Chair's Message Fall 2023

Paul Belair Headshot
Paul Belair, BASc, MBA, CRSP

Greetings from Edmonton, Alberta. 

As your new Governing Board Chair (term started July 1, 2023), I am privileged to have the opportunity to share with you some highlights. In September, I chaired my first Governing Board meeting in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Board had a very productive two-days, and I will review the key highlights of the Board discussions. 

Key Highlights of the Board Agenda: 

Future of Credentials Research

Using forecasting research developed by the Institute of Credentialing Excellence (ICE), the BCRSP Governing Board held an open discussion around the key drivers of change. Examples include turmoil in higher education, DEI challenges, growth of corporate certifications and trainings, big tech encroachment, cross-border credentials, etc. The purpose of looking at these external changes is to enable the Board to consider the potential development of any of them, and the potential impact on the BCRSP’s operations and certifications. The intent is to focus on our credentials in the future and what can we do today to have influence on and take advantage of external factors that affect us. This was the first of these sessions using the ICE tool and the Board will continue to use this tool to support its strategic discussions. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)
The Board is reviewing the CSA SPE-116:23 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Guidance for Associations as a tool for the Board to use to assess ESG within the BCRSP. A level-setting presentation delivered by David Deveau, CRSP, and Board Secretary on ESG to align the Board’s understanding and support the ongoing discussion of the CSA Guidance document.

As part of the BCRSP’s strategic plan, one of the goals is to improve our governance structure, diversity, internal communication, and training to ensure board members are engaged and effective in the execution of our strategy. To support this goal, the Board previously established a Governance Committee, lead by the Secretary, and this committee provides input to the Board on a regular basis on areas for improvement. In September, the Board reviewed feedback from the annual performance evaluation of the Board and exiting governor feedback and conducted a reflective review of opportunities for improvement.

The Board reviewed updates from our partner organisations including the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygiene (CRBOH), the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), and the Alberta Society of Health and Safety Professionals (ASHSP). As part of the ongoing work of the Board, we meet regularly with these organisations to discuss areas of mutual interest, and to identify strategies for collaboration. 

Title Protection Work
The BCRSP Governing Board had engaged a consultant to conduct research on title protection and key BCRSP assumptions to inform strategy going forward. The consultant presented the preliminary research findings to the Board. The Board will use this research to inform future discussions on this topic. 

Management System Review
The Board fulfilled its oversight responsibilities of the management system, by conducting a comprehensive review of BCRSP policies and procedures. The management system review also included review of any correspondence, questions from committees, other BCRSP documents requiring review, performance of examination forms, and internal and external audit results. 

Risk Management
At every Governing Board meeting, the Board reviews and updates the BCRSP’s risk registry based on any newly identified risk concerns or changes in the operating environment. 

The Board also discussed potential supplier partnerships, and the format of the AGM for 2024. 

Thank you to all Governors for their participation in the meeting. 

A note of thanks to all certificants and employers who responded to the Value of Certification research survey. Results of this survey are currently being tabulated and we will be reporting findings in a future BCRSP Report. The Salary Survey for 2023 is also available to certificants to respond to until October 15. 

A reminder to certificants that in June 2023, the Governing Board approved an annual renewal fee increase which you can read more about here. The annual fee increase will ensure the BCRSP is able to continue to deliver world class certification programs, and to invest in the future of the safety profession through initiatives such as the accreditation of OHS Post Secondary education, advocacy around title protection, support collaborative research through INSHPO, and growing the recognition of the CRSP® and CRST® certifications.

In 2024, we will also be re-introducing opportunities for certificants to connect in person in conjunction with our Governing Board meetings, and other events where BCRSP has a presence (e.g., existing tradeshows or conferences). Watch for information on these opportunities to network in your email inbox. 
If you have any feedback for the Governing Board, you can send via e-mail.