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The Institute of Internal Auditors North AmericaBreadcrumb SeparatorCertificationBreadcrumb SeparatorBEACBreadcrumb SeparatorContinued Professional Development

Continuing Professional Development Requirements

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1. Purpose

This document contains the mandatory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for BEAC® Certified Professional Environmental Auditors® (CPEA®) and Certified Process Safety Auditors™ (CPSA™), referred to as “Certificants” in this document.  It also specifies the method of reporting by Certificants who wish to keep their certification current and in good standing.

Throughout this document, the term “EHS” will be used to signify environment, health, safety, process safety, security, sustainability, and social responsibility.

2. Continuing Professional Development

Certificants are responsible for:

  • Updating their knowledge and skills related to improvements and current developments in EHS auditing standards, procedures, and techniques.
  • Maintaining their technical knowledge and skills in EHS regulations and standards.

3. CPD Reporting Requirements for Certificants

3.1 Each Certificant should submit a signed CPD reporting form every year to comply with CPD requirements. The BEAC Board of Directors, upon request, may grant partial or complete exemption from CPD requirements for individuals when good cause exists, such as military service or individual hardship.

3.2 Unless you have been selected for an audit, you do not need to include supporting documents. BEAC will issue an acknowledgment of compliance to each Certificant meeting the requirements of this guidance via a wallet card. Additionally, BEAC will keep information on the active/inactive status of Certificants.

3.3 Each Certificant should maintain a copy of the CPD reporting form, along with all supporting documentation, for at least three years. Records must be made available to BEAC for verification upon request. The records maintained by the Certificant in support of the reporting form filed with BEAC should include, as appropriate, the following information:

  • Title of program and/or description of content.
  • Dates attended.
  • Location of course or program.
  • Sponsoring organization.
  • Contact hours of credit as recommended by the course sponsor.
  • A letter, certificate, or other written independent attestation of course completion.
  • Documentation supporting publications, oral presentations, and committee or other participation.

4. Certification Status

4.1 Active Certificants

CPEAs who are performing EHS auditing functions and CPSAs performing process safety auditing functions must complete a total of 20 hours of acceptable CPD every year and pay an annual certification fee.

4.2 Non-Practicing Certificants

A Certificant who no longer practices EHS auditing due to a career change, but still wishes to maintain and report the Certificant designation may request, in writing, Non-Practicing Status.

  • Non-Practicing Certificants must maintain and report 10 hours of Continuing Professional Development every year.
  • A Non-Practicing Certificant may not practice EHS auditing or endorse audit reports using the certified auditor designation. To do so will be considered a violation of the BEAC Code of Ethics.
  • To be reinstated to Active status, an inactive Certificant must request a return to active Certificant status by notifying BEAC in writing, report 20 CPD hours for the prior year when applying for restoration to Active status, and pay the full annual fee for reinstatement.

4.3 Retired Certificants

A Certificant who no longer practices EHS auditing due to retirement or a withdrawal from active work for any other reason, with no intention of returning to active EHS audit practice, but still wishes to maintain the Certificant designation may request, in writing, Retired Status

  • A Retired Certificant may not practice EHS auditing or endorse audit reports under using the certified auditor designation. To do so will be considered a violation of the BEAC Code of Ethics.
  • A Retired Certificant who re-enters the auditing field and who wishes be reinstated to Active Certificant status, must notify BEAC in writing, report 20 CPD hours for the prior year when applying for restoration to active status, and pay the full annual fee for reinstatement.
  • Return to Active status must be accomplished before one (1) CPD cycle has elapsed.  A CPD cycle is defined as a two year period. After one (1) CPD cycle has passed, a return to Active Certificant status will require a new application and completion of all qualification requirements.

4.4 Revocation of Certification

Certificants who do not maintain annual certification fees or provide evidence that they have met the CPD requirements will have their certification suspended. Three notices will be sent regarding delinquent requirements. If there is no response by the third notice, BEAC will send a final notice by certified mail. If there is still no response, the Certificant designation will be revoked. Once certification is terminated, the application process must be started over, including successful completion of the examination, unless there are extenuating circumstances.  Reinstatement must be reviewed and approved by the BEAC Certification Committee.

5. Qualifying CPD Activities

Certificants should maintain the high standards of the profession by selecting educational programs of high quality to fulfill the CPD requirements. 

5.1 General

The following general criteria are to be satisfied in order for a continuing education program to be accepted:

  • The overriding consideration in determining whether a specific program is acceptable is that it shall be a formal program of learning which contributes directly to the professional competence of a Certificant.
  • Acceptable formal programs should:
    1. contribute to the professional competence of participants;
    2. state program objectives which specify the level of knowledge the participants should have attained, or the level of competence to be demonstrated upon completing the program;
    3. be developed by individuals qualified in the subject matter and instructional design;
    4. provide program content which is current;
    5. be on a professional level.
  • The following general courses are acceptable as long as they meet other CPD program criteria:
    1. Ethics and Standards of Conduct for Auditors
    2. Audit Program Design and Management
    3. Audit Procedures, Processes And Techniques
    4. Internal Controls
    5. Regulatory Aspects
    6. Process Operations, EHS Impacts and Related Pollution Control
    7. EHS Specific Regulatory Knowledge
    8. EHS Auditing Standards and Practices
    9. EHS Science And Technology
    10. Technical And Environmental Aspects Of Facility Operations
    11. Relevant Requirements of EHS Laws, Regulations, Related Documents
    12. EHS Management Systems Standards And Guidelines
  • Activities other than those listed in these guidelines may be deemed acceptable if the Certificant can demonstrate that they contribute to professional competence. Substantiating that a particular activity qualifies as acceptable and meets the requirements is the responsibility of the Certificant.
  • CPD credit will be awarded for whole hours only, with a minimum of 50 minutes constituting 1 hour. As an example, 100 minutes of continuous instruction would count for 2 hours; however, more than 50 minutes but less than 100 minutes of continuous instruction would count for only 1 hour. Only actual attendance or acceptable self-study hours are allowable. For continuous conferences and conventions when individual segments are less than 50 minutes, the sum of the segments should be considered one total program. For example, five 30-minute presentations would equal to 150 minutes and should be counted as 3 hours.

5.2 Education

A maximum of 20 hours may be awarded in the education category for each reporting period. Educational activities include:

  • Professional education and development programs, such as seminars and conferences, provided by national, regional and local organizations. This can include webinars requiring formal registration and verified by a certificate of completion or other verification documents, e.g. proof of attendance by a supervisor.
  • Technical sessions at meetings of national, regional, state and local environmental or health & safety auditing organizations and chapters.
  • Formal in-house training programs.
  • Formal correspondence and self-study programs relevant to EHS or auditing that include evidence of completion.
  • College or university courses passed (credit and non-credit courses). Fifteen (15) hours of CPD credit are awarded for each semester hour of college/university credit earned; ten (10) hours of CPD credit are awarded for each quarter hour of college/university credit earned.
  • Online or published magazine quizzes, related to EHS or auditing, and requiring verification that the quiz has been successfully completed. 1 hour per month is allowed, for a maximum of 12 hours per each year period.
  • 5.3 Publications Written

    A maximum of 12 hours may be awarded in the publications category for each year period. Generally, one full journal page of single-spaced print is equal to 2 hours of CPD credit, with the following limits on one publication:

  • Books - 12 hours
  • Articles - 8 hours
  • Research papers - 8 hours.
  • Contributions to publications should pertain to EHS or auditing. Published articles or books not related directly to EHS or auditing are acceptable if Certificants are able to demonstrate that these activities contribute to their professional audit proficiency.

    5.4 Oral Presentations

    A maximum of 12 hours may be awarded in the oral presentations category for each year period. Courses you teach should be classified as “Oral Presentations”.

  • The hours reported for the first presentation will be based on the presentation time, plus credit for preparation time equivalent to three times the presentation time.
  • Subsequent presentations of the same material may be reported as presentation time only, up to a maximum of 6 CPD hours in each year period.
  • 5.5 Participation activities

    A maximum of 12 hours may be awarded in the participation category in each year period for:

  • Participation as an officer or committee member in a professional industry organization related to EHS or auditing. One CPD hour for each hour of qualifying participation will be awarded.
  • Participation in a quality assurance review (also known as a “peer” review). One CPD hour for each hour spent on site will be awarded. No CPD hours will be awarded for activities such as preparation time and writing the report.
  • Pro bono participation in a community volunteer program relevant to EHS or auditing issues. Documentation of the activity will be required:
    • Credit will be awarded for volunteer activities within, or for, an organization possessing an environmental, health, safety, homeland security, emergency response, public safety, or public health mission. One CPD hour for each hour of qualifying participation will be awarded.
    • Credits are awarded for activities which specifically involve the development or significant improvement of the beneficiary organization’s abilities to audit or assess the effectiveness of its program(s). For example, for participation in a community or regional public health emergency preparedness drill, credit would be awarded for the development or improvement of methods to assess the effectiveness of the various components of the emergency drill and identify prioritized opportunities for improvement, or for the implementation of such systems.
    • Documentation of the volunteer activity should be obtained in the form of a letter or other written correspondence from the supervisor or director of the volunteer organization or activity, to be maintained by the applicant for re-certification.

    5.6 Other activities

    • Audit activities
      A maximum of 12 hours may be awarded in the audit category in each year period for:
      1. Participation as an audit team member.
      2. Management of an EHS auditing function.
    • Exam question writing:
      A maximum of 12 hours may be awarded in the question writing category in each year period. BEAC Certificant s may submit questions to be included on future BEAC examinations. Question writers should follow the guidelines of the Question Writer’s guide published on the BEAC website, and must include source references. Two (2) hours will be awarded for each question accepted by the BEAC Examination Committee.
    • Achievement of other certifications:
      A maximum of 6 hours may be awarded in each year period for passing other certifications, which include the following: CIA, CPA, CSP, CIH, CHMM, CRSP, QEP. This is only available during the year when the certification is achieved.

    6. Audit of Documentation

    BEAC will randomly select 5% of all CPD reports for audit. BEAC may review the records of Certificants and/or course sponsors in the manner it deems appropriate to determine compliance with the requirements set forth in this guidance. Submitting false information may result in revocation of certification.

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