About the QEP Recertification Program
A discussion of BGC’s recertification program would not be complete without a brief summary of how the QEP/EPI credentialing program became part of BGC. On January 25, 2016, the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) (now known as the Board for Global EHS Credentialing (BGC)) and The Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP) announced a new collaboration to bring the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) and the Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP)/Environmental Professional In-Training (EPI), to a wider audience of professionals for improved public protection. During concurrent meetings of the IPEP and ABIH Boards in October 2016, ABIH voted to extend an offer to the IPEP Board of Directors to adopt the QEP/EPI credentialing program and offer QEPs the status of ABIH Diplomate. The IPEP Board voted to accept ABIH’s offer, and in May 10, 2017, the IPEP Board voted to dissolve itself as an organization. Focused efforts to align the QEP/EPI program with BGC’s existing application, examination, and recertification practices in the fall of 2020 are on-going. Several steps taken in those alignments:
- Added an ethics requirement
- Discontinued certification as a QEP as a membership category for PDH credit
- Aligned point values and activity categories across credentialing programs
- Allowed for pro-rating of credit
- Aligned fee schedules and discounts
- Streamlined the timeline for submission of recertification documents
The purpose of the QEP Certification Maintenance (CM) program, which began in 1994, is to ensure that Diplomates develop and enhance their professional-level 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, health, or safety 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 your credential after it is awarded. Normally, your annual fee is paid by the beginning of each year. Your first annual fee may be prorated depending on the month or window in which you sit 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 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 also consistent with the BGC exam updates that start with a job analysis which is done every five to seven years and is used to identify the current knowledge and skills possessed by practitioners with three to four years of broad scope professional-level practice. If the job analysis indicates a fundamental change in the work domains or tasks, the CM program would be evaluated for both the recertification frequency and methodologies (i.e., CM Categories and approved activities).
QEP CM Handbook