Occupational Health & Safety is concerned with the safety and security of both the worker and the employer.
This program is designed for people employed in, or interested in, safety in the workplace. To be eligible for the OH&S certificate, students must complete 20.0 credits of required courses, 25.0 credits of elective courses for a total of 45.0 credits.
Employment for trained safety professionals is available in a variety of industries including: Oil and Gas; Forestry; Manufacturing; Health Care; Municipalities; Education; Construction; Hospitality and Tourism.
BCIT has offered a Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety for over 25 years! We currently have students throughout Canada learning to work effectively as safety professionals.
Students who register into the program typically are already working in safety-related positions, are planning to move into safety positions at their current workplace, or wish to develop their career in safety. Students should have high school graduation or extensive work experience before entering the program. Courses are taught at a first-year college level and adequate communication (reading, research, writing, and presentation) skills are required to be successful.
Our 45-credit certificate program, delivered via distance education, allows students the option of working full-time while completing the certificate program. As most of our courses are worth 3 credits, the program works out to about 15 courses. Most students can obtain the certificate by studying part-time for between 1.5 and 5 years depending upon their course load each term.
BCIT offers three terms in a calendar year: January (Winter), April (Spring) and September (Fall). Each term is 12-weeks in length, and begins on the 1st Monday of the month.
It's highly recommended you always register at least 6-8 weeks prior to any term start to ensure enrolment in your course(s) of choice. In particular, the OCHS 1000 fills extremely quickly, and for this course, it's recommended you register within two days of the registration period opening.
It's important for you to know that there is no 'waitlist' system for BCIT Part-time Studies courses. You can, however, continue to monitor the OCHS course webpage over the registration period to see if a registered student drops out of the course, thereby leaving a space available.
When it comes to registering for courses, there are two (2) types of students: Fee-paying students... and sponsored students. If you are paying for your own registration then, according to BCIT Registration, you do not have to go through the sponsored student process. For more info on sponsorship go to the program entry page.
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Note: This information session was held March 29, 2012 and topics discussed in this session are subject to change without notice.
BCIT part-time studies courses and programs are taught assuming that registrants not only have a BC Grade 12 level of English, but also have proficiency in all four language skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.
Apply to program
If a course has one or more prerequisites, you are responsible for ensuring that you have either successfully completed the prerequisite course, or have the equivalent skills and knowledge, prior to registration.
Part-time studies terms start in January, April and September. Check for registration dates here - plan on registering early to ensure you get a seat. Course start dates may vary.
If you are a sponsored student (defined by a third-party funding agency/employer who wishes to be invoiced/billed by BCIT for your course tuition costs at the time of registration), meeting registration deadlines can be more complex (and often, more of a challenge).
Course registration for sponsored students is done on a term-by-term basis by using the 'Part-time Studies Registration for Sponsored Students' Form plus a 'Letter of Authorization' from your sponsor. Please review the PDF attachment entitled: 'Sponsorship Information + Forms'.
For more comprehensive information, students should contact Dave Wood, Certificate Program Head for advising and a possible 'proposed program'.
Course Materials: BCIT Bookstore - Sponsored Students
Course Tuition: Admission & Registration - Sponsorship
Course materials are not included in the course tuition. If your sponsor is also covering the cost of your course materials, the ordering is done directly with the BCIT Bookstore (after course registration) on a term-by-term basis by using the 'Bookstore Sponsorship' Form plus a 'Letter of Authorization' from your sponsor.
Please review the PDF attachment entitled: 'Sponsorship Information + Forms'.
Courses related to OH&S skill or knowledge required by safety professionals may be accepted for transfer credit towards our OH&S Certificate.
To find out more about transferring credits, please contact:
BCIT OH&S Faculty
Phone: 604-451-7118 / 1-800-663-6542, ext. 7118
A maximum of 15.0 'elective' credits may be transferred towards the 45 credit certificate. Transfer credit will only be reviewed for courses completed within the past five years.
Courses considered have to be:
Courses excluded are:
Examples of acceptable courses:
The cost of tuition for an OH&S distance education course (effective Spring 2012) is: $342 for a 2-credit course; $513 for a 3-credit course; and $683 for a 4-credit course (the majority of our distance courses are 3-credit courses)! Course tuition is paid on a term-by-term basis. An approximate cost of the entire 45-credit Certificate Program (if all courses are taken at BCIT) would be $7,695. Note: Potential future tuition-fee increases will 'up' this overall total.
An additional $1200-$1500 should be budgeted for course manuals, textbooks + DVDs which need to be purchased for each course directly through the BCIT Bookstore on a term-by-term basis.
Note to International Students: OCHS distance course tuition fees are set at 1.25 times the tuition fees for domestic students.
The Occupational Health & Safety Certificate consists of 45 credits (this translates to approximately 15 courses). The current program structure is made up of 2 components: REQUIRED courses (20 credits) and ELECTIVE courses (25 credits).
You may obtain your 45 credits by taking all BCIT OCHS courses or you may choose to take (or transfer) up to 15 of the 25 ELECTIVE course credits from other post-secondary institutions, as long as they are related to the field, and approved by the OH&S Department. As a general rule, in-house training seminars do not qualify for transfer credits.
All 'Required' and 'Elective' OCHS distance courses are offered each term (Winter, Spring + Fall). subject to change.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
This 45-credit Certificate is completed through distance education - these are print-based correspondence courses with a tutor (tutors are your curriculum specialists and are available on a weekly basis throughout the term via phone or email). Some of the courses have an online component which require weekly internet access.
At this time, we are not offering any OCHS courses on campus (night school). The passing grade for all BCIT OCHS 12-week courses is 60% (with the completion of all specified course requirements: usually two assignments, a mid-term exam and a final exam).
Note: Exams can either be written at the Burnaby Campus Test Centre (if you live in the Metro Vancouver area and choose to use this service) or off-campus (wherever you reside) with a qualified proctor (defined as a 'licensed professional') of your choice. Some courses have online examinations. Further details will be made available to you once you are registered in courses.
There is no initial application process for BCIT's distance education Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety. Course-by-course, term-by-term registration is the norm. There is also no 'specific' deadline to complete all the courses, you simply go from term-to-term! Once you've achieved/accumulated the required 45 credits, you are eligible 'to apply' to BCIT for your Certificate using a form entitled: 'Application For BCIT Credential' (previously known as 'Application For Certification').
Note: Certificate completion can range from one and a half - twp years for some, to up to five years for others! Please be aware that BCIT Policy states that our 45 credit Certificate must be completed in a maximum of 7 years.
It is recommended that those working full-time take no more than two courses per term, while those who are not working and wish to dedicate their time to full-time studies take no more than four courses per term. A basic 'rule of thumb' is as follows: Expect to spend anywhere from twp-four hours per week per course credit.
For example: OCHS 1000 = two credits + OCHS 1200 = three credits for a total of five course credits. Five course credits x two-four hours per week = a range of 10 - 20 hours per week of study over a 12-week semester. Most students find they're at the high end of the scale, so expect to spend around 20 hours per week on these two courses.
There are no specific prerequisites that you need before starting (and, no application process), however, certain courses within the program have prerequisites assigned to them. The prerequisites listed within the OH&S Certificate are strongly suggested 'guidelines'. Students with little safety knowledge should take courses in numerical order as much as possible. Our courses build upon knowledge gained in earlier courses.The general 'rule of thumb' is:
Students with no or little safety experience should start the program with OCHS 1000 only.
Students with safety experience can start the program with OCHS 1000 plus another course (i.e. OCHS 1000 + OCHS 1200... or... OCHS 1000 + OCHS 2100). It's assumed that someone working in safety should already be familiar with basic legislation and accident causation theory amongst other things.
Courses in the OH&S Certificate are taught at a first-year college level. Before starting the program, it is highly recommended students have extensive work experience and/or Grade 12 completion with courses in English 12, Math 12 and Chemistry and Biology 11. Of these courses, English and Math are the most critical. Communication is the basic skill requirement of every safety professional, adequate communication (reading, research, writing, and presentation) skills are necessary for success.
To obtain information regarding financial aid, please visit the BCIT Financial Aid & Awards webpages for Full-time programs and Part-time Studies. The Financial Aid & Awards reception can be reached by phone at 604-432-8555.
If you need advising on individual course selection or on putting together a 'proposed program' of the full 45-credit Certificate or if you require documentation for a sponsoring employer or agency, please contact:
OH&S Certificate Program Head,
Toll-free: 1-800-663-6542, ext. 8220
Email at email@example.com .
Dave is also available if you'd like to discuss the industry in general (job opportunities, salaries, etc.) and even further post-secondary education.
To find out more about transferring credits towards our OH&S Certificate, please click on the elective credit link.
The OH&S Certificate program does not grant PLAR credit for work experience.
Course registration can be completed ONLINE (with a BCIT Student ID#) or by PHONE.
To contact Student Information & Enrolment Services (SIES), please contact:
Toll-free: 1-866-434-1610 (press menu Option 1 for 'Part-time Studies Registration').
Payment must be made at the time of registration. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted.
Note: If you are a sponsored-student, please register by using the 'Part-Time Studies Registration for Sponsored Students' form plus a 'Letter of Authorization' from your sponsor. This form should be completed by you and your sponsor, on a term-by-term basis, and faxed in. Use of this registration form will ensure that your sponsor is billed / invoiced for course tuition fees.
After registering for a course(s), fee-paying students will be required to order or purchase their own course materials (course manuals, texts, DVDs, etc) via BCIT's Bookstore (located on the BCIT Burnaby campus).
Materials can be ordered
You should ensure that your materials have been ordered at least 2 weeks prior to any term start. Note: If you are a sponsored-student, please order by using the 'Bookstore Sponsorship' form plus a 'Letter of Authorization' from your sponsor. This form should be completed by your sponsor, on a term-by-term basis, and faxed in. Use of this order form will ensure that your sponsor is billed / invoiced for course material costs.
Disability Resource Centre
As a distance student, you might be interested to know that BCIT provides the service of a Disability Resource Centre (DRC). The DRC offers a range of support services for student with disabilities.
Documentation of a disability(s) is required to establish individual accommodation plans for students in both part-time and full-time programs of study.
Aboriginal Services Department
All BCIT OCHS courses in the OH&S Certificate may be credited toward the OH&S Diploma program.
Note: A minimum 70% final grade must be achieved in each course in order to be credited to the Diploma.
If you wish to enter the full-time, 2-year, class-based, diploma program, you must:
To further discuss the Diploma program, please contact:
Rob Miller (BCIT OH&S Diploma Program Head)
Toll-free: 1-800-663-6542, ext. 7118,
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, there was no initial application to BCIT's distance education Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety. Course-by-course, term-by-term registration is the norm.
Once you've achieved/accumulated the required 45 course credits, you're eligible to make formal application to BCIT for your Certificate using a single form entitled 'Application For BCIT Credential'.
It's suggested you complete this form at the end of your final term (that is, the term in which you complete your 45th credit).
Please fax the form directly to Dave Wood, OH&S Certificate Program Head at 604-432-8988.
Once your final term courses have been successfully completed, Dave will ensure your application is forwarded to BCIT's Student Records Office, where your official Certificate will be issued and mailed out to you, along with an invitation to BCIT's convocation ceremony (should you wish to attend).
It's in this final processing that any pre-approved transfer credits will be added to your academic history / transcript.
If you require confirmation of your total credits to date and/or your pre-approved transfer credit, please feel free to contact Dave Wood directly by phone at 604-432-8220 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Graduates of the program have several career options which often depend upon their previous work experience. Success in obtaining a safety related position relies upon what you can offer the employer. The average certificate student is in their early 40's; often they are injured workers or have a background in trades or other hazardous work.
Opportunities for employment in the safety field are excellent for the following reasons:
In addition to the required academic training, most employers look for experience in their particular industry, personality type (someone who will fit in) and good communication skills. You should be able to present yourself in a professional manner and be able to talk to both management and workers at the appropriate level.
Other factors that will influence your potential for employment include the particular industry you want to work in and your work history. Industries with major workplace hazards require more safety professionals. Examples include; Oil and Gas; Construction; Manufacturing; Forestry; Transportation; Health Care.
Work history is more important to employers in certain industries such as oil and gas, forestry and construction, as a safety professional must be knowledgeable of these very complex work environments. In most other industries strong safety training will allow you to learn the particular job requirements as you go.
Historically, many safety professionals were hired in-house as they moved into safety positions after being injured on the job or the migrated into the position out of interest and necessity. Often these new safety professionals would take many day-long to week-long courses over many years to acquire the training they needed to be the well rounded, competent professionals that they are today.
Because of due diligence requirements companies are looking for safety professionals with certain levels of certification. Unless the job is strictly compliance based a Certificate in OH&S is probably going to be the minimum requirement. Multinationals usually ask for the Diploma in OH&S as a minimum requirement as their safety programs are generally broader and more sophisticated requiring a deeper understanding of safety management.
Please ensure you have reviewed the detailed information on this site, using the navigation to the right, before submitting the form below.
As well, if you meet any of the following criteria, please follow the links for more information, instead of sending the form:
As BCIT strives to keep our programs current, programs and courses are subject to change without notice.