By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Business experts says it can take three to four years for a start up to establish itself in the marketplace and become profitable. Building a world-class certification program can take a few years longer.

The Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) program was established by transportation construction executives and safety leaders via ARTBA’s Foundation to significantly boost the hazard awareness and risk management skills of a broad range of industry supervisors and workers. The program’s vision is to make transportation project worldwide zero-incident zones for workers, motorists, and pedestrians.

As the SCTPP nears its third anniversary, ARTBA’s editorial team wanted to look at what’s been accomplished since the program was launched in fall 2016 during ARTBA’s National Convention in Tucson. Among the significant milestones:

  • As of June 2019, 360 professionals from 83 companies and agencies in 37 states and D.C. have become “safety certified.”
  • The program earned in May 2018 the “gold standard” in professional credentialing, achieving American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation under ISO/IEC 17024:2012 international standard. SCTPP is the only internationally-accredited safety transportation construction program.
  • Secured a multi-year commitment from the Texas Department of Transportation to have 500 of its employees annually become safety certified.
  • Six ARTBA Planning & Design Division firms accepted a challenge to send at least 25 employees through the program during 2019: AECOM, Burns & McDonnell, HDR, HNTB, CKL Engineering, and Terracon.
  • Creation of eight Online Learning Center courses—Building Safety Plans, Communication, Environmental Conditions, Hazard Control, Personal Protective Equipment, Risk Assessment, Traffic Control, and Work Sites—that can be a valuable resource to help with exam preparation.

Benefits of Safety

Of course, what can’t be measured are the injuries and deaths that were prevented because of the awareness that certificants bring to the project site.

There are two major benefits for firms that have their employees earn the SCTPP credential, notes Donald E. Stanfield, construction specialist at Liberty Mutual Insurance and a certification commissioner.

  • Enhanced education: Any opportunity for employees to learn advanced safety controls has a direct impact on that company’s overall safety programs and effective implementation. Newly certified employees often share their knowledge with others in the organization through safety meetings, daily traffic control audits, or pre-job safety planning.
  • Personal accountability: Earning a professional certification from an accredited program such as the SCTPP, often produces a higher level of self responsibility and accountability.

“Adding the SCTPP program to a civil contractor’s safety toolbox should ultimately result in fewer work zone losses; which ultimately result in lower insurance cost,” Stanfield said.

What’s Next

As the third anniversary approaches, the ARTBA Foundation and the industry leaders backing the program are preparing for three key developments.

First, the initial wave of SCTPP certificants will be eligible to renew their three-year credential by recertifying later this year. Certificants can recertify by submitting professional
development hours or retaking the exam. The process can be completed on the SCTPP website: puttingsafetyfirst.org.

Second, ARTBA leaders have challenged the association’s transportation contractor members to commit at least 25 people from their company to
sit for the exam this year and beyond.

Third, the ARTBA Foundation will launch later this year a face-to-face prep course. The two-day training will bring the digital resources of the Online Learning Center and the SCTPP Study Guide & Exam Practice Questions to your headquarters or job site.

Feedback is critical to the SCTPP program. Please send your questions or comments to certificationteam@artba.org.