Applying for the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) Credential
The Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) is the first and only multi-media, multi-disciplinary, fully-accredited credential that requires environmental professionals to have a broad perspective along with the knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems. The QEP examination contains no questions related to policies or regulations specific to any country, so it is truly international. The QEP evaluates environmental practitioners by establishing a professional standard and by providing a career track for new practitioners entering the field.
The Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI) program is an optional first step toward obtaining QEP status for environmental students and professionals just beginning their careers. Holding the EPI designation allows students who anticipate entering the environmental field, or for graduates who have entered the field within the last five years, to demonstrate personal knowledge of general environmental science.
BGC will only grant the Qualified Environmental Professional to practitioners who achieve the requirements for education and experience, agree to abide by BGC’s Code of Ethics, and through examination, demonstrate both general environmental science knowledge by passing the General Environmental Science (GES) Exam and professional-level knowledge and skills by passing an exam covering one of four specialty areas of environmental practice:
- Air Quality
- Water Quality
- Waste Management, or
- Environment Science, Management, and Policy
The QEP does not take the place of specialized certifications or registrations, but rather is a unique credential, that links and coordinates environmental fields. BGC places no restrictions or qualifications on the career paths of a QEP as long as the person meets the ongoing requirements in the certification maintenance program and adheres to the professional, enforceable BGC Code of Ethics.
QEP certification not only demonstrates the breadth and depth of environmental professionals’ knowledge and experience, it also allows them to show their commitment to excellence in applied environmental science, adherence to a strict code of ethics, and the dedication to make contributions to the environmental profession and community. This lets you advance your career and stand out among a corps of highly-skilled environmental professionals. The QEP program also provides opportunities for networking. Our online roster of QEPs increases the visibility of this elite group among their peers and professional contacts; BGC also provides access to a professional badging service, LinkedIn groups, an EPI mentoring program, and a free Career Center for posting resumes.
QEP Specialty Areas
You can achieve the QEP by meeting eligibility requirements and passing both a General Environmental Science (GES) Exam and also a QEP specialty exam in either 1) Air Quality, 2) Water Quality, 3) Waste Management, or 4) Environment Science, Management, and Policy. The process can be done through one of two routes, depending on whether you have at least five years or professional environmental work experience when you apply for the QEP.
Route 1: If you have 5 or more years of professional environmental work experience, and have the academic prerequisites and appropriate letters of recommendation, you will obtain the QEP after you pass two exams:
- The GES Exam
- A QEP Specialty Exam
Route 2: If you are early in your career with less than 5 years of professional environmental work experience, you can work toward your QEP through a three-stage process that will give you an interim designation as an Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI). This helps in your career search and gives you access to information, networking, mentoring, and organization discounts for up to seven years:
- Pass the GES Exam. This gives you the EPI designation.
- Obtain at least 5 years of professional environmental work experience and meet any remaining eligibility
- Pass a QEP Specialty Exam.
The following table summarizes the two routes is available to you:
|Eligibility||Professional Level Environmental Work||Minimum Education||References from Three Environmental Professionals|
|QEP||Five years||Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in physical sciences, earth sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics||Must include a supervisor with personal knowledge of your professional work and responsibilities|
|Eight years||Bachelor’s degree in any discipline|
|EPI to QEP||Less than five years||College or University Senior: Enrollment in a bachelor’s degree program in physical sciences, earth sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics||Must at least be familiar with your academic abilities and achievements|
|Early-career professional: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in physical sciences, earth sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics|
Obligations of Credential Holders
After you pass the exam and are issued your credential, you are required to meet several obligations, not limited to:
- paying your fees on or before the due date,
- continually updating your knowledge and skills,
- documenting knowledge and skills through the Certification Maintenance Process, and
- upholding the BGC Code of Ethics.
Please be aware that if the requirements for certification and recertification change, you will be required to meet them in order to hold your certification.
QEP Candidate Handbook