About the CIH Recertification Program
The purpose of the BGC Certification Maintenance (CM) program, which began in 1979, is to ensure that Diplomates develop and enhance their professional-level industrial hygiene knowledge and skills during the time period that they are certified by BGC. The CM program primarily emphasizes technical advancement but does make allowances for some professional development activities when there is an environment, safety, or health aspect. Generic career skills development or career advancement may occur as a result of being a Diplomate, but it is not a focus area for the BGC CM program.
This includes the yearly fee to maintain the credential after it is awarded. Normally, the annual fee is paid by the beginning of each year. The first annual fee may be prorated depending on the month or window in which an examinee sits for the exam.
Diplomates are required to recertify every five years in order to maintain their BGC certification. BGC believes that the five-year cycle allows ample time for the Diplomate to develop new knowledge/skills as well as enhance or refresh on previously-acquired knowledge/skills. This can encompass maintaining technical knowledge and skills in regulations and standards and updating their knowledge and skills related to improvements and current developments in practice, procedures, and techniques.
The CM cycle length of five years is based on the premise that the knowledge/skills to be a professional-level industrial hygienist evolve over time but do not change radically from year to year. Industrial Hygiene is a mature profession, having been established in the 1930s. As an applied science profession, it uses an amalgam of many different pure sciences and core disciplines, e.g., chemistry, biology, anatomy, mathematics, toxicology, and engineering. Advancements in those sciences and disciplines are integrated into the IH profession, usually in an adaptive, gradual manner. Thus, since the level of IH knowledge and skills to be a practicing, professional-level Industrial Hygienist does not change radically each year, a more frequent recertification period does not appear to be warranted.
This approach is also consistent with the CIH Job Analysis which is done every five to seven years and used to identify the current knowledge and skills possessed by a professional-level industrial hygienist with three to four years of broad scope professional-level practice. If the Job Analysis indicates a fundamental change in the IH Subject Areas (Rubrics), Domains, or Tasks, the CM program would be evaluated for both the recertification frequency and methodologies (i.e., CM Categories and approved activities).
CIH CM Handbook