Professional Certification for Mine Safety and Health: Recent International Developments


Tom Hethmon, SSR Mining

This session will address current status of professional certification for mining health and safety practitioners and professionals including a review of the restructured Certified Mine Safety Professional (CMSP) certification offered by the International Academy of Mining Safety & Health of Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). The CMSP is the only mining-specific safety and health credential. Third party accredited professional certification programs focusing on safety and occupational hygiene have grown both in number and popularity, but vary in terms of industry specificity, their underlying purpose, qualifications, and psychometrics.  The mining industry has advanced safety and health management performance in recent decades and there is a growing consensus regarding the best practice approach adopted by leading companies and trade associations. As performance has evolved so has recognition of the breadth of issues needing to be addressed to achieve sustainable safety and health excellence. However, to date, there is no consensus regarding a specific body of knowledge for mining safety and health management, including to what degree there is a need for one.  Professional certification offers companies and professionals advantages in establishing competency, market differentiation, improved hiring standards, and as a facilitator for professional development.  This presentation will address these issues, provide detailed analysis relative to the CMSP, and provide perspective regarding the role of professional certification as a tool to facilitate safety and health performance improvement, and not just as a designation of professionalism.   It will also offer practical advice for those attendees interesting in pursuing professional certification.
Keywords: safety, health, management, professional, certification, CMSP, body of knowledge, development