What is 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 the BGC 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
  • Environment Science, Management, and Policy

The QEP does not take the place of specialized certifications or registrations; rather it 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, but 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 digital badging service, LinkedIn groups, an EPI mentoring program, and a free Career Center for posting resumes.

How Do I Become a QEP?


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
  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:

Route 1:

If you have at least 5 years of professional environmental work experience, you will need the following:


  • A bachelor’s degree or equivalent in physical sciences, earth sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics. If you have 8 years of experience or more, then your bachelor’s degree can be from any discipline
  • Three references from an environmental professional (including a supervisor with personal knowledge of your professional work and responsibilities)
  • Pass two exams: the GES exam and a QEP specialty exam
  • Adherance to the BGC Code of Ethics and to be governed by the BGC Ethics Case Procedures
  • Pay fees on or before the due date

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 two-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. You will need the following:


  • Pass the GES exam (this will give you the EPI designation)
  • Be a college senior or graduate of a bachelor’s degree program in physical sciences, earth sciences, natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics
  • Be supported by at least three references from environmental professionals who are familiar with your academic abilities and achievements
  • After obtaining 5 years of professional work experience and meeting all other eligibility requirements, you must pass the QEP specialty exam
  • Adherence to the BGC Code of Ethics and to be governed by the BGC Ethics Case Procedures
  • Pay fees on or before the due date

    For more information on the specific details of becoming a QEP, read the QEP Candidate handbook pages.


    What our certificants say

    People who hold the QEP certification often say that the QEP establishes a professional standard for new professionals and a vehicle for elevating the careers of established practitioners.

    With a background in Health and Safety, obtaining my QEP was a goal I set for myself to expand my knowledge and show competency in the Environmental field.  This has led to many opportunities, including my role today as an EHS Manager.

    Caitlin Prigge, CSP, QEP, CCPSC

    I am a Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) professional, Fellow of American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), Chartered Fellow of IOSH – UK, and certified with CSP and QEP. I have 32 years of experience in HSE consultancy and HSE management in the oil and gas industries. I currently work as an HSE Consultant for Exploration and Drilling Directorate of Kuwait Oil Company, State of Kuwait.

    When I moved to State of Kuwait in the year 2001 from India as part of my employment, I became a member of ASSP Kuwait Chapter. During this time, I interacted with several ASSP members from different parts of the World and got to know about the benefits of Certifications to improve competency as part of my career growth. I was inspired by Founding President of ASSP Kuwait Chapter and also my work Manager Mr. Ujwal Ritwik to go for QEP certification, and I completed all requirements during the year 2006 with his mentoring & guidance.

    Truly speaking, QEP certification has helped me in solving several environmental problems faced in oil & gas industries, particularly remediation of historical contaminated soil generated during drilling operations. It also helped me in interacting with subject matter experts on issues related to the latest developments in the environment field.

    I strongly recommend environmental professionals to go for QEP certification to find solutions for the ever increasing environmental challenges and to interact with leading subject matter experts in the environment profession.

    I am also a Regional Coordinator of QEP and EPI Certifications for the Middle East Region and anyone interested to go for QEP certification can contact me.

    Ashok Garlapati, QEP

    ​I am an environmental, health, and safety director and have been in the construction industry for 23 years. I am also a CIH, CSP, and now happily a QEP. The QEP is the ‘E’ in EHS credentialing. The QEP confirms my experience and capabilities in mitigating or managing environmental concerns for construction activities.

    The QEP is the gold standard in environmental credentialing. The process of obtaining the QEP confirmed whether I met the standards and was rewarding. If you practice EHS and have the CIH or CSP, you need to take the time and achieve the QEP. Show your counterparts that the QEP deserves a spot next to your CIH.

    Joaquin Diaz, QEP, MM, CSP, OHST, CHST, CIH

    For the last 43 years, I have worked as a Sr. Environmental Health Engineer at the Nixon Peabody LLP law firm. I work at the intersection of legal requirements, what can be done with current technology and business decisions. For the last 15 years, I have focused mainly on water pollution control, protecting ambient water quality, and, basically, all things water. I have a mixed degree background with a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Environmental Health Engineering. I felt that it was important that I demonstrate my competence by gaining an environmental credential.

    Because I did not work under a P.E., I could not get a P.E. license. For a few years, I became a credential groupie and applied for and obtained two other accredited environmental credentials. However, I felt that both of them were pretty narrowly focused and neither of them really reflected the diversity of the work I did. When the QEP credential was first announced, I was impressed by the fact that it required multi-media experience and that it was supported by multiple environmental professional membership organizations including (but not limited to) the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA).

    Putting “QEP” after my name in my resume, email signature line, and elsewhere calls attention to the fact that Subject Matter Experts outside of my employer have examined me and deemed me to be well qualified. My employer later changed the job requirements for members of the law firm’s EHS technical team to earn a credential from an accredited entity in order to be promoted to the Senior level. I think other employers of environmental technical professionals are also requiring credentials. Because the QEP credential is both multi-media and international and is accredited under the rigorous requirements of the Council of Engineering & Scientific Specialty Boards, earning this credential demonstrates to the world that you have both the academic training and the experience needed to tackle complicated environmental issues and problems. If you have put in the time to gain this knowledge and experience, you should demonstrate this by earning your QEP.

    Libby Ford, QEP, CHMM, CEP