September 24, 2020
AMTA CTSP program redefining safety training roles in industry
One of the newer additions to the Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) safety training repertoire is the Certified Transportation Safety Professional (CTSP) Program taking safety and compliance to a whole new level.
The program was developed by the AMTA, with support from industry, as a personal designation to recognize the career progression of safety and compliance professionals in the commercial transportation industry.
“The AMTA Injury Reduction & Training department, along with stakeholders and course developers worked tirelessly to ensure this program would be a success for industry,” said Michelle Spacil, AMTA Manager of Education. “Among a number of other skills, these highly trained specialists can design and implement programs to aid in the prevention of workplace illness and injury.”
In its first full year of operation the program has seen – CTSP grads and – Certified Transportation Safety Coordinator (CTSC) grads. CTSC is an entry-level designation, granted to safety and compliance coordinators who have met the minimum standards of experience and knowledge.
In order to sit for the CTSP exam, students must complete eight mandatory courses, three elective courses and eight hours of seminars/conferences.
Once a CTSP has graduated, their core responsibilities can include creating and reviewing safety plans, providing ongoing training for all employees, documenting work observations, analyzing safety statistics and KPIs, managing incidents and associated reporting and more.
“Obtaining a CTSP has helped me have a greater understanding of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly expectations of the organizational commitments as well as the understanding of how to accomplish those commitments,” said CTSC and CTSP grad Tony Evans.
Evans, who works for the City of Airdrie, explained his role as Safety and Equipment Training Coordinator shifted to Transportation Officer/Training Coordinator “with far more emphasis on transportation legislation, this has allowed us to obtain a third position in the training department.”
In Alberta alone, there are over 4,000 pieces of Legislations, Regulations and Acts that apply to transportation and it is the responsibility of organizations to be aware of this information in order to ensure compliance.
“There are also a number of various permits, bylaws and variances that exist that attach conditions or modifiers to the original legalization,” explained AMTA CTSP instructor Michael Mooney. “Now include Federal, provincial and US/State DOT, OHS and other related Regulations, acts, bylaws and permits, you can get a sense of the importance of this role in an organization’s quest for operational excellence and financial sustainability.”
Spacil explained every day holds something different for the CTSP and their team members. One day might start and end with the same audit, inspection, or training, while other days may be filled with a combination of incident management, reporting, safety planning, and observing.
“In some cases, the safety role is incorporated into many other roles in smaller companies,” she said. “So, you may wear several hats, but safety should always be a priority in every decision or action you and your organization undertake.”
The designation is also important to a prospective employees’ potential workplace.
“CTSP/CTSC is one of the key credentials we look for within our Operations, Safety, Risk and Compliance teams to support and simplify validating the professionalism and skillset candidates bring to the table,” said Jude Groves, AMTA Chair and Rosenau Transport Director Safety & Training. “The program is great as a recruitment and retention tool or a method to verify that prospective team members have the knowledge and skill to support our organization’s needs.”
The designation is not just for those new to the commercial transportation industry. For those who may have had a lengthy career in the field, fellow CTSP grad Carl Cave, Director Risk and Compliance with Rosenau had this advice:
“Someone considering the CTSP courses, may think they know most everything transportation related, and I was pretty sure I knew most course content– I didn’t,” he explained. “The courses in the program will give more knowledge, context and application to their roles like it did with mine. I think the CTSP designation shows a commitment to education as well as to a higher level of safety within the transportation industry and that will make a graduate more sought after in a tight job market.”
For more information on becoming a CTSP, or to learn more about the dozens of course offerings the association offers, visit amta.ca.