Services, Training

Meet the ISSP: Working to Increase Safety in Transportation

By By Keith Cianfrani | July 16, 2013

As one that has been in the safety management business for a very long time, I always wondered what we could do to promote safety beyond the many tools that enhance safety in organizations. I’m sure we all agree that we need additional forms of safety promotion. Enter the International Society of Safety Professionals (ISSP), which does exactly that.

ISSP is a newly formed organization of safety management professionals from all communities of practice to include: the oil and gas industry, aviation safety, occupational safety and health, mining, healthcare, construction, general industry, transportation public safety and others. This is the first time an organization of safety professionals has formed to shape the future of safety management in the corporate environment.

It will promote and advance the profession of safety management, provide education opportunities, and create a public registry of qualified safety professionals.


This concept is the “brainchild” of D Smith of the U.S. Transportation Safety Institute (TSI). Smith is the founder of the Moral Courage Award, which TSI presented for the first time at Heli-Expo in March to Bond Offshore Helicopters and the U.S. Coast Guard. Smith has “hit another home run” in the safety management business with the formation of ISSP. The idea traces back to 1992 when he was a U.S. Army safety officer. He attended many international safety forums and wanted to standardize how organizations look at safety management. Smith experienced resistance at first, and had no resources to promote his idea. It took some time, but Smith was able to find a corporate sponsor that invested resources and time to enable the idea to become a reality.

The belief is that when safety professionals from around the globe join together, their voices will be so powerful that the entire world will take notice of what they have to say. Collectively, they will help to shape and define the safety profession. They want to bring enhanced creditability to the profession of safety management. Up to this point, safety management was left to individuals who attempted to convince an organization it was the right thing to do. With ISSP, there is collective voice in the safety management career field.

ISSP has many events planned in the near future. It will host a core safety course, which includes auditor training, as well as two workshops – one in Dallas and one in Phoenix. The group is looking at hosting four workshops during 2014, and plans to have a national convention in partnership with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. It hopes to have more 5,000 members by this time next year.

Safety professionals can join this global voice for safety management by visiting the group’s website at, e-mailing ISSP at or calling 1-405-694-1664. There are six levels of membership. Level one is Associate Safety Professional, level two is Sustained Safety Professional, then Fellow Safety Professional, Senior Safety Professional, Distinguished Safety Professional and level six is “Named Member,” or one that has made a significant contribution to safety management. There is also a Corporate Membership and an Affiliate Membership. Each level requires verification of education, experience, and references.

I’m overjoyed to see an organization like ISSP, which promotes safety in so many working environments. It is long overdue. This is a great way to enhance safety and manage risk. Once again, we owe Mr. Smith our gratitude for taking the lead in safety management. I’m looking forward to working with ISSP and will periodically report on their progress. As always, Take Action to Fly Safe!

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