UNIVERSITY-LEVEL PRODUCT SAFETY INDIVIDUAL CERTIFICATION PROGAM
I. SCOPE OF THE INDIVIDUAL CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
1. The goal of this certification program is to offer a formal certification program to product safety professionals in the consumer product field. Consumer Product Safety Certification Services (CPSCS) will sanction the program for offering to eligible product safety professionals under auspices of the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business (RCSB) at Saint Louis University in cooperation with ADK Information Services, LLC
2. CPSCS, in consultation with its affiliate, the Society of Product Safety Professionals (SPSP),will determine the eligibility for entering the certification program, e.g., 10 years product safety experience, 7 or more years product safety experience plus undergraduate degree in
relevant field etc.
3. RCSB, applying normal university practices and procedures for certification programs, will have responsibility for designing the certification education components in consultation with CPSCS.
4. Five core knowledge areas will be addressed in individually taught courses (in-class and on-line). These five knowledge areas were identified by a Job Analysis Committee formed by SPSP to delineate the core competency requirements in the practice of product safety
management, and their understanding of core principles in the design and implementation of a general overall system that would focus on reducing the safety risks of consumer products contributing to injury or death to product users:
1. Corporate culture consistent with safe, compliant products
- Corporate Product Safety Policy: policy development, communication to all corporate stakeholders, advocates for support of senior management.
- Advice to leadership: safety-related fact-based assessments, advocacy and recommendation of actions and plans for corrective actions regarding product designs, production alterations, including for products in the field; communicates to the organization the need to reduce or eliminate foreseeable safety risks; drives safety risk issues to the corporate risk leadership and corporate officers; works with appropriate company officials and legal counsel to determine whether to report incidents to a regulator when warranted under applicable statutes.
- Ethical conduct: Participates in and advocates for developing a product safety mission for the company, including provisions for conduct and ethical behavior; elevation of consumer safety to a heightened prominence in corporate decision making; quality of training of product safety personnel, and promotes building respect within and outside of the company for its commitment to product safety
2. Consumer Product Safety Assurance
Successful candidates will have a general understanding of basic elements of a broad consumer product safety assurance system. They will master these elements to the extent necessary to act and/or engage appropriate external and internal resources for action.
- Product hazard assessment: including assessment of product information, market data, relevant published literature, incident claims, litigation, on-line product reviews, and other sources of field data for potential risks of hazards; promotes policies and procedures ensuring that product safety is considered in all relevant corporate processes such as design (including foreseeable consumer behavior), manufacturing, customer service, customer support, marketing, field service, etc. as it relates to product hazards; assessment of processes, test methods, and standards to validate final product risk; assessment of marketing materials and product instructions for safe use of products.
- Anticipation, identification, and evaluation of potential risks in new products, including participation in design and development processes, continuous improvement through evaluation of existing designs with product design team; ensures that product designs integrate consumer use behavior—including foreseeable misuse—into final product decisions; collaboration with product managers, development teams, customers, retailers, dealers, distributors, and service companies on product safety issues; integration of safety analytical tools such as Design Failure Mode and Effects analysis (DFMEA) and Process Failure and Effects Analysis (PFMEA), criticality analysis, fault trees; risk sensing analytics and others into the product development process to predict and reasonably minimize safety risks to consumers and others.
- 3rd party certifier management: including coordination of testing to validate product compliance with mandatory and voluntary standards; management and maintenance of Good Laboratory Practices of qualified laboratories for self-certifications where appropriate.
3. Product Compliance with Laws, Regulations and Standards
Successful candidates will have a general understanding of basic elements in a product safety regulatory compliance system. They will master these elements to the extent necessary to act and/or engage appropriate external and internal resources for action.
- Encompasses a knowledge of rules, regulations, standards, bans, and restrictions applicable to a company’s products; use of information sources to stay up to date on standards and regulations with continuous efforts to research and learn about new information related to their organization’s industry; communicates a company’s overall safety vision and requirements across the supply chain.
- Cognizant of regulations and requirements in all applicable markets while noting that the overall program’s focus is primarily on the United States market at the federal, state, and local levels; leverages industry associations to keep abreast of changing laws, regulations and standards and comments on them when appropriate; maintains awareness of standards development panels, committees, industry groups, task forces, etc.; participates in standards development activities.
4. Incident management programs
Successful candidates will have a general understanding of basic elements in an incident management program. They will master these elements to the extent necessary to act and/or engage appropriate external and internal resources for action.
- Ensures a comprehensive corporate system through which all product safety-related complaints, incidents, injuries, lawsuits, liability claims, warranty claims, etc. are compiled in a data management system.
- Manages and maintains a system to investigate, evaluate, and, when appropriate, act on safety-related incidents, including a system that escalates potential or actual product safety incidents for reporting, recalling, and other corrective actions such as product re-designs and production changes
- Monitors field complaints received by phone, email, mail, warranty and other claims, legal actions, on-line and social media complaints that may indicate safety related product issues, including a knowledge of consumer safety information sources such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) SaferProducts.gov website, CPSC’s NEISS (National Electronic Injury Surveillance System), and other regulatory agencies; reviews product recalls of products similar to those manufactured/sold by the company.
- Manages resources to forensically determine root causes of failures; evaluates the effectiveness of corrective actions, and maintains all records necessary for product safety actions and for corrective actions both internally and externally.
5. Product corrective actions and withdrawal systems
Successful candidates will have a general understanding of basic elements in a product corrective action and withdrawal system. They will master these elements to the extent necessary to act and/or engage appropriate external and internal resources for action.
- Corrective actions and withdrawal of products, including communication and coordination of product sales and shipping-holds; reverse logistics; recalls and other corrective actions including safety notices, including corrective action preparation and coordination with the appropriate regulatory agency and company personnel.
- Consumer communications and remunerations, including notification of a product defect or failure; the system for return, repair, replacement, repurchase and disposal plans, modification of future production to eliminate the identified risk that led to recall or corrective action,
- Designs, develops, and maintains systems to control affected inventory and compensation/incentives to encourage the appropriate corrective action and widespread withdrawal participation.
- Monitors and reports corrective actions activity as required by law; manages effective and fraud-free corrective actions; maintain all records for product destruction, returned inventories, repaired or refurbished products, etc.
- Communicates lessons learned and conducts post-mortem on all product safety corrective actions and withdrawals with a broad team from across the company.