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Registered Hazardous Substances Professional (RHSP)


For as long as NEHA has existed, NEHA has strived to elevate the standing and respect accord to those who practice environmental health.  One of the mechanisms used by professional societies like NEHA to achieve such a goal is the one of credentialing.  Through a professional credential, one evidences to both their employer and to the public they serve that they are competent to carry out the duties and tasks expected of them.  Such a mark of distinction also serves the practitioner inasmuch as the effort expended to gain such a credential often leads to higher levels of individual compensation and regard, as it should.  NEHA’s mission is to advance you — pure and simple.  Few professional fields are growing and changing as rapidly as environmental health.  Successful completion of this registration program represents an initiative taken by the Registered Hazardous Substances Professional and will be considered a significant achievement by employers, peers and the public.




Eligibility and Exam Registration

Eligibility to sit for this credentialing exam is determined by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).  Applications and fees must be submitted to NEHA for review.  For applications and additional information about eligibility requirements, please contact:  National Environmental Health Association, 720 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 1000-N, Denver, CO 80246, Phone: 303-756-9090, ext. 310, E-mail:


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Registered Hazardous Substances Professional (RHSP) credential,
a candidate must meet the criteria for either A or B as follows:

Track One: Requires a Bachelor’s degree in hazardous materials/waste from an accredited college or university OR a bachelor’s degree accompanied by an Associate of Science degree or a Certificate in Hazardous Materials/Waste Management from an accredited college or university AND 2 ˝ years of experience in hazardous materials/waste management.
Track Two: Requires a Bachelor’s degree in environmental health from a university program accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, or a nationally recognized accreditation body AND three years of experience in hazardous materials/waste management.
Track Three: Requires a Bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree in environmental science or a related environmental program AND three years of experience in hazardous materials/waste management.
Track Four: Requires a Bachelor’s degree with 30 semester/45 quarter hours in the physical sciences (i.e., biology, chemistry, physics, geology, etc.) AND four years of experience in hazardous materials/waste management.
Track Five: Requires a Bachelor’s degree and 2.5 hours of relevant continuing education over the last three years prior to application approval AND five years of experience in hazardous materials/waste management.


Exam Description/Content Areas

The RHSP exam is an objective, 240 question multiple-choice test designed to measure how well a person understands the principles and practices of hazardous waste/toxic substances management and related laws. You will have four (4) hours to complete the exam, which is broken down into the following content areas:

  • Federal Regulations -- Standards, Intent, Enforcement/Due Process

  • Toxicology -- Dose response, Definitions, Routes of Exposure, Categories
    of Toxins, Effects

  • Sampling/Monitoring -- Techniques, QA/QC, Chain of Custody, Monitoring Equipment, Safety/Person Protection

  • Treatment/Disposal -- Types/Processes, Criteria/Standards, Siting, Facilities,
    BAT, Emergency Measures

  • Risk Assessment/Risk Management -- Hazard Identification, Dose Response Assessment, Exposure, Definitions, Difference RA/RM, Risk Characterization, Inference, Public Perception, Interagency Coordination, Epidemiology

  • Public/Industry Participation -- Communication Network and Plan (mediation,
    right-to-know, pitfalls), Public Media Communication



Exam/Application Fees

All fees should accompany the NEHA Application for Professional Credentials.


Member Rate

Non-member Rate

Application fee $50 $85

Exam fee

$90 $185


Exam Scheduling and Locations

Examinations will be scheduled at times and locations convenient to candidates.  THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF A QUALIFIED PROCTOR MUST BE INCLUDED ON THE APPLICATION.  Individual candidates or should contact NEHA for further details.

Admission To The Exam

NEHA will send each approved candidate an admission letter.  The admission letter shows the date the exam will be given, the address of the exam location and the time for reporting to the exam. Those not appearing on the date and at the time shown on the admittance letter will forfeit all fees. Persons arriving after the exam supervisor has started may not be admitted.  If you lose your admission letter, or have not received an admission letter at least two days before the exam date, contact NEHA immediately.  Please notify NEHA of any change of address.  Only approved candidates will be admitted to the exam.  No walk-in applicants will be admitted.



Passing score is 70%.  Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly.  If you are unsure of the answer, it is better to guess because you will not be given credit for any answer that has been answered incorrectly, left blank or marked with more than one answer.  There is no penalty for guessing.  A score letter will be mailed to you approximately two weeks after the exam date.  To insure confidentiality, exam scores will not be given by telephone or fax. 


Special Needs Candidates

If a physical or mental impairment prevents you from taking the exam under normal conditions, you may request special arrangements.  Please submit documentation of your impairment with your registration form and a letter describing the special arrangements that are necessary.

What to Bring to the Exam

You must bring your admission letter and photo identification (such as a driver's license).  Please bring two #2 pencils for marking your answer sheet.


Credential Maintenance

In order to keep your credential current you must: 

1) earn 24 hours of continuing education every two years and provide documentation to NEHA with a Continuing Education Submission Form; and

2) pay a renewal fee of $115 NEHA Members/$245 Non-Members every two years.



NEHA’s RHSP Study Manual  has been carefully developed to help prepare the candidate for the Registered Hazardous Substances Professional exam. This reference contains valuable information on hazardous waste management; environmental laws and regulations; basic chemistry; basic toxicology principles; personal protection – sampling, risk assessment and communication; emergency response; transportation of hazardous materials and wastes – treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous materials; site assessments; waste minimization; environmental audits and inspections; and project management.

The Registered Hazardous Substances Professional Study Manual available through NEHA’s on-line Bookstore. 



NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook

It is strongly recommended that you read NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook: Guide to Policies and Procedures for NEHA’s Credentialing Programs. This handbook  outlines all the policies you are expected to follow by being a NEHA credential holder. The handbook also outlines in further detail the procedures for applying for a credential, submitting continuing education, and maintaining your credential.

If you would like to request a hardcopy of NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook, please contact the Credentialing Department at (303) 756-9090 ext. 310, or email




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