Chemical Hygiene Officer

The National Registry of Certified Chemists began a certification program for Chemical Hygiene Officers in 1997.

Education and Experience Standards for Chemical Hygiene Officer Certification

Applicants must meet at least one of the following education/experience requirements.

  • Academic training (no degree) with at least 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemical, physical, biological, industrial hygiene, environmental, or health and safety sciences from an institution acceptable to the Board and at least 3 years of experience in chemical health and safety.
  • Earned associate’s degree with at least 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemical, physical, biological, industrial hygiene, environmental, or health and safety sciences from an institution acceptable to the Board and at least 2 years of experience in chemical health and safety.
  • Earned bachelor’s degree with at least 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemical, physical, biological, industrial hygiene, environmental, or health and safety sciences from an institution acceptable to the Board and at least 1 year of experience in chemical health and safety.
  • Earned master’s degree with at least 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemical, physical, biological, industrial hygiene, environmental, or health and safety sciences from an institution acceptable to the Board and at least 1 year of experience in chemical health and safety.
  • Earned doctoral degree with at least 16 semester hours (24 quarter hours) in chemical, physical, biological, industrial hygiene, environmental, or health and safety sciences from an institution acceptable to the Board and at least 1 year of experience in chemical health and safety.

Experience requirements must have been met within 6 years of the application date.

Acceptable institutions are institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada accredited by a regional accrediting association or whose pertinent program is accredited by a national accrediting agency.

Transcripts must be sent by institutions directly to NRCC.

Applicants with education obtained at institutions of higher education outside the United States and Canada must, at their expense, have credentials evaluated for equivalence by an acceptable evaluation agency for foreign transcript evaluations and such equivalency reports as to degrees and courses will be used to determine whether an applicant meets the NRCC standards for degrees and courses. A list of acceptable evaluation agencies will be provided by the Board.

Reports must show course titles and equivalent hours and must be sent by agencies directly to NRCC.

Examination Standards

  • Chemical Hygiene Officer certification examinations consist of 150 multiple-choice questions covering both the theoretical, fundamental, and practical aspects of chemical health and safety.
  • The taxonomy method of Knowledge is used with Levels: recall or memory; interpretation or comprehension; problem solving or reasoning.
  • Questions are concerned with the OSHA Laboratory Standard; GHS labeling and classification of chemicals; other pertinent regulations; standard operating procedures; hazard assessment; safe work practices; personal hygiene practices; general laboratory practices; special procedures (by hazard class); procedures for select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, highly toxic substances, and substances with unknown toxicity; finding information sources; control measures, including respirators, laboratory ventilation, and exposure monitoring; employee training and information; medical consultation and examination; emergencies, including plans for power failure, spills, etc..laboratory visitors, contractors, maintenance personnel, etc.; record keeping and documentation; and audits, inspections, and self-evaluations.
  • Examinations are developed by a Chemical Hygiene Officer Examination Committee, appointed by the President. The committee determines content areas and relative emphasis for each area. Questions may be solicited from practitioners from within and outside the Board. Questions are analyzed and edited periodically by the Examination Committee to ensure subject matter accuracy and relevancy. Questions are maintained in a database from which items are selected for each form of an examination.
  • Three hours are allowed for completion of an exam.
  • Exams may be scheduled on the applicant’s schedule with approved local proctors. We will be glad to help you locate one near you.
  • Answer sheets are scored in-house at NRCC. Reports of scores, along with normative data, are reviewed by the Board of Directors which sets the passing score for examinations. Candidates are identified in the scoring process by number, not by name. Pass-fail results are reported to candidates.

The current renewal fee for Chemical Hygiene Officer certification is $85.00 for one year, or $230.00 for three years.

See the Fees page for information on testing fees and payments.