In My Own Words - Dale Shafer, MBA, CRSP

Dale Shafer, MBA, CRSP

I obtained a CRSP designation in 2006 to learn more about safety and health management, and to challenge myself on a personal and professional level. I also wanted to legitimize my practice and demonstrate that I had successfully transitioned my career from refinery operations to safety management. I participated in a CSSE study group to prepare for the admissions exam, which helped me to pass on the first attempt. This was a real milestone for me because the mentors I looked up to and the co-workers I respected had previously obtained the designation before me. I didn’t realize at the time how the CRSP designation would open doors for me, and also help me to connect with other professionals to strengthen our community of practice. 

For example, the CRSP designation helped me to gain admission to the Athabasca University MBA program when my application was initially rejected. I was a late-comer to formal secondary education and had obtained a couple of adult education certificates, but I didn’t have an under-graduate degree. I appealed the university’s decision and ultimately convinced their admissions panel to accept my professional designation as being equivalent to other professional certifying bodies such as finance, engineering and information technology. The MBA has certainly helped me to better understand how organizations work, which in turn improves my ability to influence business leaders to create safe and healthy workplaces.

The CRSP designation is widely recognized in many industries as the hallmark of integrity, professionalism and safety management excellence. It is my observation that good companies strive to hire CRSPs and conversely, CRSPs strive to work for good companies. I have had some amazing opportunities to work globally and across different industries as a result of my certification, and have used these experiences to both learn and teach about safety management. This is something I love doing! I was even fortunate enough to be recruited by the University of Alberta to develop and teach a course for their OH&S Certificate program, from which I had graduated prior to obtaining certification.

To me, holding a CRSP designation is ultimately about continuing to improve my leadership and knowing I have the competencies required to influence others to make good decisions in order to improve workplace health and safety. I try to serve as a positive role model for the BCRSP and to use my knowledge and experience in order to support and encourage others who work in our field to reach their full potential through certification. I find these types of experiences to be rewarding and central to my overall career satisfaction, and so I recommend anyone who works in a health and safety role to take the time and effort required to make this investment in their future and achieve board certification. 

Dale Shafer, MBA, CRSP