The mission of the BCPE is to provide ergonomics certification to protect the public, the profession, and its professionals by assuring standards of competency and advocating the value of certification.
The BCPE is governed by an elected Board of Directors, composed of BCPE certified professionals and a public member, who establish corporate policies and procedures. These volunteers are leaders from within the profession and represent the diverse domains in which HFE is practiced. Each director is nominated for election by a Nominations Committee and is elected by the Board to a term of three years. Corporate officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) are elected annually by the Board from among the directors.
In addition, the BCPE is managed by an Executive Director and Executive Administrator (staff) who oversee administration of BCPE’s certification program by implementing and abiding by established policies and procedures.
The BCPE adheres to bylaws, which define BCPE’s primary objectives and describe how BCPE functions. BCPE’s bylaws were first adopted on September 2, 1991 and are consistent with the current practices and legal requirements of Washington State, BCPE’s state of incorporation. Subsequent revision of these bylaws has occurred as needed by amendment and is noted at the end of the document.
The BCPE was incorporated as an independent nonprofit organization in July 1990, but the development of ergonomics certification dates back to the mid-1980s. Committees of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, the International Ergonomics Association, the Department of Defense, NATO, and the National Academy of Science/National Research Council performed several reviews of job/task analyses to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities required of human factors/ergonomics practitioners at this time. These domains were later categorized by the Ergonomics Abstracts (London: Taylor & Francis, ISSN 0046-2446, 1993) schema and evaluated for validity and reliability against the most widely-used textbooks and handbooks in human factors/ergonomics degree programs.
The BCPE used these earlier job/task analyses to develop the criteria and procedures for BCPE certification, and initiated certification for the Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) and Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP) credentials in 1992. Credentialing for Associate Ergonomics Professionals (AEP) and Associate Human Factors Professionals (AHFP) followed in 1995, and in 1998, certification as a Certified Ergonomics Associate (CEA) was established, in recognition of the expanding scope at which ergonomics is being practiced. In 2009 the Certified User Experience Professional credential was added.
In 2013, the base educational requirement was changed from a Master’s degree to a Bachelor’s degree, but the educational coverage of the core competencies in credit units remained equivalent to a Master’s degree. Applications for CEA were no longer accepted.