Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response

Part-time/Distance & Online Learning Certificate 6850cert


Fall 2020 Delivery Mode: BLENDED

  • This program will be delivered for the fall semester as a combination of online and on-campus learning.
  • Faculty will notify students of when their attendance on campus will be required.
  • We are putting measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see BCIT COVID-19 Return to Operations for details on the mandatory procedures that have been implemented.
  • Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

It is highly recommended students register at least 2-4 weeks prior to term start to ensure enrolment in OCHS courses. OCHS 1000 fills extremely quickly; for this course, it is recommended to enrol within two weeks of registration opening.

There is no 'waitlist' system for BCIT part-time studies courses. Once a section is full, 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.

BCIT's Occupational Health and Safety certificate program is the largest and most recognized in Canada. Our program is for people with five or more years of work experience looking to move into a health and safety role in their existing workplace or industry.

Occupational health and safety (OCHS) involves identifying, assessing, and managing risks in work environments. Our students come from many industries, ranging from construction, manufacturing, and health care, and are looking to learn how they can support and promote healthier workplaces.

About the program

  • Part-time certificate program that takes on average 18-24 months to complete
  • Distance education provides you with greater flexibility to keep working while you study
  • Learn at your pace and take up to seven years to graduate

See Program Details for more information about BCIT's Occupational Health and Safety certificate program.

Who it's for

This program is for individuals who:

  • Have a passion for safety and creating safe work environments for others
  • Enjoy working directly with people at all levels and positions
  • Thrive in a dynamic and demanding work environment
  • Have five years or more of work experience
  • Have computer skills and a high school education (recommended, not required)

Discover if BCIT's Occupational Health and Safety certificate is right for you – visit Program Entry for details.

What grads can do

On the road to creating workplaces that are safe and healthy, our graduates find that their days are full of variety. No two days are the same. Want more information on what a career in occupational health and safety looks like? See Graduating and Jobs to find out.

View a Program Information Session

Watch the program overviewNote: This information session was held March 29, 2012 and topics discussed are subject to change without notice.

Program Entry

Entrance requirements

Part-time studies courses are taught assuming 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. Courses are taught at a first-year college level and adequate communication skills are essential to succeed in the program.

Course registration

A formal application is not required to take part-time OCHS courses by distance education. Enrolment is on a course-by-course basis, one term at a time.

Please note: There is no "wait list" system for part-time studies at BCIT. Registration happens on-line on a first-come-first-served basis.

Scheduled Intakes

Part-time studies terms start in January, April, and September. Course start dates vary. Students are advised to check the BCIT website for important dates and to refer to the program matrix for individual course start dates. Plan on registering for courses early to avoid missing out on available spaces. Some OCHS courses fill up within a day or two of the first day of registration, particularly OCHS 1000.


If a course has one or more prerequisites, it is the student who is responsible for ensuring that she has either successfully completed the prerequisite course, or has the equivalent skills and knowledge, prior to registration.

The prerequisites listed within the OH&S Certificate are strongly recommended. Students with little safety knowledge should take courses in numerical order as much as possible. Our courses build upon knowledge gained in earlier courses.

Students with little to no safety experience should start the program with OCHS 1000 only. Students with safety experience can start the program with OCHS 1000 plus another course (for example, OCHS 1000 and OCHS 1200, or OCHS 1000 and OCHS 2100).

Student services

Accessibility Services
Accessibility Services offers a range of support services for student with disabilities, including part-time students and students studying by distance education.

Documentation of a disability is required to establish individual accommodation plans for students in both part-time and full-time programs of study.

To book an appointment with a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist/Learning Specialist, please contact Accessibility Services or email

Indigenous Services Department
Another student service is the Indigenous Services Department. They can be reached by phone at 604-432-8474 or by email at


Please take the time to read through all the information about the program on our website and watch the video from the info session posted on the Overview page. 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:

David Wood, OH&S Certificate Program Head,
Tel: 604-432-8220
Toll-free: 1-800-663-6542, ext. 8220
Email at

The program head is also available to discuss the industry in general (job opportunities, salaries, etc.) and further post-secondary education.

International applicants

This program is not available to international students. View available programs

Scheduled intakes

Ongoing Part-time Studies intakes: January, April and September.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Part-time Studies Tuition & Fees page for information on part-time tuition fees.

Financial assistance

Financial assistance may be available for this program. For more information, please contact Student Financial Aid and Awards.


Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

1. Required Courses: (20 credits) Credits
  OCHS 1000 Occupational Health and Safety Fundamentals 2.0
  OCHS 1200 Accident Causation and Analysis 3.0
  OCHS 2100 OHS Legislation 3.0
  OCHS 2200 Safety Program Design 3.0
  OCHS 2320 Workplace Hazards and Controls 1 3.0
  OCHS 2340 Workplace Hazards and Controls 2 3.0
  OCHS 2420 Hazardous Materials Management 3.0
2. Complete a minimum of 25.0 credits from the following list of electives: Credits
  OCHS 1100 BC OHS Legislation 3.0
  OCHS 1600 Business Law 2.0
  OCHS 2440 Emergency Preparedness and Response 3.0
  OCHS 3200 Safety System Analysis 3.0
  OCHS 3360 Workplace Hazards and Controls 3 3.0
  OCHS 3520 Ergonomics 4.0
  OCHS 3620 Disability Case Management 3.0
  OCHS 4320 Occupational Hygiene 4.0
  OCHS 4340 Occupational Hygiene Lab 4.0
  OCHS 4360 Occupational Diseases 3.0
  OCHS 4420 Fire Safety Planning 3.0
  OCHS 4440 Fire Safety Systems 3.0
  OCHS 4520 Environmental Management 3.0
  OCHS 4600 CRSP Exam Preparation 2.0
A maximum of 15.0 elective credits may be transferred from another program or institution and used towards the Certificate, provided they are approved by the Program Head.
Total Credits: 45.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

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.

Program Details

Program delivery

Our 45-credit certificate program, delivered via distance education, allows students the option of working full-time while completing their studies. As most OCHS courses are worth three credits, the program works out to about 15 courses. Most students can obtain the certificate by studying part-time for between one and one half and five years, depending upon their course load each term. To attain an OH&S certificate from BCIT, students must complete 20.0 credits of required courses and 25.0 credits of elective courses.

Part-time OCHS courses are print-based correspondence courses with a tutor. Tutors are curriculum specialists and are available on a weekly basis throughout the term via phone or email. All courses have an online component which will require weekly internet access.

At this time, we are not offering any night school OCHS courses on campus.

Examinations and grades

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. All courses have online examinations. Further details will be made available to you once you are registered in courses.

The passing grade for all BCIT OCHS 12-week courses is 60%, plus completion of all specified course requirements: usually two assignments, a mid-term exam, and a final exam.

Time commitment and workload

Note: Certificate completion can range from one and a half to two years for some, to up to five years for others. Please be aware that BCIT Policy states that part-time studies credentials must be completed within a maximum of seven 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 two to four hours per week per course credit.

For example: if a student took OCHS 1000 (2 credits) plus OCHS 1200 (3 credits), for a total of five course credits, then he could expect to spend 10-20 hours per week in study over the 12-week term (5 x 2=10; 5 x 4=20). Most students find that they are at the high end of this range, so it is wise to budget around 20 hours per week on these two courses.

Laddering to the diploma

Only 1st level and 2nd level OH&S Certificate Program courses are considered for transfer credit into the diploma program, dependent on five-year recency.

Note: A minimum 70% final grade must be achieved in OCHS courses in order to be credited to the Diploma.

If you wish to enter the full-time, two-year, class-based, diploma program you must:

  • meet additional academic requirements;
  • submit an application with resume;
  • plan to spend two years full-time (with a reduced course-load) at the BCIT Burnaby Campus.

To further discuss the Diploma program, please contact:

Bobby Sidhu
BCIT OH&S Faculty
Phone: 604-451-7118 / 1-800-663-6542, ext. 7118
Fax: 604-432-8988

Graduating & Jobs

Our grads get work

For over 30 years, BCIT has been a strong leader in occupational health and safety training. Our grads work in communities across the country in a variety of areas from schools, health care, and government to oil, mining, and corporations.

Career opportunities

The certificate program gives you tools to apply your existing work experience or to entry-level safety positions such as:

  • Safety technician
  • Safety coordinator
  • Project safety coordinator

Careers start at approximately $53,000 annually, with numerous development and advancement opportunities. As you gain work experience after graduation, you can pursue senior positions in health and safety leadership and planning.

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 graduates and for Degree 2015-2017 graduates. The reports are organized into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their education. More detailed information can be accessed at the BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Apply for graduation

Upon successful completion of all program requirements, complete an Application for BCIT Credential [PDF] and submit it to Student Information and Enrolment Services.

Allow approximately six to eight weeks for processing.

All financial obligations to the Institute must be met prior to issuance of any credential.

Transfer Credits

You may obtain your 45 credits by taking all BCIT OCHS courses, or you may choose to transfer up to 15 of the 25 ELECTIVE course credits from other post-secondary institutions. Transfer credits must be related to the field and approved by the OH&S Department. Please note: As a general rule, in-house training seminars do not qualify for transfer credits.

A maximum of 15 ELECTIVE credits may be transferred towards the 45 credit certificate. Transfer credit will only be reviewed for courses completed within the past five years.

To find out more about transferring credits, please contact:

Bobby Sidhu
BCIT OH&S Program Head, Diploma Program
Phone: 604-451-7118 / 1-800-663-6542, ext. 7118
Fax: 604-432-8988

Courses that will be considered have to be:

  • at least one day (eight hours) in length;
  • taught by a recognized post-secondary institution or training agency;
  • related to the skill/knowledge of a safety professional;
  • evaluated.

Courses excluded are:

  • conference courses;
  • internal company courses;
  • course which issue a 'Certificate of Attendance';
  • courses less than one day (eight hours) in length.

Examples of acceptable courses:

  • Occupational First Aid Level 3 (ticket must be valid at date of graduation);
  • H2S Alive;
  • TDG or WHMIS Train-the-Trainer courses;
  • Courses in accident investigation, confined space entry, forklifts, violence in the workplace, emergency preparedness, and auditing;
  • CORE courses;
  • Courses in business, human resources, organizational behaviour, and communications.

Sponsored Students

Sponsored students are those that have a third-party funding agency or employer who wishes to be invoiced/billed by BCIT for their course tuition costs at the time of registration. Course registration is more complex for sponsored students and meeting registration deadlines can be more challenging.

Course registration for sponsored students is done on a term-by-term basis by using the Part-time Studies Registration for Sponsored Students form [PDF] plus a Letter of Authorization [PDF] from your sponsor.

For more comprehensive information, students should contact Dave Wood, Certificate Program Head, for advising.

Course Materials 

Course materials are not included in the course tuition. 

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

OH&S Certificate Staff

David Wood
Program Head

Nicky Land
Program Assistant (Exams)

Contact Us

David Wood
Program Head, Occupational Health & Safety (Certificate Program)


Fax: 604-432-8988

Questions or comments?

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:

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The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the College and Institute Act (RSBC 1996, Ch.52). BCIT will use this information to communicate with you regarding relevant BCIT programs, courses and services. This information is only used by authorized BCIT staff. Email communication sent to and from BCIT is routed through the United States of America. If you have any questions about BCIT's collection and use of this information, please contact BCIT’s manager of Information Access and Privacy.

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The BCIT OH&S program allowed me to study at my own pace and continue full-time employment while completing the certificate. I appreciated the understanding and knowledgeable instructors that were available to guide me and answer my questions. I felt fully supported from everyone involved in helping me reach my goals. The best part of it all was being able to participate in the convocation ceremony held in February 2015.
Shannon Alfred, Health & Safety Manager at the 'Namgis First Nation Health Centre


I enjoyed the Occupational Health & Safety Certificate program completely. After a full career in the RCMP, I began the OH&S program while working at Teck Resources Limited. I worked full time as a Protective Services Officer while completing the program online and am now awaiting the opportunity for a safety position. The tutor system worked very well for all the courses, allowing me to continue taking the program while working and while becoming a new grandfather.
Michael Schmaltz, Teck Resources Limited


I would highly recommend this course to anyone currently working within an OHS role. It truly encouraged me to dig deeper and review the many layers of the existing programs in place, it also challenged me to think outside the box and go outside my comfort zone by reaching out to other companies and industries in order to inquire about or review their programs and practices. The OHS Certificate gave me the right tools and confidence to truly excel in my role.
Carrie Harilstad, Safety Manager, Princeton Lumber Division, Weyerhaeuser

Fire Extinguisher Service Technician

We offer one course that can lead to certification through ASTTBC. For more information on the certification requirements please see the ASTTBC website.

This course can be offered at your worksite.