How to Better Assure Success in Getting Certified


As a reviewer of both Certified Director of Safety (CDS) and Certified Driver Trainer (CDT) submissions, it is always good to see the innovation and depth applicants go to in their pursuit of the best safety program possible.

That said, I have seen one area of improvement that should be addressed.  When I review certification applications, candidates frequently fall short in the description of their management activities.  Below I’ll describe what is requested, then my suggestions on what to submit.

In the management activities, the applicant is asked to describe:

  • The management program or activity: Was there a new policy needed? How did you or your team discover this need? Don’t just include a sign-up sheet with your name as the instructor or an attendee. Give us some insight.
  • What was your role? Were you on the implementation team? Did you author the initiative? This shows us the amount of leadership you have, or the team building skills you possess. Help us get to know you!
  • How was it implemented?  What were the steps you took? Tell the path to implementation. Give us some type of chronological progression to see the steps involved.
  • What were the results?  Not every program will be successful, or as successful as you expect. The best management activity I have seen was that was initially a failure, but the documentation showed WHY, and what was corrected.
  • What was the result? Did you see a reduction in accidents? Higher retention?  Specific goal reached? Tell us if you did OR DIDN’T achieve your goal. Not achieving your goal isn’t failure. Not documenting or investigating it is.
  • Will this change stay with your company? Is this a change that will stay with your company? Was the management activity a short-term project or a culture shift?

Another significant piece of advice I can suggest is to use a reputable mentor. NATMI can provide a list of members who will assist you in the application process.

Take the time to tell the WHOLE story. But be concise. Adding superfluous filler does not make it better. This is the first and best chance to make a positive introduction to your fellow NATMI members. Do the best you can.  

Another thing to remember is to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. When the application asks for four activities, provide FOUR. When you need three of something, provide three. PLEASE. Following directions will get your exhibit approved quicker, and show the reviewer you are not only knowledgeable, but you can follow directions, which is an essential skill for a safety professional.

As a new applicant to NATMI I welcome you to the best professional safety group in the nation. Welcome aboard! 

Chad Rogers, CDS, CDT
Safety Management Systems Company






























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