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Home > Certification Information


Certification is a voluntary process, which validates an individual's qualifications in a specific field of professional practice. It demonstrates to employers, clients, and peers the individual's knowledge and experience and signifies his or her commitment to continued excellence in professional practice. In addition, it increases visibility, builds credibility, and validates expertise with those outside the profession.

BCPE Certification

The BCPE was established in 1990 to provide a formal process for recognizing practitioners of human factors/ergonomics. Prior to this, human factors/ergonomics professionals could only be credentialed indirectly through various types of state licensures for some of the professional fields related to ergonomics.

Certification Eligibility

The BCPE certifies practitioners of human factors/ergonomics. A practitioner is defined as an individual who has (1) a mastery of ergonomics knowledge; (2) a command of the methodologies used by ergonomists in applying that knowledge to the design of a product, process, or environment; and (3) has applied his or her knowledge to the analysis, design, test, and evaluation of products, processes, and environments.

Furthermore, per the Ergonomist Formation Model (EFM), the fundamental architecture for professional competence in ergonomics, the BCPE has defined two levels of human factors/ergonomics practice:

  • Professional: A career problem solver who applies and develops methodologies for analyzing, designing, testing, and evaluating systems. The professional practitioner addresses complex problems and advances ergonomics technologies and methods.
  • Associate: An interventionist who applies a general breadth of knowledge to analysis and evaluation. The associate practitioner reacts to performance, safety, health, and/or quality issues in currently operating work systems.

While the scope of practice for the professional practitioner covers the entire breadth and depth of ergonomics knowledge, the scope of practice for the associate practitioner is limited to the use of commonly accepted tools and techniques for the analysis and enhancement of human performance in existing systems.

Certification Requirements

The BCPE differentiates between the professional and associate levels of practice by awarding different certification credentials. The Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE)/Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP)/Certified User Experience Professional (CUXP) is the designation for professional practice. The criteria for certification as a CPE, CHFP or CUXP are:

  1. A master’s degree in human factors/ergonomics, or an equivalent educational background in the life sciences, engineering sciences and behavioral sciences to comprise a professional level of ergonomic education.
  2. Three(3) years of full-time professional practice in human factors/ergonomics.
  3. A passing score on the CPE/CHFP/CUXP written examination.*

The Certified Ergonomics Associate (CEA) is the designation for associate practice. The criteria for CEA certification are:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
  2. At least 200 contact hours of ergonomics training.
  3. Two (2) years of full-time practice in ergonomics.
  4. A passing score on the CEA written examination.

In addition, an interim designation, Associate Ergonomics Professional (AEP)/Associate Human Factors Professional (AHFP)/Associate User Experience Professional (AUXP) may be granted to individuals who meet the educational, but not the work experience, criteria for CPE/CHFP/CUXP certification. An individual with the AEP/AHFP/AUXP designation is considered to be an "ergonomist in training" who has six years to complete three years of full-time practice and transition to the CPE, CHFP or CUXP designation. A person can be designated as an AEP, AHFP or AUXP if he or she:

  1. Meets the education requirement for CPE/CHFP/CUXP certification (MS in human factors/ergonomics or related field).
  2. Achieves a passing score on Part I ("Basic Knowledge" of human factors/ergonomics) of the CPE/CHFP/CUXP examination.*
  3. Is currently working toward fulfilling the requirement of three years full-time experience as a human factors/ergonomics professional.

* A person who has graduated from an accredited IEA Federated Society human factors/ergonomics degree program (e.g., a program accredited by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society or the Ergonomics Society) is not required to take Part I of the exam.

The Written Examination

There are two written examinations for BCPE certification, one for the CPE/CHFP/CUXP credential (AEP/AHFP/AUXP candidates take part I of the CPE/CHFP/CUXP written examination), and one for the CEA credential. Both examinations include information spanning the categories and topics of the Ergonomist Formation Model, as well as the knowledge, skills, and experience identified by previously done job/task analyses.

More specific information regarding the examination process and content of the examination is provided in BCPE’s Candidate Handbook, available for download from the Online Store.

Preparation for the Examination

The BCPE does not sponsor or endorse any preparation materials or review courses for the written examination. The BCPE does, however, maintain a list of recommended textbooks and sample exam questions in our Candidate Handbook, which again can be downloaded from the Online Store.

Exam Dates and Sites

The written examination is offered a number of times throughout the year at varying sites across the country, usually in conjunction with related ergonomics conferences. Candidates approved to take the examination may sit for the examination at any of these scheduled offerings by providing proper notification, as outlined in the following section.

See BCPE’s Calendar of Events for a list of current examination dates and sites.

Application Deadlines

The deadline for submitting an application to take the examination is four months prior to an examination date. Due to the time required to evaluate applications, notify candidates of their eligibility status,and prepare and ship exam materials, no exceptions will be made to the published deadlines.

Candidates previously approved for, or wishing to retake, the examination may do so by returning a completed examination schedule (with any applicable fees) to the BCPE by the indicated application deadline.

See BCPE’s Calendar of Events for a list of current application deadlines.

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