Certifying Body Versus Membership Body - What's the Difference?

During our most recent AGM, several questions were raised by certificants related to the BCRSP’s overall mission and purpose.  Several examples are provided below:

  • Does BCRSP offer education/training sessions? 
  • Has the BCRSP considered developing its own training? 

We wanted to remind certificants of the main purpose and mission of the BCRSP – to set certification standards for the occupational health and safety profession.  To that end, we are a certifying body and not a membership body.  There is a distinct difference, and we do understand that there can be some confusion between the two.

A certifying body is an organization that has been accredited for a sector and can award credentials to individuals meeting specific competence requirements relating to a profession. In our case we are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada to the ISO/IEC 17024 General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Of Persons, and we are incorporated by Industry Canada to operate as Federal not-for-profit organization. 

A membership body is an incorporated body, usually an association or society, where people join as members voluntarily, provided they meet certain criteria set in the body or organization’s constitution and pay a prescribed fee.  Membership bodies seek to further a particular profession and the interest of the individuals engaged in that profession, and as such are ideally suited to offer education and training. 

As a certification board, the BCRSP works closely with our partners to continue to promote the CRSP and CRST designations and we have established strategic partnerships with several membership bodies (e.g. CSSE, WOHSS).