The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification Designation
This rigorous certification process verifies your competency in the latest process safety tools and techniques. Your annual renewal, which includes a continuing education requirement, serves to prove your ongoing proficiency. It's the one certification every process safety professional needs.
The CCPSC certification not only demonstrates strong commitment to the profession but also enhances one’s credibility on technical matters because of the holistic experience required to be successful in the process. This is of particular significance for mid-career professionals who may be subjected to greater technical scrutiny than more experienced peers.
The Why, What, Where, and How of the The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification Designation
Why Get Certified? Recognition.
CCPSC - The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification designation signifies more than just training. This credential demonstrates expertise in process safety practice.
Only process safety professionals with relevant process safety experience can earn this distinction. Each candidate will be rigorously screened and tested to ensure their professional knowledge and commitment to staying current with the latest developments in process safety.
You can’t obtain a more authoritative process safety credential anywhere. Take the first step toward establishing yourself as a recognized expert in process safety, start the certification process today.
How Do I Get Started?
Are you eligible to earn the credential that demonstrates your proficiency in and commitment to process safety? Just answer these three simple questions:
- Do you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university in science, engineering, math or technology, or the experience listed below?
- Is your post degree experience greater than 5 years for a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) (10 years if your degree is not in a STEM discipline or if you do not have a degree)?
- Has your process safety experience been broad and deep enough to make you familiar with the 20 elements of Risk-Based Process Safety?
If you can answer yes to the above questions you are eligible to pursue certification to earn the designation CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification. Click on the link below to begin the online application process. You will be able to start and return to your application with additional information until you are ready to submit your application. Your references will be asked to attest to your professional accomplishments.
What Are the Steps of the Certification Process?
As part of the rigorous review process, you will need to complete an online application and provide 3 references. Your experience will be reviewed to make sure you meet the qualifications to earn the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC). That review will include:
- Your educational background
- Your relevant professional process safety experience
- Your professional references’ attestations to your professional accomplishments
Upon successful completion of that review you will be approved to take the Certification exam. If you do not pass the review you will be notified and can apply at a future date when you have gained additional process safety experience.
When you are approved to take the exam you select a date and prepare for the exam. There are three exam periods each year, so you can pick the period that best fits your schedule (and allows you the time to prepare).
- March 8 - 15, 2021
- July 12 - 18, 2021
Where Can I Find Reference Material?
CCPS knows that each candidate will be serious and focused when it comes to earning this certification in chemical process safety. The CCPSC program uses the framework of the CCPS Risk Based Process Safety model, however, Process Safety is a very technical engineering discipline and, as such, the candidate’s technical experience will weigh heavily in the examination. As such it is difficult to give a comprehensive reading list. To help you prepare, start with the resources below. These downloadable documents, webinars, and books available for purchase comprise the latest guidelines, techniques, and tools used by the top process safety professionals today.
Downloads - Free Resources:
Webinars and Online Courses:
What Does the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) Cost?
Obtaining the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) designation provides you with a credential whose value far exceeds its cost. The CCPS Certified Process Safety Professional Certification is a global certification that serves as an external recognition of your proficiency and your ongoing commitment to continuous improvement.
Here is the current fee schedule:
CCPS* or AIChE Member
Reinstatement (for non-payment)
Past fees plus 50% Penalty
Past fees plus 50% Penalty
*Employees of CCPS Member companies.
Group Pricing Delivers Savings of 10%
Savings are available when you pre-pay 10 or more applicants. (Pre-payment does not guarantee certification and all payments are non-refundable)
For more information about discounts contact CCPS-Certified@aiche.org.
CCPSC is a personal professional challenge and a milestone in my process safety career. It provided me a good opportunity to learn new practices, improve existing ones and practice process safety with optimum resource utilization. With this certificate, I now hold a greater credibility and authority in my current role.
Frequently Asked Questions & Application Process
Why should I become a Certified Process Safety Professional?
Becoming a Certified Process Safety Professional offers engineers working in process safety a way to express their qualifications as measured by a rigorous external standard. It demonstrates both a level of proficiency and an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. Becoming a Certified Process Safety Professional can help demonstrate continuing familiarity with process safety developments.
Is the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) Accredited?
The Certified Process Safety Professional program has been designed to be compliant with ISO-17024. CCPS may seek ISO-17024 certification after acquiring sufficient experience in operating the program.
I have another safety certification. Does the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) program offer any reciprocity?
Not at this time.
Is the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) program open to Process Safety professionals worldwide?
Yes, Certified Process Safety Professional is a global certification.
Is the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) exam offered in languages other than English?
Currently, the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification exam is offered only in English. We expect that once we have gained operating experience in English, we will extend the program to other languages based on interest. Please let CCPS know of your interest.
Is CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) Right for you?
Who is eligible to apply?
Anyone with a degree in a STEM field and five years of professional experience with a sufficient depth and breadth of process safety activities is invited to apply. Those whose degree is not in a STEM field, or who lack a degree, must demonstrate ten years of relevant experience.
I have done a lot of PHAs (or MOCs, or Audits) but I haven’t had much other exposure to process safety. Can I qualify for the Certified Process Safety Professional?
In the Certified Process Safety Professional qualification process, the applicant is evaluated for broad experience and knowledge in process safety. Applicants with a very narrow exposure to process safety may have a harder time qualifying. Applicants should keep in mind that even if they are specialized in a narrow area of process safety, their work may involve many other process safety elements. When applying for the Certified Process Safety Professional, describe your involvement in as many process safety elements as possible.
I have been practicing broadly in process safety for more than 25 years. Why should I become a Certified Process Safety Professional now?
With that experience you may be in a leadership position, and becoming a Certified Process Safety Professional will help you demonstrate to others the importance of committing to ongoing professional development and maintaining the highest standards.
I have been practicing broadly in process safety for more than 25 years. Do I qualify to be “grandfathered” as a Certified CCPS Process Safety Professional without taking the exam?
Grandfathering is generally not permitted in a skill-based certification. The founding committee which created the Certified Process Safety Professional program had to take the exam. If you have that much experience, you should be able to complete the application and exam.
Why should I encourage my employees to become Certified Process Safety Professionals?
The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification program offers a way for companies to appraise their employees, potential employees and contractors. The requirements for maintaining certification help support ongoing training and further development of competencies. The Certification program can help smaller and larger companies bring in talent, maintain skills, and support company requirements that tie advancement to professional credentials. It might even be of use in legal proceedings.
Will my company pay for the application, exam and maintenance fees?
CCPS is aware that some companies may cover these fees. Factors you may want to present as a reason your employer should consider funding certification include:
- Provides a way for companies to appraise their employees, potential employees, and contractors.
- Helps drive training and further development of competencies
- Helps smaller and larger companies bring in talent and maintain skills
- May be useful in legal proceedings
- Supports company requirements that tie advancement to professional credentials
Application Process and Review
How do I apply?
The CCPS Process Safety Certification program is administered entirely online. Visit www.aiche.org/certified and access the Certified Process Safety Professional program application through the Get Certified link.
When can I apply?
You may apply to become a Certified CCPS Process Safety Professional at any time after you have acquired the necessary professional experience. However, the exam is currently offered during just three exam periods each year.
How will my application be reviewed?
Applications are peer reviewed by Certified CCPS Process Safety Professionals using standardized criteria.
My application was not approved. How can I find my weak areas?
If your application was not approved, it is an indication you do not have the required depth and/or breadth of process safety experience. You can apply again once you have attained additional process experience.
The CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) Exam
When is the exam given?
The exam is currently offered during three exam periods each year. During each exam period the exam will be open for 7 days. You will be able to start the exam at any time during the exam period but once you start you must complete the exam within four hours.
What is involved in the exam?
The Certified Process Safety Professional exam is an open book exam that you take online. The exam must be completed in 4 continuous hours. There are 120 multiple choice and 6 essay questions. Your answers to the essay questions must be in your own words. No credit will be given for answers copied from another source (i.e., a “Copy & Paste” answer).
How can I prepare for the exam?
Any materials, training classes, or experience that address the fundamentals of process safety in the 20 elements of the CCPS Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) model would be helpful. The CCPSC program uses the framework of RBPS, however, process safety is a very technical engineering discipline and consequently, the candidate’s technical experience will weigh heavily in the examination. It is difficult to give a comprehensive reading list. For a list of appropriate resources visit the resources page.
If I do not pass the exam, can I have another opportunity?
Yes, will be able to take a second exam without reapplying, within 12 months of the first exam. You must pay the retesting fee. If you need to take the exam a third time, you will have to start over and re-apply. There is no limit to the number of times an individual can apply to retake the examination. See the fee schedule for details.
Where do I take the exam?
The exam is online and can be taken anywhere you can access the internet.
Can I have access to books, call a friend or consult the internet while answering the exam?
You are permitted to access reference materials (book, internet). However, completing the exam must be an individual effort. No assistance from anyone else is allowed, and you are required to attest that you did not use anyone's assistance during the exam. ANy evidence that the examinee sought assistance during the exam will be investigated.
How will my exam be scored?
Exams are scored by Certified Process Safety Professionals using standardized criteria.
After the exam, will I have the opportunity to review any specific question or answer?
No. In order to maintain the validity of the exam the questions and answers must remain confidential.
Verification of CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) Status
Can anyone at any time verify that my certification is current?
Yes, current certifications can be found using the online CCPSC search tool.
Maintenance of CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC)
What do I need to do to maintain / renew my certification and what is the cost?
Requirements to maintain your certification:
- Pay your annual fee
- You do not pay an annual fee for the year in which you passed the exam or the following year. Near the end of the first full year after certification, you will be billed for the fee for the subsequent year. For example, if you passed the exam in July 2020, then the annual fee is due by December 31, 2021 for the 2022 dues.
- About 3 months before the annual fee becomes due you will receive a link to pay your dues by credit card. For the annual dues, click here: fee table.
- If payment is 45 days past due, CCPS will send an email warning that your certification is in jeopardy of being revoked. If payment is 90 days past due your certification is revoked.
- Comply with with the AIChE Code of Ethics. Click here: AIChE Code of Ethics
- Improve your knowledge in Process Safety.
- Obtain 48 Professional Development Hours (PDHs) within each rolling 3 year period. For the first two full years after your certification, you will need 16 PDHs (minimum) per year, then the rolling 3 year requirement starts in year 3.
- Obtain 1 hour of ethics training per 3 year period (included in the 48 hours).
- Maintain a minimum of 6 years of historical data, detailing your PDH credits.
- You must keep your own records in the CCPSC PDH Continuing Education Workbook. Click here: PDH Workbook.
- Your records will be periodically audited.
Will I receive a CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification certificate?
You will be provided a link for downloading a file containing the certificate.
CCPSC: CCPS Process Safety Professional Application
Getting Your Application Ready
The application for the CCPS Process Safety Professional Certification (CCPSC) requires detailed information about your education and experience. Here are some tips to help you get the application ready. An application that has been inactive for 12 months and not completed will be deleted.
1. Confirm you meet the qualification requirements:
- Industrial experience
- 5 years experience with a degree (4 year / bachelor's or equivalent) from an accredited college or university in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM), or
- 10 years experience for a degree in a non-STEM field or no degree
2. Compile your employment history, especially experience relevant to process safety:
- Employer information (company, location)
- Role title, and dates in role
- Percent of time devoted to process safety activities while in each role
3. Prepare a list of other qualification or certifications relevant to process safety.
4. Compile education history:
- University name and country, graduation year and type of degree
- If you don’t have at least one STEM degree, prepare an experience summary that demonstrates how you developed the competencies and knowledge required for process safety.
5. Process Safety Accomplishments
- Prepare your experience summary illustrating depth and breadth of process safety accomplishments for each of the 20 elements of the CCPS Risk Based Process Safety model. Be sure to address as many elements and with as much detail as possible. Record your personal actions and contributions. For example, listing “We have an MOC program at our site” won’t be credited to your experience.
- Your application will be evaluated based on both the breadth of your process safety experience and the depth of your process safety knowledge.
- Breadth of Experience - You are encouraged to submit your accomplishments for as many of the 20 RBPS elements in which you have any knowledge, experience and involvement.
- Depth of Knowledge – CCPS is interested in knowing and understanding your achievements and successes in advancing process safety. Describe the extent of your involvement, your leadership, and your achievements for each of the Risk Based Process Safety elements you have identified in your application. Differentiate between participation only versus development and leadership roles. Typically, this would involve activities, responsibilities, and leadership over several years, involving various roles and positions; often with different organizations. Multiple, very specific, examples are expected.
- For a brief summary of the Risk Based Process Safety model: http://www.aiche.org/sites/default/files/docs/summaries/short-summary-of-risk-based-process-safety.pdf
- Identify at least three references who can attest to your process safety experience and who are willing to complete a reference request. Information required:
- Name, email address and telephone number
- Company where you worked with reference
- Number of years worked with reference
- Application is not complete until all references are received – you may need to follow up with your references
- Once references are received it could take up to 4 weeks to review your application
7. Required Fees
- Your application will be accepted and reference requests will be sent after your application fee of $150 has been submitted by online credit card payment.
- If your application is accepted, you will also need to pay your examination fee of $250 before taking the exam.
I am a strong supporter of the CCPSC and have recommended it to all colleagues. I am also glad to notice that several Process Safety job postings now indicate a preference for candidates with this certification.