Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Registries > Registry Recon Blog > Posts > Putting Your HazCom Knowledge to the Test: Four Top Tips to Prepare for the SDSRP Competency Assessment
Putting Your HazCom Knowledge to the Test: Four Top Tips to Prepare for the SDSRP Competency Assessment

The SDS and Label Authoring Registry is the only credential focused on assessing the skills and knowledge industrial hygienists need to properly author and review Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels to meet the requirements of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The Safety Data Sheet Registered Professional (SDSRP) designation is the first and only EHS specialty credential designed to recognize professionals with expertise in this area.  

To earn the designation, applicants must first apply to the take the competency assessment by providing proof of adequate education and experience. Once qualified to sit for the exam, applicants must pass both parts of the exam to receive the SDSRP designation and be added to the Registry. 

Taking the Test

“The exam was written so that a competent person working in this field today would be able to pass it,” said Jennifer Kirkman, the North American Hazard Communication Panel Lead and Product Regulatory Specialist for ED Dispersions at BASF Corporation in Charlotte, NC, “If you just relax and think about each question like you’re at work, you’ll be fine.”

The test itself is divided into two parts, multiple-choice and an actual classification.

  • Part One: 75 multiple-choice questions that focus on the general knowledge areas in the Body of Knowledge (BoK).
  • Part Two: A practical assessment of the ability to utilize the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) to classify one substance and one mixture using the provided data sets and complete an SDS for the provided data set.

A copy of the GHS and a measurement conversion sheet are provided. 

Applicants have two hours to complete each part of the test.  If they should fail one part, they need only retake the failed part. 

How to Prepare 

“Study for it. I think people get paralyzed with professional exams because they think, ‘I should know this,’ but you can always study for things.  It never hurts to reintroduce yourself to something you’ve been doing for a while,” said Kirkman. “You need to have math and general science knowledge, you have to have regulation knowledge, and you need a ton of GHS knowledge. You have to be able to classify, you have to be able to distinguish. It’s really something that demonstrates a lot of knowledge and proficiency in this field, because nobody can just walk in there and ace it without knowing their stuff.”

Following are four tips to ensure you’re ready for the SDSRP exam:

1.Review the “Purple Book” – The United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) includes criteria for the classification of the health, physical and environmental hazards of chemical products, as well as specifying what information should be included on the labels of hazardous chemicals and in safety data sheets. A copy of the relevant version of the GHS will provided as a reference during the actual test. 

2.Download the “Body of Knowledge” (BoK) – This AIHA Body of Knowledge outlines the knowledge and skills a competent professional should possess and be able to demonstrate when authoring safety data sheets and labels. Prior to sitting for the SDS and Label Authoring Registry’s Competency Assessment, applicants should ensure that they are proficient in these knowledge areas.  Download the Body of Knowledge here.

3.Take the Prep Course – AIHA and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) have developed the AIHA/SCHC SDS & Label Authoring Registry Preparation Series for SDS and label authors to prepare for the exam. This eight-part, on demand series will help participants prepare for the exam by reviewing the overall process, examining the Body of Knowledge, and reviewing the evaluation process. Download the Preparation Series here. (This series is not required in order to take the Registry Program exam and completion does not guarantee admission into the SDS and Label Authoring registry program.)

4.Use the Study Guide – The SDS and Label Authoring Registry Proficiency Study Guide provides information regarding identified knowledge areas, to supplement what is outlined in the Body of Knowledge for the SDS and Label Authoring Registry Program, and an overview of the format of the current examination.  Purchase the Study Guide here.

Learn More

For more information about how to apply to the SDS Label Authoring Registry Program and to learn about the qualifications necessary to sit for the competency exam, please visit here.​