In 1997, the Canadian Environmental Certification and Approvals Board (CECAB) was established by ECO Canada to oversee the development and administration of a voluntary certification program for environmental professionals in Canada. ECO Canada established this certification process as a result of the environment industry approaching Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for assistance. It was established to address human resources issues which had the potential of impeding the growth of this dynamic, emerging industry. Documenting national occupational standards for environmental work was the first step. These standards, developed in consultation with environmental professionals and broad environment industry representation, identified the competencies required to perform environmental work and have become the backbone of the certification process. The initial guiding principles of the certification program, that still hold true today are:
- To maintain the highest standards in all of its activities.
- To serve nationally and seek recognition in all provinces.
- To ensure that its certification is consistent with relevant national and international initiatives (i.e. ISO 14000 series).
- To work in harmony with existing certifying bodies. By maintaining close communication with other bodies, it would also work to avoid duplication of activities.
- To operate in an efficient, results-oriented and cost-effective manner.
In 2000, the Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner (CCEP) designation along with the Canadian Environmental Practitioner-in-Training (CEPIT) designation was launched.
In 2004, ECO Canada (under the supervision of CECAB) assumed administration and management of auditor and site assessor certification in Canada from the Auditing Association of Canada (AAC), formerly the Canadian Environmental Auditing Association (CEAA).
In October 2009, ECO Canada launched the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) certification which is also administered under the supervision of the Approvals Board and includes certification for GHG Verifiers and Quantifiers. The designations supervised by CECAB were as follows:
- Canadian Environmental Practitioner-in-Training – CEPIT
- Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner – CCEP
- Certified Environmental Auditor – CEA
- Certified Environmental Sustainable Forest Management Auditor – CEA(SFM)
- Environmental Management Systems Auditor – EMS(A)
- Environmental Management Systems Lead Auditor – EMS(LA)
- Environmental Professional-Greenhouse Gas Quantifier – EP(GHG)
- Environmental Professional-Greenhouse Gas Verifier – EP(GHG)
- Environmental Professional – Greenhouse Gas Quantifier in-Training – EPt(GHG)
- Environmental Professional – Greenhouse Gas Verifierr in-Training – EPt(GHG)
On August 1, 2010, all of the above designations merged under the credential EP – Environmental Professional, with specializations to recognize a specific area of work, i.e. EP(GHG).
As of October 1, 2014 the P. Met, EP (GHG) and EPt (GHG) specializations are no longer offered. However, previous applicants are encouraged to apply for general Environmental Professional (EP) and Environmental Professional-in-training (EPt) credentials.
While ECO Canada acts as the certifying body for Environmental Professionals, the Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board (CECAB), composed of key environmental stakeholders from across Canada, function as a safeguard on impartiality by overseeing the administration, evaluation and ratification processes for the certification and re-certification of candidates. CECAB also executes all disciplinary action related to violations of the Environmental Professional (EP) Code of Ethics.
For more background information, visit the ECO Canada website at www.eco.ca/certification.