Answers to some frequently-asked questions.

Board members and staff of the Board for Global Credentialing (BGC) are often asked to take positions on various topics of current interest. Our inability to do so does not always sit well with those who recognize the competence and integrity of the BGC process and who hope that the BGC will add its gravitas to what they believe is the “right” side of the issue at hand. While the BGC has several different certifications under its auspices, they have one thing in common: they are all credentials. As a credentialing body, BGC has goals and obligations different from the more familiar membership organization. That distinction both frees and constrains BGC conduct in many areas.

Why doesn’t BGC include support (insert area of personal passion) in its examination process?

Panels of technical experts establish the qualifications necessary to be considered competent in the areas in which BGC offers credentials and validate those areas based on profession-wide surveys to ensure that they broadly reflect current, accepted practice. In that fashion, the BGC process mirrors current professional performance expectations and only includes areas that have been identified as core requirements.

Why doesn’t BGC publicly voice its support for (insert area of personal passion)?

BGC does not engage in advocacy beyond issues related to the technical competence and acceptance of credential holders and how that is addressed by regulations. While as individuals, the BGC Board and staff all have their own viewpoints, in service to BGC and our credential holders, our primary focus is the integrity of our process. That includes ensuring that we provide the marketplace with designations that inspire confidence in those who rely on the essential skills our certificants provide. In each of our credentialing areas, there are many professional, labor, and industry associations that provide members with the opportunity to participate for lobbying or otherwise voicing their particular points of view.

I’m a member of the BGC. How can I influence the credentialing process?

Before answering this question a small, but important, clarification is needed. According to BGC’s bylaws, its only “members” are the individuals who sit on the BGC Board of Directors. The general term for a practitioner holding any BGC designation including retirement status is a “certificant.” A practitioner who holds a full credential such as the CIH, CPEA, CPPS, CPSA, QEP, or CAIH is a “diplomate.” BGC awards credentials to qualified individuals who retain that recognition only so long as they maintain their certifications.

In response to your question, there are many opportunities for certificants to participate in the certification process. Individuals with appropriate BGC credentials can submit exam questions and sit on various support and review committees.  In addition, diplomates can run for the BGC Board of Directors.

I have a certificate from (insert very respected institution). Shouldn’t employers recognize this as equivalent to a BGC credential?

While we may call our credential holders certificants, BGC offers certification not certificates. In general, certificates only recognize that an individual has completed a course or program. Any required tests will only include information that was covered in that particular course or program. For BGC, certification is awarded to those who pass rigorous examination, commit to practice ethically, demonstrate their professional competence through education and work experience, and commit to keeping their knowledge and skills current.

This focus ensures we live up to our Mission: “To be the leader in offering EHS credentials that elevate the technical and ethical standards for professionals who practice the science of evaluating, protecting, managing, and enhancing the health and safety of people and the environment.”

Alan Leibowitz, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
Chair, BGC (Board for Global EHS Credentialing)


The BGC blog is intended to serve as a professional discussion of the challenges faced by our certificants and a celebration of their accomplishments. Comments in support of that goal are welcome. It is not a general discussion forum and negative comments or airing of grievances will not be posted. If you have any comments, concerns, or other issues not covered by the blog, please email  Thank you.