ASP & CSP Exam: How I Passed the First Time!

A career that is as rewarding as it is challenging, a Safety Career is the perfect blend of art and science, human interaction, and technical expertise. 

So often, I see this question: “What do I need to pass the ASP and CSP Exam?” In this piece, I tell you (and share) what I used to pass these exams the first time I took them! 

I am not affiliated with any of the following entities. The following is how I achieved success with these two exams. As an Amazon Associate, I do earn from qualifying purchases.

Apply for Exam

Before you can register for the exam, BCSP has to approve you to sit for the exam.  (See the complete list of ASP requirements or CSP requirements)

Exam Approval! Make a Study Plan

The only way to know how much time you need to study is to determine your current level of understanding, strengths, and weaknesses. I used and recommend BCSP Online Assessment for both exams.

Based off the results of that Assessment, you'll then craft a study plan and determine how much time you need to achieve an adequate level of preparedness.  I recommend scheduling the CSP soon after the ASP, if possible, so you don't have to re-learn material covered in the ASP Exam.

I studied for the ASP every other day for several hours for an intensive two-month period. I took the exam, passed, and then spent about 1-2 months studying for the CSP. I was able to study much less vigorously, focusing simply on the Span International Certbok (see below) because I had already done most of the heavy lifting in my preparation for the ASP.

Study Tactics – What worked for me

  1. Read David Yates', Safety Professional's Reference and Study Guide cover to cover. For every chapter/chapter summary:
    • Make a list of all of the vocab and concepts
    • Make a digital study guide that can easily be added to
    • Make physical flashcards of the vocab
    • Review vocab a couple of times a week
  2. Lean heavily on your experience. The best way to remember concepts is to draw parallels to your hands-on experiences!
  3. I purchased the Span International, ASP and Certbok Workbook Combo and CSP and Workbook Combo.
    1. For each Certbok topic/section:
      • Complete all of the practice questions
      • For every question that I got incorrect, I copied the Certbok explanation into the digital study guide for that topic
      • Add any unknown vocab to my flashcards
    2. Certbok will not let you consider a section “complete” until 90% correct answers are achieved, requiring a true mastery of the material to continue.
  4. PocketPrep ASP and PocketPrep CSP App – free versions. I liked being able to whip out a couple of practice questions on my phone while waiting for a meeting to start, in line at the food truck, or waiting for the coffee to be brewed in the mornings. It helped keep the material easily accessible.
  5. Print and review study guide and flashcards every few days.
  6. Retake the BCSP Online Assessment as a gauge of progress when you feel sufficiently prepared to take each exam. (I did not take either exam until I got > 80% correct on these practice tests.)

Resources I didn't find extremely useful

  • Roger Brauer's Safety and Health for Engineers.  I found this a helpful text to supplement technical information, but I didn't need it to pass either exam.
  • Bowen's Online ASP/CSP course – I would not recommend this method to others. I tried it, attending all lectures and completing all homework, and did not find it specific enough for either exam.
  • Span International Workbooks –  I did not use the workbooks, as they are identical in topic and questions to the Certbok. The BCSP exams are computer-based exams, so it did not make sense to study from a workbook.

Good luck!!

Without an operation, there would be no work. Without a safe operation, there is no operating. It's that simple.  

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