGC’s academic certification eligibility requirements.
The social sciences are not considered to be qualifying sciences. Evaluation of the science content of your bachelor’s degree will be made from the official transcripts. When evaluators need more information about the content of your degree, such as course descriptions or content, we will ask you to provide the information. A review of your degree will not proceed until the information is received.
CIH Candidate Handbook
U.S. and Canadian Degrees
Official transcripts must be submitted for each degree. An official transcript is one sent directly to BGC by your college or university through mail or as secure e-transcripts. Alternatively, you may submit official transcripts if they are in a sealed envelope with the registrar’s stamp across the seal. When a degree includes credits that were transferred from another college or university, official transcripts for those course credits must be sent upon request.
The Board will consider a U.S. college or university to be acceptable when it holds institutional accreditation from one of the six U.S. Regional Accrediting Bodies or the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education. Your degree must be awarded during the time that the institutional accreditation is in effect. A Canadian college or university will be considered acceptable if it is recognized under applicable provincial standards, depending on where the school is located. In addition, it may hold specialized program accreditation as noted by membership in Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada).
If you have an international degree(s) along with one from the United States or Canada, a transcript evaluation may not be required if the U.S. or Canadian degree(s) meets the STEM (Science, Science-based Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) coursework requirement. In some cases, a report may also be required for a Canadian degree. Please contact applications@GoBGC.org for advice.
Where to Send Transcripts:
BGC attn: Applications
6005 W St Joe Hwy Ste 300
Lansing, MI 48917 USA
A degree from a college or university that is located outside the United States or Canada will be considered for acceptability based on the institution’s accreditation status in the education system that has jurisdiction. Applicants with international degrees will be required to submit their transcript(s) for a credential evaluation unless the academic program is authorized by BGC or through a BGC-recognized accreditation agency to issue BGC verification statements. (BGC verification statements streamline and shorten the review for applicants. Please contact your program director to find out if verification statements are available to you.)
A member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. or a member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators must be used to prepare a credential evaluation report. You must request that the report be forwarded to BGC.
Below is a list of different services that our applicants have used for transcript evaluations. BGC does not specifically endorse or recommend one service over another.
If your degree is in biology, chemistry, engineering, or physics, a General/Document-by-Document report must be provided. Any other degree requires a Comprehensive/Course-by-Course report. A Divisional Analysis may be necessary to identify upper-level courses.
Stand-alone, industrial hygiene-related specialty exams for other professional certifications, as well as many other non-certification exams used for licensing and registration, can be used as narrow-scope continuing education contact hours. Stand-alone exams are those offered independently from any other educational activities such as classes or workshops.
- The exam must be at least 1 hour in duration and must align with one of the IH Subject Areas (Rubrics) or the IH Job Analysis.
- One continuing education contact hour can be counted for each hour of IH content in the exam.
- The exam must be offered by the organization responsible for overseeing exam development and administration.
- You must provide documentation of successfully passing the exam and of exam duration to claim the equivalent continuing education contact hours.
- You must also provide the exam blueprint for the version of the exam taken.
You can satisfy the IH coursework requirement if your required contact hours were completed as part of your academic degree.
If you took additional coursework to meet this requirement, you may submit academic courses, continuing education courses, or a combination, as follows:
- One semester hour equals 15 academic contact hours or 20 continuing education contact hours.
- One quarter hour equals 10 academic contact hours or 13 continuing education contact hours.
- One CEU equals 10 continuing education contact hours.
For documentation of continuing education contact hours, you must upload copies of certificates to CAPS with your application. If the number of contact hours or CEUs is not stated on the certificate, you must include a course agenda or official supporting information that shows the time spent on IH topics.
Coursework Ethics Requirement
Applicants must document that they have completed at least two contact hours of coursework in ethics. Acceptable ethics courses include academic courses dealing with ethics, company training on business conduct or other ethics-related subjects, or continuing education courses that present ethics topics. Please note that ethics contact hours do not count towards the 240 hours of IH coursework.
Documentation of Work Experience in Industrial Hygiene
You must provide a minimum of two professional references for your application.
- A reference from an applicant’s current supervisor is required to document current industrial hygiene practice. You must have a reference from your immediate supervisor(s) covering the entire period which you are claiming as professional IH practice. If you are (or were) a principal in a business, then we will accept references from major clients.
- Certified Industrial Hygienist. You must also have a reference from a CIH who is familiar with your industrial hygiene work and can describe, from firsthand experience, the nature of your industrial hygiene responsibilities. The CIH reference may also serve as a supervisory reference; however, you still must have a minimum of two supervisory references.
Alternatives to a Reference from a CIH Who Is Familiar With Your IH Work
In the event that no CIH is available who is familiar with your industrial hygiene work, you have two options:
- You may substitute a reference from an individual certified at the professional level by an organization whose industrial/occupational hygiene certification scheme has been recognized by the International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA). The following list was current as of October 2019. Please refer to IOHA for organizations that have had their Certification Schemes recognized by IOHA for the most up-to-date information.
- Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (AIOH)
- British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)
- Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists (CRBOH)
- French Occupational Hygienists Society (SOFHYT). Document in French and document in English.
- German Society for Occupational Hygiene (DGAH)
- Hong Kong Institute of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
- Institute of the Certification of the Figures of Prevention (Italy) (ICFP)
- Japan Association for Working Environment Measurement (JAWE)
- Malaysian Industrial Hygiene Association (MIHA)
- Norwegian Occupational Hygiene Association (NYF)
- Swedish Occupational and Environmental Certification Board (SOECB)
- Southern African Institute for Occupational Hygiene (SAIOH)
- Swiss Society of Occupational Hygiene (SSOH)
- If none of your references is a CIH or holds a credential from an IOHA-NAR recognized organization, then your only remaining alternative is for you to provide three written work samples.
- Work samples must demonstrate hygiene activities (safety or environmental work samples cannot be accepted).
- They must reflect anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of at least 2 different stressor categories.
- Work samples may include reports with analysis of results and recommendations; written programs/procedures; or other documents that help to establish the scope, content, and professional level of the work. A work sample can also be supplemented with peripheral documents such as internal memos dealing with your industrial hygiene activities.
- The samples must: span the time period being claimed as professional-level experience, include the original creation date, and have been prepared by you as the sole author.
Documents are kept confidential; however, you are allowed to redact proprietary information provided that the redactions do not obscure any information required for the evaluation. Documents must be sent in electronic format through CAPS. Hardcopy work samples will not be accepted.
References are required to document, from firsthand experience, your abilities, achievements, and the nature of your environmental practice using a CIH Professional Reference Questionnaire (PRQ) Form. A PRQ must comply with the requirements of this section. Each PRQ will remain confidential between the author and BGC.
- You must initiate communication with your references to request that they submit the completed CIH Professional Reference Questionnaire (PRQ) Form that you will send them. BGC does not initiate communication with references for you.
- Each reference must be provided on the Board’s CIH Professional Reference Questionnaire (PRQ) Form and be prepared only by the person giving the reference.
- It is unacceptable for you to provide the response on the form and then have it signed by your reference. We may use the contact information provided to verify the authenticity of the reference and confirm who prepared the text.
- Each PRQ must be sent directly to BGC by the person writing the reference.
It is your responsibility to communicate with your reference(s) as frequently as needed to ensure that the PRQ is submitted in time to meet BGC application deadlines.
Unqualified and Suspicious Documentation
Professional Reference Questionnaires (PRQs) that appear to have been prepared by any of the following individuals may result in your application being rejected or delayed:
- Your spouse or other relatives
- A person whom you supervise
- Yourself, preparing your own PRQ (even when it is for someone else to sign)