Russell Bowen

Russell Bowen

Passing the CIH, the ASP, the CSP, or the CHMM exam is a valiant quest filled with hardship and uncertainty.

You set out on the arduous journey to pass the exam. You know the exam will be tough, but with determination and persistence, you’re confident you will prevail over the examination beast.

You work hard.

You study every night for 2 hours after your kids go to bed.

You get up before your kids to study a couple more hours before heading off to work.

You memorize the TLV Guidebook, and you know the difference between organochlorine and organophosphate. You can even design a push-pull ventilation system with one hand tied behind your back using a crayon and a slide rule.

You run through all the practice questions you can find three, four, five times, and you are fearless. You head into the dragon’s lair, aka the exam center, ready to slay the beast, and......

It doesn’t quite work out the way you intend.

It starts out okay. The exam dragon blows radiation fire at you, and you parry with thermal resistant PPE. Next, he sends a volley of toxic smoke in your direction, and you counter with local exhaust ventilation placed two duct diameters from his nostrils.

Things are looking pretty good.

But then come the scenario questions about working at the lama pack manufacturing facility. You never even knew there were special hazards related to the assembly of lama packs.

Are there ergonomic hazards? What about chemical exposures? Do you need hearing protection when working next to a lama? Who knows?

After the lama pack manufacturing question, it seems to be getting hotter in the lair. It becomes difficult to recall even basic information about benzene and asbestos.

You fight back by correctly answering a basic statistics question, but the dragon disarms you with a confusing epidemiology query.

You barely make it out alive, and you’re not surprised when the dragon’s minion hands you the paper stating that preliminary results indicate you did not pass the exam.

You go home to mend your wounds, and contemplate the sanity of this quest.


What do you do next?

You were extremely prepared, but you were still defeated. Can it be done?

Do you have the stuff to slay the examination dragon?


However, defeating your enemy may not come through battle.

There is an old saying I picked up from Master Wu, the sensei of the cartoons “Lego Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu”. He advises, the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make them your friend.

Now, I know it’s crazy to think of a test as a friend, and who wants a friend that’s always testing you anyway.

Some friends are like that. Some friends constantly challenge us to better ourselves by asking the hard questions. They force us to continue thinking and look for solutions we may not have thought of before.

Just like a friend, the exam changes and grows and evolves. It is a moving target.

You didn’t pass the exam the first time, and the second attempt may not go well either. It doesn’t mean you’re not worthy.

Exam failure just means you need to take the exam again. Some of the best professionals I know had to take the exam multiple times before earning their certification.

It doesn’t mean you have to study harder or longer or more efficiently.

Exam failure just means you have to take it again.

Embrace the uncertainty of the exam. Treat each attempt as a learning experience which adds to your knowledge base helping you to develop your critical thinking skills.

Eventually, you will come to recognize the exam as an old friend who still likes to throw the occasional brain teaser at you.

Keep at it. Don’t give up. You’ll eventually turn the exam dragon into your friend.

I mentor lots of people preparing to pass their EH&S certification exam. Some folks are working toward a safety certification, including the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) and the Certified Safety Professional (CSP). Other folks are working toward passing the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) exam or the Certified Hazardous Material Manager (CHMM) exam.

ASP, CSP, CIH, or CHMM....

Whichever exam we prepare for, it is hard work! The uncertainty of not knowing what is on the exam drives us nuts. We study and prepare for months then question our ability, get overwhelmed, and then never actually sit for the exam. Believe me, I speak from experience.


Fear. Plain and simple.

We’re afraid to fail.

We’re afraid we’re not good enough.

We’re afraid to be embarrassed when we tell our families and friends we didn’t pass our certification exam.

So, we work harder. We study more. We are determined to learn everything. Every single practice question and problem we encounter is another learning opportunity. We’re not going to let anything get by us.

We need to know it all.

How else are we going to pass the exam? Knowing only one or two things about rules and regulations isn’t enough. We need to know everything about rules and regulations along with chemistry, toxicology, engineering and ventilation. Then there’s fall protection, trenching, confined spaces and control of hazardous energy.

Will it ever end?


Remember, you’re an EH&S professional already. Sitting for your certification exam is the last step in the certification process. You meet the requirements and are approved by the certifying board (ABIH, BCSP, IHMM) to sit for the exam. You are a professional in your field and know a lot of really cool stuff.

You don’t need a perfect score to pass. You just need a passing score.

Over the past few years, the passing score on the exams range from a low of about 55% for the CSP to a possible 68% for the CIH.

These are tough exams!

No one expects you to know everything. That’s why the passing score is so low.

You only need to know enough to get by, but remember getting by still means you know quite a bit. Again, you are an expert in the environmental, health, and safety field, and you know a darn sight more than the average bear.


Relax a little.

When you come across a topic as you’re studying that’s way over your head...Stop. Take a break. Give it time to sink in and think on it.

Is it a topic important to your current job? If you work with sources of ionizing radiation, then you need to know a thing or two about shielding and radiation exposure. If you don’t work with these substances, then it is okay to learn a few basics and guess on more advanced questions for the exam.

The exams are mostly filled with fundamental questions on a variety of topics with a few advanced questions in each subject. The best study strategy is to become familiar with the fundamentals and focus your advanced efforts in your particular industry. Your professional experience will help you tremendously.

Remember, no one expects you to know everything. Just like your family physician who knows enough to diagnose a cold from a seizure, you need to have enough general knowledge to minimize risk, and recognize when it is time to call in the experts.

Don’t give up on studying for the exam because you’ve found a very tough question or two or three subjects you don’t have a clue about. Stop and recognize that no one knows everything. You just need be an expert in one or two topics and be familiar with fundamental concepts in the rest of the subjects.

As Kim Collins, a famous track & field athlete stated:

Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection.

You can do it.

You prepared for months, reviewed practice exam questions by the thousands, and you hope you’re prepared enough to take your ASP, CSP, CIH, or CHMM exam. However, there may be some things you haven’t considered that will keep you from passing your certification exam.

I’ve talked to many clients over the years and there are some common themes in regards to reasons why candidates don’t pass their exam. #8 is the least likely reason, and #1 is the most likely.

Counting backwards, here they are: 

Reason #8: Test Center Errors

Test center errors are a rare occurrence, but it can happen. One conversation sticks out in my mind about a CIH candidate who was forbidden to bring his Board-approved calculator into the exam room. The test center proctor wouldn’t listen to his thorough explanation of the rules. His biggest fear came true.

He ended up taking the exam without the use of his calculator, and if memory serves me correctly, I don’t think there was one available on the computer. After some time, the proctor finally checked the rules and realized her error. She brought his calculator to him with 20 minutes remaining on the exam.

Amazingly, he failed the exam by only a few problems. After his dreadful experience at the exam center, he contacted the ABIH and shared his situation with them.The ABIH allowed him to take the exam during the next testing window at no cost.

How to Avoid

Contact the exam center before your test day and verify with them they understand all the rules specific to your exam.


Reason #7: Lack Of Sleep

Remember the days of staying up all night cramming for a college exam? You may think you can do the same for your certification exam. I’m here to tell you. Don’t do it!

You know everything you are going to know. Last minute studying is not worth it. Entering the exam center full of adrenaline and caffeine and a serious sleep deficit will compromise your ability to think clearly and effectively.

How to Avoid

Close the books, try to relax and get a good night’s sleep before the exam. However, the night before the exam may not be the night to do it. I often recommend getting a good night’s sleep two nights before the exam as well. As we all know, exam day jitters may make it difficult to sleep with the knowledge you’re taking a major test the next day.


Reason #6: Exam Anxiety

It’s hard to not have some anxiety about your exam. Unfortunately, many people suffer from severe test anxiety. I’m sure you know a few people who are competent and knowledgeable with the subject matter, but put them into an exam situation, and they freeze up like an icicle. Thinking is difficult, and solutions take too long to form in the brain.

How to Avoid

Talk to a trusted family member or friend before the exam. Share your feelings, emotions, and biggest fears. If a confidante is not available, spend a few minutes writing your feelings down. Talking or writing will reduce your anxiety levels and improve your test performance.


Reason #5: Lack of Preparation

You’ve been a safety manager for 10 years and think “Hey, how hard can this be?” I know everything about safety!” You sign up, take the test, and didn’t even look at the exam blueprint. Lack of preparation is rarely a winning strategy.

How to Avoid

Thoroughly review the material on the Board’s website. Make a list of the domains and rubrics to be covered on the exam. Start a study plan to review each of the topics. You don’t have to take a review course, but if you do, it should provide a fully developed path toward preparing yourself. 


Reason #4: Time Management While Studying

You just can’t stand the idea of making a mistake or not knowing an answer. You study and study and study some more because you want to get every single question correct.

We’ve heard from test takers who’ve spent hours and hours studying a particular topic such as noise or radiation, only to find out there were no questions about the topic on their exam. Understandably, they were very frustrated because they felt they spent too much time studying the wrong material.

How to Avoid

Develop a study plan early on. Plan to review reference materials and practice problems about 2 to 3 times each day for 10 to 20 minute periods. This will keep you fresh, and you are more likely to retain the information.

Spend just a little bit of time reviewing topics that you’re very familiar with. I also recommend spending just a small amount of time reviewing topics that you find very difficult. Spend most of your effort on the topics you don’t know very well, but a moderate effort will improve your performance.


Reason #3: Math Errors

It’s very easy to make a mathematical error when doing relatively simple algebra problems. Unfortunately, the common math errors might be one of your choices on the exam.

How to Avoid

Skip all math problems during your first pass through. When going through the exam the second time, do the easiest problems first, and save the hardest ones for last. If you end guessing because you run out of time, it is better to guess on the harder problems.


Reason #2: Time Management During The Exam

One of the more common problems with passing the certification exams is time management. You only have a set amount of time, and you think you should try each and every problem as it comes in the test. Skipping questions and going back later is not your thing.

The problem with this approach is that not all questions are of equal difficulty, and some of the hardest problems are at the beginning of the exam. Hard problems take more time to solve leaving less time available for the rest of the questions. Your anxiety levels will skyrocket when you spend 15 minutes on problem number three.

How to Avoid

If you can’t easily answer a question within 40 seconds, skip it. Skip all the math questions during the first pass as well. The second time through, work the easiest problems first and save the hardest problems for last. If you begin to run out of time and need to guess, it’s better to guess on the hard ones and move on. 


Reason #1: Not Taking The Exam

Well, this is obvious, isn’t it? Yes, if you don’t take the exam, you won’t pass. On the flip side, if you don’t take the exam, you can’t fail it either. You are so concerned about failing you just keep studying, and studying, and studying some more. No matter how long you studied you never quite feel like you are ready.

How to Avoid

Set your exam date and stick to it! Follow your study plan to the best of your ability, and take the test even if you’re still uncomfortable with some subjects. There is a real possibility that you will pass, and even if you don’t, the experience will be valuable in helping you improve your study plan.


Remember, our greatest achievements often rise from failure.

Don’t let these common errors keep you from passing your exam. You can do it. Create your plan for studying, work your plan, and then follow through with taking the exam.

It won’t easy, but the satisfaction from completing a difficult task is well worth the price.

Once upon a time, there was an EHS (Environmental, Health, and Safety) Professional named Goldilocks. 

Goldilocks worked for a shipping company.  She was a valued member of the management team, and she was well respected by her co-workers. 

One day Goldilocks decided to enhance her career by becoming a Certified Safety Professional (CSP).  She knew she needed to submit an application and pass a written test in order to become certified.

“I know I need to prepare, but where do I get started?” she wondered.

After some investigation, she found there are many paths to certification preparation. Some certification paths wander through the forest of self-study, while others lead through the village of independent group study.  Still other paths get bogged down in the swamp of too much information.

Goldilocks first chose to prepare for her test by walking through the forest of self-study.  She bought 20 books, and she began to read.

She read a book on ventilation controls.

She read a book on safety management.

She read a book on system safety.

Goldilocks read and read and read.  The more she read, the more she learned that there is always more to learn. 

Goldilocks soon realized she didn’t need to know everything she read to pass the exam.  She just needed enough fundamental information coupled with critical thinking skills.

Goldilocks continued down the path and found a small village on the edge of a stream in the forest.  It was the village of Independent Group Study.  Some of her EHS friends were gathered in a circle at the center of town.  They were studying radiation intensity and the inverse square law.

Goldilocks thought it was time for a rest and she joined the circle.  It was awfully hard to haul around all of those books on her back, and it might be fun to work with this group.

At first, the group was full of energy and lots of fun.  People shared stories and tried to help each other solve problems.  It lifted her spirits to be studying with other people preparing to take the same test.

But something wasn’t  quite right.  The group would sometimes spend all their time telling jokes and not really working hard.  Other times, members of the group would argue, and it became uncomfortable.  There wasn’t really anyone in charge.

Goldilocks continued to study on her own, and she checked in on the study group once in a while,  She continued through the forest, but became lost.  She wandered for hours and hours, becoming tired, hungry, and discouraged.

Eventually, Goldilocks found a new path leading to a school offering CSP review courses.

“I think I’ll go inside and see what they have to offer.” she thought to herself.

The first room had an instructor spewing out facts.  The words came out like water from a fire hose.  Goldilocks knew this course was too fast.

In the second room, Goldilocks, found a class where it appeared the participants were not paying close attention.  They kept asking the instructor the same questions over, and over, and over, and over again.  The instructor kept repeating himself.  Goldilocks knew this course was too slow.

Goldilocks went into the third room, and listened to the instructor speak, and it almost sounded like he was speaking in another language.  The concepts were very difficult to understand.  It almost seemed the instructor was more interested in demonstrating how smart he was than in helping participants understand the concepts.  This course was too hard.

Goldilocks entered the fourth room, and could easily understand the instructor.  He spoke pleasantly, but he was only covering material she already knew.  It seemed the instructor was more interested in making sure everyone felt good rather than mastering some of the more difficult concepts.  This course was too easy.

Eventually, Goldilocks entered a fifth room.  She found the instructor to be pleasant, and competent.  The instructor frequently cajoled the participants to focus on the material and avoid getting lost in the weeds.  It was obvious he was interested in helping her pass the exam.

Goldilocks stayed in the fifth room through the end of the course. 

Goldilocks took her ASP exam and her CSP exam shortly after completing the course.  She didn’t know everything, but she was ready. There were areas in which she was weak, but she knew taking the exam was the most important step of all.

On the big day of the exam, Goldilocks was nervous.  She made sure she ate a good breakfast and arrived early at the testing center.  She remembered much of the advice she had received through her journey.

  • Go through the exam twice.
  • Skip the math problems and difficult word problems on the first pass
  • Take a silent meditation break after the first time through the exam
  • On the second pass, work the easiest problems first and save the hardest for last
  • Be sure to answer every problem even if she had to guess

It was a draining process, but in the end, Goldilocks earned her CSP credential.

She thanked everyone who had helped her along the way.  She thanked her boss at the shipping company.  She thanked her friends from the study circle, and she thanked her instructor at the CSP review course.

Her biggest thanks of all went to her family.  Their support was a big part of her success.

Goldilocks got a big promotion and a big raise, and she lived happily ever after.

The end.

You received this week’s study question and it doesn’t look right. The solution says the correct answer is C, but the explanation clearly states B should be the correct answer. You think, “Wow, does Bowen EHS really know their stuff?” The honest answer is, writing study questions is tough.

Bowen EHS uses weekly study questions to help our clients and potential clients prepare for certification exams.

We’re not perfect. We are certified professionals, and we try to create informative, fun, and accurate questions. Sometimes we think they’re great, and we pat ourselves on the back. Then the question arrives in everyone’s inbox, and we find out it wasn’t as great as we originally thought.

Our mistakes might be clerical in nature, stating the correction solution is C, when it is clear from the explanation that the correct solution is B. Other errors might be relatively minor, possibly a mathematical error leading to an incorrect number, or a poorly worded question.

Our most serious error is when we create a question and do not fully understand the material. This happens because the field of environmental health and safety covers so many topics that it’s virtually impossible to be an expert in every topic. Fortunately, our study question authors do their research, and serious errors are relatively rare.

Please use our free questions as a study tool. If you find an error with a question, let us know. We’ll review it, correct it if needed, or explain further why the answer is correct.

We’re truly grateful to our clients that point out errors in the questions. Your expertise helps us expand our knowledge and continue writing study questions.

Thank you,

We hired a professional instructional designer in February, and she is helping us build a strong foundation for future growth of our company. She is guiding us in the development and delivery of our courses.

I started Bowen EHS in 2003 with an idea and a passion for teaching. Those first courses were pretty good. I was able to help many people prepare to take their CIH, ASP and CSP exams, and the company grew.

Even though the initial courses are good, there is significant room for improvement. I never created a lesson plan, and my objectives for each lecture were not well defined. This worked well enough while I was teaching all of the courses, but the need to expand and hire new instructional talent revealed weaknesses in our process and course design.

It was essential for us to hire an instructional designer that had the educational background and professional knowledge to enhance the learning experience of our clients. Our current instructional designer is pursuing a PhD with a concentration in Instructional Technology. She is ensuring our courses include fully developed syllabi, clearly stated objectives, and formal lesson plans. She is also integrating concepts that appeal to the various learning styles of our clients. These tools help our new instructors prepare and deliver high quality courses.

In addition to the development of formal processes for developing delivering content, our instructional designer is working with our staff in completing an application to become an authorized provider of continuing education units (CEUs) through the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).

We are excited about the new addition to our team.


I bought a new car in December. It is a 2016 Subaru Outback and I am still pretty excited about it.

I decided to get the premium package with the automatic hatch lift and heated seats. They are pretty nice, but I don’t really care too much about them. The real reason I bought the premium package is that it came with advanced safety features! The car doesn’t quite drive itself, but these features are definitely a step closer.




Here’s why I think these advanced features are super cool!

1.  Blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert - There are lights in the side mirrors that light up if a car is traveling in my blind spot. The lights also flash as an additional warning if I put on the turn signal indicating I am going to merge into that lane. This is a huge safety feature for me. I can remember a few times in my life when I unintentionally merged into a lane and cut someone off that was traveling in my blind spot. The rear cross traffic alert will beep if I put the car in reverse and there is a car or shopping cart traveling in the direction of the car. This is invaluable in tight parking lots when there is an obstructed view of the lane behind the car.

2. EyeSight Driver Assist Technology - This technology has multiple benefits for helping me (and my future teenage drivers) minimize accidents. There are two cameras mounted at the top of the windshield. These cameras enable some of the most important safety advances since airbags and anti-lock brakes.

a. Lane departure warning: The cameras keep an eye on the lane markings. If the car starts to get too close to the markings on either side of my lane, the car beeps and a warning flashes on the central display.

b. Lane keep assist: Sometimes a person may start to drift into another lane. The car will help keep the car in the lane using the power steering function. While it is not an automatic driving system, it does provide a touch of guidance on the road.

c. Adaptive cruise control: We use this car for camping trips where we are frequently on the highway for multiple hours at a time. The adaptive cruise control will maintain a set speed and a safe distance from the car in front. If the car in front slows down, then my car also slows down to maintain the safe distance. If the car in front leaves my lane, then the cruise control will increase to the set speed. This also a helpful feature in stop and go traffic. The car automatically slows down to match the speed of the car in front. If that car stops, then my car will stop. I tried it once to verify that it works, but I still maintain situational awareness and manually apply the brakes on a regular basis.

d. Pre-collision braking: The cameras are also designed to see an imminent collision and start to brake the car. I don’t plan to check this one out myself, but with the other features of the EyeSight Driver Assist working, I have no reason to doubt its reliability.

It will be several years (if ever) before self-driving cars are readily available for the driving public. However, some of the technology that is readily available is being deployed today. My guess is there will be some resistance to the technology, but I believe there will be statistical evidence showing that we will be much safer if at least some of the driving tasks are handled by technology.

The next time I buy a car, it will definitely have these advanced safety features.

Drive Safe!


We are increasing our pricing at Bowen EHS effective September 1, 2015. Registrations received after August 31 will be subject to the new pricing structure. The new prices are detailed under the pricing tab for each course.

These price increases are driven by the increasing services and value provided in our member center. We now offer 6 open study sessions each month with the opportunity to request the review of specific questions in advance of a specific session. Many of the study sessions are exam-specific allowing a more detailed review of your topics of interest.

We are committed to providing high quality training. Our service continues to evolve as we work to add value to our courses and the member center.

We know we do not have a monopoly on great ideas, and we welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement. Please feel free to contact us here.

We greatly appreciate your support.

Thank you,
Russ Bowen

We frequently hear the question "what do I need to do become a CIH or a CSP or a CHMM?"

If you have asked this question, please continue reading. This post is for you.

There are three parts to this essay. In the first part, I briefly define what it means to be a professional and the purpose behind certification. In the second part, I provide suggestions on how to do a self-assessment for determining if certification is the right thing for you. In addition, I make a few recommendations on how you can develop your path forward. Finally, in the third part, I explain why you need to do this yourself. No one else can determine the best path for you.


The Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and the Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) are non-governmental certifications. They are credentials intended to identify persons who meet a minimum level of education, experience and competence in their respective fields. These are certifications for professionals practicing in this career field.

You can find out more about the Certified Industrial Hygienist by visiting the website of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH) (

You can find out more about the Certified Safety Professional by visiting the website of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) (

You can find out more about the Certified Hazardous Materials Manager by visiting the website of the Institute of Hazardous Materials Managers (IHMM) (

What does it mean to be a professional?
This definition of "professional" applies to any field. A professional is a person with the knowledge, skills, and experience to enable him to assess a specific problem in the field and make recommendations based on sound judgment. The ability to make sound judgments as a CIH or CSP or CHMM is critical. Those practicing in the field are called upon to make risk assessments that influence decision makers and impact the lives of others (co-workers and the public). In my experience it is very rare that professionals have all the data when making an assessment and recommendation. We are called upon to make judgments with imperfect data. It is the nature of reality.

Professionals know their limitations.
A professional recognizes when she does not have the requisite knowledge to make an assessment or judgment. She refers the client to other professionals who do have such knowledge. A good example of this is the general practice physician who recommends a patient to see an oncologist when a cancerous tumor is found.

Professionals do their own research.
There are times when a professional knows the fundamental concepts, but lacks experience in a specific area. The professional may do additional research to increase his knowledge. Frequently this involves researching the topic by reviewing professional journal articles or using other appropriate methods to gain knowledge. This may involve speaking to a mentor in the field, but it does not mean asking someone else to do the research for you.

Professionals make their own judgments.
In the end, professionals make their own judgments. They take responsibility for their decisions and are able to provide a sound rationale for their decisions.


If you believe the traits of professionalism outlined above accurately describe you, but you're uncertain on how to become certified, here are the first few steps down that path.

Perform a Self-Assessment
A universal path to certification as a CIH, CSP, or CHMM does not exist. Each person has a unique educational background, experience, and skill set. You, the candidate, must do your own assessment of your education, experience and skills. You must compare these to the requirements as outlined by the appropriate board mentioned above. Go to their website, and read for yourself. If you have questions about their material, contact that board directly. They are the best source of information about their specific certification.

Read through comments from our clients
Many of our clients send us emails about what they did to be successful. While it is nice that most of them have positive things to say about our courses and instructors, they also frequently write about their exam experience. Feel free to ignore the kudos for Bowen EHS, but pay close attention the exam experience information. It is invaluable. I encourage you to take time and read through the comments.

Here is a link to the comments from CIH clients:

Here is a link to the comments from our ASP and CSP clients:

Here is a link to the comments from our CHMM clients:

Sign up to access the Free Resources in the Bowen EHS® Member Center

Solutions and explanations to the last 4 free study questions are posted in the free resources area of the Bowen EHS® Member Center. Also available are a couple of exam prep podcasts that explain how to prepare for your exam. To listen to the podcasts, sign in and click the Podcasts tab. Bowen EHS® Member Center Sign In

Do you need a review course?
Determine whether or not you need to take a review course. We're definitely in the business of helping people prepare to take the CIH exam, the ASP and CSP exams, and the CHMM exam. However, we don't believe everyone needs to take a review course before taking their exam. It is not the best fit for everyone. If you are comfortable developing your own study protocol, then you probably do not need us.

Our ideal client exhibits the following characteristics:

  1. Communicates clearly and asks specific questions with details.
  2. Displays patience and respect.
  3. Understands the value of time.
  4. Demonstrates accountability, responsibility, and perseverance.

These qualities are found in highly successful professionals.


We offer courses to help professionals pass a certification exam. Our courses are designed to help candidates review the rubrics covered on the exam. This is information most candidates are already familiar with through education and experience. We offer several tools to help you earn the certification, but in the end, you must do the work yourself. You are the one who will study. You are the one who will pass the test. You are the one who will be working with management in making risk assessments that affect the lives of others.

Professional judgment starts with you. Do your research. Perform a self-assessment. Decide if you are ready. Prepare for the exam. This is not something that anyone else can do for you. If you are ready to make decisions affecting the lives of others, then you must be ready to make this decision about yourself.


~Russell Bowen, CIH, CSP
Bowen Learning Network, Inc.

Santa Claus brought the Bowen Learning network team a robot last Christmas. We named him Wally.

Wally is cute, and he does a decent job vacuuming the carpet in our training room, but he is not without his issues. About 1:00 am every day, Wally takes a random stroll around the training room. He sucks up hair and dust and bits of popcorn kernels left lying on the floor. When he is done cleaning Wally generally returns to his base where he gets charged up for cleaning the next morning.

Normally, everything works fine, but sometimes there are problems. Occasionally, he gets stuck. One day we came into work, and he was not at his station; we found him hung up under my futon (where I take my daily nap). The next time he was missing, we found him locked in an office. He had wandered in to vacuum the floor, and he shut the door behind him. Wally does not know how to open doors.

The worst problem we had with Wally was the time he took out our computer servers. He had wandered into the room, and bumped into the server power cord disconnecting it from the wall. It took us about 40 minutes of head scratching before we realized the cause of our internet outage.

We are learning to deal with Wally. He is teaching us about system safety on a personal level. We are learning to check our systems and office before leaving each evening, and making sure that we've minimized our risk Wally related problems.

Over all, we are happy to have Wally as a member of our team. He did a wonderful job on the pine needles this year and he helps us to use our time efficiently. No one really wants to vacuum the big room on a weekly basis, and Wally does it quite well (with just a few minor hiccups).


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