Evolved professions like for example engineering, psychology, physiotherapy or medicine work to ensure their reputation is protected and that their members work to a high standard and within an ethical framework. Society expects a high standard of service from these professions and the use and maintenance of certification arrangements protects the professions. Certification as an ergonomist enables an evidence based standard of service that society can trust and thereby the profession is protected. There is a value proposition for both parties (society and the ergonomist) in this process.
In addition, certain industries seek to ensure that only ergonomists that have achieved a peer reviewed standard are engaged to provide advice. We already see the courts recognising Certified Professional Ergonomists for expert witness work. Large corporates are moving toward the use of certified ergonomists and human factors professionals to ensure they have defensible evidence based advice for use with regulators and in any litigation. The safety profession is moving toward registration of practitioners for certain industries and this will see a shift in the provision of advice, including ergonomics related advice. So where should one choose to be positioned in this evolving landscape?
Stephen Hehir, CPE