BGC Transitional Guidelines Qualifying CPEA/CPSA Recertification Activities

CPEAs/CPSAs should maintain the high standards of the profession by selecting educational programs of high quality and engaging in professional activities to fulfill the recertification requirements.   The following guidelines have been developed for the adoption of the CPEA and CPSA credentialing programs into the Board For Global EHS Credentialing (BGC) umbrella.  The guidelines and recertification hours are subject to change in order to foster practice improvement and public protection.  The information will be replaced by the CPEA Handbook and CPSA Handbook available in Spring 2021.

1.0 General

The following general criteria are to be satisfied in order for a continuing education program to be accepted for CPEA/CPSA recertification credit:

  • The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program is acceptable is that it be a formal program of learning, which contributes directly to the professional competence of a CPEA/CPSA.
  • Acceptable formal programs should:
  1. contribute to the professional competence of participants;
  2. state program objectives which specify the level of knowledge the participants should have attained, or the level of competence to be demonstrated upon completing the program;
  3. be developed by individuals qualified in the subject matter and instructional design;
  4. provide program content that is current;
  5. be on a professional level.
  • The following general courses are acceptable as long as they meet other recertification program criteria:
  1. Ethics and Standards of Conduct for Auditors
  2. Audit Program Design and Management
  3. Audit Procedures, Processes, and Techniques
  4. Internal Controls
  5. Regulatory Aspects
  6. Process Operations, EHS Impacts, and Related Pollution Control
  7. EHS Specific Regulatory Knowledge
  8. EHS Auditing Standards and Practices
  9. EHS Science And Technology
  10. Technical And Environmental Aspects Of Facility Operations
  11. Relevant Requirements of EHS Laws, Regulations, Related Documents
  12. EHS Management Systems Standards And Guidelines
  • Activities other than those listed in these guidelines may be deemed acceptable if the CPEA/CPSA can demonstrate that they contribute to professional competence. Substantiating that a particular activity qualifies as acceptable and meets the requirements is the responsibility of the CPEA/CPSA.
  • Recertification credit will be awarded for whole hours only, with a minimum of 50 minutes constituting 1 hour. As an example, 100 minutes of continuous instruction would count for 2 hours; however, more than 50 minutes but less than 100 minutes of continuous instruction would count for only 1 hour. Only actual attendance or acceptable self-study hours are allowable. For continuous conferences and conventions when individual segments are less than 50 minutes, the sum of the segments should be considered one total program. For example, five 30-minute presentations would equal to 150 minutes and should be counted as 3 hours.


2.0 Ethics

A minimum of 2 and maximum of 6 hours may be awarded in the education category per 5-year recertification cycle.  There is flexibility in fulfilling this obligation. An ethics course meeting the recertification requirements can cover a variety of topics within the broader concept of ethics, such as conflicts of interest, transparency, or ethical leadership.  BGC recommends the following list as a guideline for topics and coursework. Acceptable courses also may include topics not listed as long as they directly relate to The BGC’s Code of Ethics.

Examples of Acceptable Ethics Courses

  • The IIA’s Code of Ethics (or any component of The IIA’s Code of Ethics).
  • Developing codes of ethics for the organization (not in the internal audit activity).
  • How to resolve ethical dilemmas.
  • Ethical decision-making.
  • Ethical cultures.
  • Ethics helplines or hotlines.
  • The role of ethics in corporate governance.
  • Organizational ethics programs.
  • Organizational ethics maturity models.
  • How to audit organizational ethics programs.
  • Collaborating with ethics officers.

Examples of Courses Not Fulfilling the Ethics Requirement

  • Classes focused on specific compliance obligations.
  • Security laws and insider trading regulations.
  • Medical claims submission requirements.
  • IPPF implementation.


3.0 Education

A maximum of 100 hours may be awarded in the education category per 5-year recertification cycle (20 hours per year).  Educational activities include:

  • Professional education and development programs, such as seminars and conferences, provided by national, regional and local organizations. This can include webinars requiring formal registration and verified by a certificate of completion or other verification documents, e.g. proof of attendance by a supervisor.
  • Technical sessions at meetings of national, regional, state and local environmental or health & safety auditing organizations and chapters.
  • Formal in-house training programs.
  • Formal correspondence and self-study programs relevant to EHS or auditing that include evidence of completion.
  • College or university courses passed (credit and non-credit courses). Fifteen (15) hours of recertification credit are awarded for each semester hour of college/university credit earned; ten (10) hours of Recertification credit are awarded for each quarter hour of college/university credit earned.
  • Online or published magazine quizzes, related to EHS or auditing, and requiring verification that the quiz has been successfully completed. 1 hour per month is allowed, for a maximum of 12 hours per each year period.


4.0 Publications Written

A maximum of 60 hours may be awarded in the publications category per 5-year recertification cycle (12 hours per year). Generally, one full journal page of single-spaced print is equal to 2 hours of recertification credit, with the following limits on one publication:

  • Books – 12 hours
  • Articles – 8 hours
  • Research papers – 8 hours.

Contributions to publications should pertain to EHS or auditing. Published articles or books not related directly to EHS or auditing are acceptable if CPEAs/CPSAs are able to demonstrate that these activities contribute to their professional audit proficiency.


5.0 Oral Presentations

A maximum of 60 hours may be awarded in the oral presentations category per 5-year recertification cycle (12 hours per year). Courses you teach should be classified as “Oral Presentations”.

  • The hours reported for the first presentation will be based on the presentation time, plus credit for preparation time equivalent to three times the presentation time.
  • Subsequent presentations of the same material may be reported as presentation time only, up to a maximum of 30 Credit hours per 5-year recertification cycle (6 hours per year).

6.0 Participation activities

A maximum of 60 hours may be awarded in the participation category per 5-year recertification cycle (12 hours per year) for:

  • Participation as an officer or committee member in a professional industry organization related to EHS or auditing. One Credit hour for each hour of qualifying participation will be awarded.
  • Participation in a quality assurance review (also known as a “peer” review). One Credit hour for each hour spent on site will be awarded. No Credit hours will be awarded for activities such as preparation time and writing the report.
  • Pro-bono participation in a community volunteer program relevant to EHS or auditing issues. Documentation of the activity will be required:
    • Credit will be awarded for volunteer activities within, or for, an organization possessing an environmental, health, safety, homeland security, emergency response, public safety, or public health mission. One Credit hour for each hour of qualifying participation will be awarded.
    • Credits are awarded for activities, which specifically involve the development or significant improvement of the beneficiary organization’s abilities to audit or assess the effectiveness of its program(s). For example, for participation in a community or regional public health emergency preparedness drill, credit would be awarded for the development or improvement of methods to assess the effectiveness of the various components of the emergency drill and identify prioritized opportunities for improvement, or for the implementation of such systems.
    • Documentation of the volunteer activity should be obtained in the form of a letter or other written correspondence from the supervisor or director of the volunteer organization or activity, to be maintained by the applicant for re-certification.


7.0 Other activities

  • Audit activities
    A maximum of 60 hours may be awarded in the audit category per 5-year recertification cycle (12 hours per year) for:
    1. Participation as an audit team member.
    2. Management of an EHS auditing function.
  • Achievement of other certifications:
    A maximum of 60 hours may be awarded per 5-year recertification cycle (12 hours per year) period for passing other certifications, which include the following: CIA, CPA, CSP, CIH, CHMM, CRSP, QEP. This is counted only once during when the certification is initially awarded.