Occupational Safety Concentration Receives QAP Status

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) has approved UNC Charlotte’s Occupational Safety Concentration as a Graduate Safety Practitioner® (GSP) Quality Academic Program (QAP), certifying that the program has met minimum requirements for student curriculum in the safety field. The Occupational Safety Concentration is part of the Fire and Safety Engineering Technology (FRST) program within the Engineering Technology and Construction Management (ETCM) Department.

“This is a rather significant accomplishment for our program,” said Dr. Tony Brizendine, ETCM Department Chair, “in that our students selecting this concentration now have a direct pathway to Certified Safety Professional (CSP) status. Students graduating from this concentration will now be able to obtain the Graduate Safety Practitioner (GSP) designation and earn a digital badge from the BCSP. This is fantastic news for our current students, prospective students (and their parents), our industry partners, and the global employers of our graduates.”

Occupational Safety is one of three concentrations within UNC Charlotte’s FRST program. Other concentrations are Fire Safety, which is geared towards career firefighters wanting to move into management roles, and Fire Protection, which is geared towards teaching students to identify risks and design safeguards that prevent and mitigate the effects of fires, such as with fire suppression and alarm systems or managing wildfires.

The Occupational Safety Concentration prepares students for a variety of careers in health and safety fields, where a broad background in the physical and life sciences and a foundation in fire science are essential. Coursework, experiential learning, quantitative analysis, and computer skills are heavily emphasized, and a capstone experience (internship, co-op, or a supervised directed project) is required to prepare graduates for work as entry-level occupational safety professionals.

The job market for occupational safety has been strong for years, with more positions available than people to fill them. In the current COVID19 environment there will be even more jobs, as businesses try to figure out how best to safely return people to work.

Dr. Michael Benjamin is director of the UNC Charlotte Occupational Safety Concentration. “The benefit of the BCSP certification is it sets us apart from other programs,” Dr. Benjamin said. “The certification also lets our students know that when they take our program, the curriculum is going to cover what they will need for their future career professional certifications.”

More information about the FSET Occupational Safety Concentration is here - https://et.uncc.edu/undergraduate-programs/fire-safety-engineering-technology/occupational-safety