Certification Process

Certification is a three-step process:

  1. Determine Eligibility
  2. Preparation
  3. Examination

Specifications for Candidate Eligibility can be found in the CIH Candidate Handbook which provides key information for education, experience, deadlines, Professional Reference Questionnaires (PRQ), applications, etc. Questions about eligibility should be directed to the BGC Staff.

The Professional Reference Questionnaire (PRQ) deserves special mention. A Candidate’s experience must be at a professional level exercising independence, depth, breadth and accountabilities for work responsibilities. Many people find themselves in a named position (e.g. “Industrial Hygienist”) but they are not (yet) operating at a professional level of responsibility. Others, with titles of “Technician” or “Specialist” may be operating at the professional level. The PRQ is one of the primary means of determining the professional level of job responsibility.

Preparation for the examination depends upon the command of the technical knowledge in the IH rubrics mentioned above. There is no evidence to support the effectiveness of any one system/method over another – it really depends upon the Candidate. For some, “IH Review Courses" are helpful. For others, computer-based review courses are helpful. Still for others, a simple review of college materials supplemented with recent experiences (journal and trade, mentoring, field work) is enough. Over the years, we’ve learned that individual motivation is the mostly likely indicator of a successful certification. If YOU want this certification, BGC can help you achieve it.

Examinations are offered in the Spring and Fall of each year at over 425 testing sites around the world. Examinations are computer-based and are scored as soon as the Candidate has completed the examination.

Examination questions are selected for use based on the latest survey of the practice of industrial hygiene, in both rubrics and areas of practice to achieve a set of questions that represents the broad scope, comprehensive practice of the current practice of industrial hygiene. Examination questions are selected carefully and a portion are updated annually. All questions are evaluated by a group of practicing Certificants to ensure they are correct and relevant to the practice of industrial hygiene. Each question is also 3rd party reviewed using psychometric principles to ensure its validity as an examination question. And, after each examination period, questions are again analyzed for accuracy and discrimination using 3rd-party statistical analysis.