From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Ergonomics Certification: Spelling out the Acronyms

Professional certification in ergonomics continues to be a hot topic of discussion. Ergoweb receives several inquiries every week from individuals, employers, and organizations concerning certification in ergonomics. Common questions include: “Who certifies in ergonomics?” and “What does CPE stand for?”.

The Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics (BCPE) was established in 1990 to provide a formal process for recognizing practitioners of human factors/ergonomics in the United States. In October of 2001, the International Ergonomics Association (IEA) gave official endorsement of the BCPE as an accredited ergonomics certifying body.

The BCPE offers three levels of certification. The top certification designation is the Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE) [or Certified Human Factors Professional (CHFP)]. To attain this, a person must have a master’s degree or equivalent in ergonomics/human factors, four years of experience using ergonomics/human factors, and pass an exam.

The beginning level of certification is the Certified Ergonomics Associate (CEA). The CEA must have a bachelor’s degree, 200 contact hours in ergonomics training, two years of experience using ergonomics/human factors, and pass an exam.

The third designation is Associate Ergonomics Professional (AEP). The AEP certification may be granted to individuals who meet the educational, but not the work experience, criteria for CPE/CHFP certification. An individual with the AEP/AHFP designation is considered to be an “ergonomist in training”.

For more information on obtaining certification in ergonomics, contact the BCPE at

Get an in-depth look at what it takes to be a certified professional ergonomist in the next issue of The Ergonomics Report.