Institute for Safety and Health Management (ISHM), an accredited provider of certifications for EHS professionals, announces that it will introduce two new certifications for school safety professionals during the 46th annual conference of the National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials, to be held July 26-29, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Certified School Safety Manager (CSSM) recognizes educators and security professionals who demonstrate safety management skills and are responsible for facilitating safety across multiple departments. Certified School Safety Specialist (CSSS) recognizes educators, support staff, and security professionals who are involved in carrying out safety and security activities.

Developed by subject matter experts in occupational health and safety and education, with the support of NASSLEO, these certifications are the first of their kind for safety professionals working in education.

“School safety programs are often a joint venture between safety committees and local law enforcement,” said Ausrine Karaitis, CSHM, FAIC, and Professional Standards Committee Chairperson for ISHM. “These certifications validate specific knowledge, skills, and experience a variety of individuals working within the education system may have as it relates to school safety. The certifications align closely with NASSLEO’s membership and mission,” she said. 

“School safety and security issues are changing daily. We need to ensure that those individuals responsible for health and safety of children, staff, and visitors receive the highest level of training and education that is available,” said Larry Johnson, President of NASSLEO, which works with school districts and law enforcement to develop best practices and resources for school safety leaders, administrators, and managers.

NASSLEO’s more than 1500 members are eligible to receive a 50 percent discount on initial application fees. “As we announces this partnership with ISHM, we hope that not only our members, but anyone who is involved in school safety and security, will take advantage of this great opportunity to obtain professional certification,” said Johnson.

During the initial roll-out period through 2016, qualified individuals can receive CSSM or CSSS certification without taking an exam. After Jan. 1, 2017, CSSM exams will evaluate knowledge of program management, budgeting, labor relations, disaster management, and other safety and security management topics. Candidates seeking CSSS will be tested on their understanding of hazard analyses, incident investigations, safety audits, and surveys, for example. However, the qualifications are less stringent than those of the CSSM. 

“Safe schools is about so much more than lock-down drills and gun control. Studies show that injury rates and work comp claims are threatening the insurability of some school districts, especially those in more rural states where there is less structured risk management,” said Ron Dotson, CSHM, and Associate Professor, Occupational Safety Department, Eastern Kentucky University.

Dotson, who served on ISHM’s program development committee, explains that few universities include environmental, health and safety in curriculum for educators, yet many school boards, administrators, and security personnel are involved in risk management activities.

“ISHM has a reputation for developing certifications that are practical and founded in day-to-day workplace safety activities. CSSM and CSSS certifications take a three-prong approach to school safety, encompassing security, general safety, and emergency response. That’s a practical approach that increases the level of professionalism for educators and security personnel who are managing school safety. I believe these certifications are a first step in making safety management a recognized necessity for career advancement in schools.”

About Institute for Safety and Health Management

Institute for Safety and Health Management provides accredited certifications for Safety and Health Managers and Practitioners. It is the only HSE certification provider that focuses on the entire safety management process. It recognizes safety professionals for the education and experience they have gained and is widely accepted by Occupational Health and Safety Departments in General Industry, Construction, Oil and Gas, Utilities, Healthcare and Emergency Management markets.