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Do you need environmental certifications?

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Environmental Certifications

Environmental certifications give new professionals who have some experience a chance to advance quickly and complete their next environmental-career move.  Have you got your environmental science degree, and are now looking for the right ecological job and to enhance your career?

The Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board, also known as CECAB, might be just for you.

The world needs a way to acknowledge environmental specialists so they may be recognized within their own jurisdiction, and perhaps internationally.

Canada then had the Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner, CCEP program, to serve that purpose. But According to CECAB.ORG: On August 1, 2010, all of the previous designations merged under the credential EP – Environmental Professional, with specializations to recognize a specific area of work.

It allows the expert in the field to state briefly, in four letters originally, that one has proven herself or himself as a true professional over a period of at least five years.  EPt (training) environmental certifications let even newer workers show that they are headed in the right direction.

"The certification is based on a practitioner's ability to do certain environmental work activities, to have sufficient experience doing them and being able to perform them competently," according to the board's website, cecab.org.

A list of national standards for this select group of multidisciplinary environmental occupations exists.   Prospective inductees submit their qualifications for comparison to this list, have their statements verified by online interviews with their peers and pass other stringent requirements set out by the board.   Once that is complete, each new person is added to the register as a Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner.

Canadian Industrial Site

Example of Field Work

Why Bother with environmental certifications?

This field of endeavour is rather technical and difficult to explain at the best of times.  New workers need all the help they can get proving their effectiveness.

Why would you be interested in this?  I use myself as an example here.  When developing my career I wanted to:

  • Set up and demonstrate my professional trustworthiness for anybody who would be interested. 
  • Have my capabilities and integrity quickly and formally recognized
  • Be able to proudly display a well-known symbol by which others could identify my scientific skills and knowledge, thereby adding to my marketability.
  • Spark confidence, when seeking contracts, liability insurance and networking opportunities.

Why might someone choose this organization?  They offer a neat and complete package.  Who tries to build the world’s leading environmental workforce.  ECO Canada - this parent-institution oversees environmental certifications while CECAB protects the fairness of the profession (and handles the details of certifications and certification renewals.) 

But the whole field of environmental science and service a growing area of work, and will continue to expand for decades to come.  And up until recently, many would have considered most environmental work a 'black art' of sorts, especially in my area of specialty,  air quality.

The CECAB list of standard skills provides universities a guideline for which to prepare new entrants to this field, based on the actual needs of employers.

It also provides a bar which can be raised as needed, and elevates Canadian environmental professionals to the level where they belong: the best in the world.

Environmental certifications enable employers to select personnel more efficiently.  And then they can pick staff-scientists they know have passed tough requirements in previous situations and come out of it with some expertise.  A competent workforce helps care for the environment and protect our natural resources.

Chemical Laboratory

Example of Laboratory setting

When furthuring your career:

  • You want recognition for your competencies
  • You want to be able to compare your abilities to those of similar professionals in other jobs
  • You want your experience and commitment to count
  • You want to increase your job prospects
  • You want the flexibility to move from one job or location to the next, if needed
  • You want to increase the credibility of your own business, if relevant.

Because of the dynamic nature of environmental regulations and related work, the need for professional development is relentless.  CECAB provides advice to each EP individual based on the profile of skills kept on file.  They recommend what "competencies he or she should refresh in order to keep up to date on an annual basis."  This benefits the practitioner, the employer(s) and society in general.

Code of Ethics

Gotta have one of these.  Here is a quick look at the general principles in the standards of practice outlined by this environmental certifications board.

  • Responsibility for environmental stewardship, protection of the public
  • High ethical standards, integrity in work
  • Safety and welfare of all persons
  • Competence
  • Confidentiality
  • Avoidance of conflict-of-interest situations
  • Diligence and efficiency
  • Honesty in representation of skills and services
  • Kaizen, continuous professional development
  • Fairness in conduct
  • Respect for the various EP designations.

Finally, the CECAB literature also lists the points of the EP Advantage.  It "formally recognizes environmental expertise, establishes professional credibility at a national level, verifies on-the-job competence, enhances practitioner marketability and mobility [and] assures professional and ethical conduct."  

It also states that CECAB executes all disciplinary action related to violations of the EP Code of Ethics.  Good to know somebody's keeping an eye on things.

Environmental Certifications. What else do you need?

Want to know more about my work and what I do?  Just send your question to the address here... 

Barry Lough Air Quality Modelling

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