For the past 20 years, completing a course leading to the Qualified Safety Sales Professional (QSSP) designation has been a recognized and sought-after achievement for the sales and marketing representatives of personal protective equipment manufacturers and suppliers. In 2016, the program awarded the designation to the 1,500th graduate of the intensive five-day training program.
At that time, Dan Shipp, President of the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA), said, “The guiding principle of the course is that the people who sell safety equipment can be better resources to their customers if they have some idea of what kind of issues the customer faces every day. The goal is to make them valued partners, not order-takers.”
He noted then that demand for the course was higher than ever, and that the association was committed to continuing its efforts to expand training and professional development opportunities.
His words still ring true today.
Updated QSSP Curriculum
The ISEA recently launched a restructured curriculum as part of an “updated course management system and technology upgrade.” The revised curriculum provides ongoing knowledge development to support safety professionals in consultative sales roles, helping to maintain high standards and to spread pertinent knowledge industry-wide.
The goal is to empower students to discuss various management techniques that relate to safety in the work environment, how to recognize and evaluate hazards that might be encountered, and how to integrate safety products and procedures.
In addition, the ISEA recently celebrated completion of the 50th class of graduates in the QSSP course.
The training program includes both lectures and hands-on exercises, all designed to offer understanding about the types of protective safety equipment that is available and specific information about proper use. Each class is limited to 40 participants, and taught by acknowledged experts with a combined safety experience of more than 100 years. Participants must demonstrate their understanding of the principles by passing a competency test prior to receiving the QSSP designation.
Even the most challenging topics are presented in an understandable way, according to students who note that faculty members provide “real-world safety knowledge” that helps them understand the breadth of responsibilities involved in a safety program.
QSSP’s faculty consists of Board Certified Safety Professionals who continually identify emerging and evolving technologies and incorporate new methodologies for teaching and learning.
Course Director Richard G. Raymer, CSP, is president of Safety Solution Partners LLC, and counts more than 35 years of experience in OSHA regulatory compliance. He gained much of his experience in implementation of health and safety management systems during a 30-year career with Procter & Gamble, retiring as senior manager of safety. He is a past president of the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and holds OSHA authorization to lead classes in general industry and construction safety.
William E. Simkins, CSP, is currently a director of environmental safety with Pepsico Company, providing direct health and safety support to Frito-Lay operations in North America. He was previously a consultant to both public and private-sector businesses and holds a BS in public health and a master’s degree in environmental science. In addition to being a board-certified safety professional, he is a Registered Environmental Professional.
Bobbi K. Samples, CSP, is the owner and principal consultant for The Safety Firm, LLC. She received a business management degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and is on the staff at EKU OSHA Training Institute. Ms. Samples brings entrepreneurial approaches to training, professional growth, and workforce solutions and helps diverse firms manage, audit, train and grow their individual safety programs.
Also on the faculty for the QSSP course is ISEA President Dan Shipp. He has represented U.S. safety equipment manufacturers before Congress and regulatory agencies both in this country and abroad, spoken on worldwide stages about the selection and use of personal protective equipment, and is an acknowledged authority on safety standards. Shipp has given presentations to the American National Standards Institute and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and InterOperability. He is responsible for the lesson on standards that is a part of the QSSP curriculum. Shipp also was a part of the group 20 years ago that developed the QSSP curriculum. He recently announced his retirement as ISEA president in August of 2017.
“We continuously strive to impart the type of knowledge that will help safety sales professionals become better partners to their customers, and help improve their customer’s safety programs,” notes Course Director Richard G. Raymer. “We’ve added several new topics, more hands-on learning sessions designed to facilitate small-group learning discussions, and increased our review sessions for improved knowledge absorption.”
Students appreciate not only the faculty expertise, but they frequently cite “great mentoring” and support as outstanding benefits of the QSSP course. After completing the course, graduates feel empowered to discuss the proper use and selection of safety equipment at “an elevated level.”
The consensus is that ISEA’s QSSP course has “gotten it right” in an effort to equip sales representatives with the knowledge required to improve on-the-job safety for workers. The past 20 years, 50 classes, and more than 1,500 graduates are a testament to ISEA’s ongoing commitment.
To register for a QSSP class: https://safetyequipment.org/qssp/
To find a QSSP professional to assist you, search the QSSP directory: https://safetyequipment.org/qssp/directory/