Registered Hazardous Substances Specialist (RHSS)
For as long as NEHA has
existed, NEHA has strived to elevate the standing and respect accord to
those who practice environmental health. One of the mechanisms used by
professional societies like NEHA to achieve such a goal is the one of
credentialing. Through a professional credential, one evidences to both
their employer and to the public they serve that they are competent to
carry out the duties and tasks expected of them. Such a mark of
distinction also serves the practitioner inasmuch as the effort expended
to gain such a credential often leads to higher levels of individual
compensation and regard, as it should. NEHA’s mission is to advance you
— pure and simple. Few professional fields are growing and changing as
rapidly as environmental health.
Successful completion of this registration program
represents an initiative taken by the Registered
Hazardous Substances Specialist and is considered a significant
achievement by employers, peers and the public.
Registered Hazardous Substances Specialist is an individual who, in
support of and under the direction of Registered Hazardous Substances
Professionals, environmental professionals and scientists, carries out
in a responsible manner proven techniques of a technical nature in a
particular hazardous materials/waste management field. Performance as a
Registered Hazardous Substances Specialist requires the application of
appropriate principles, methods and techniques combined with practice
and knowledge. Under professional direction, the Registered Hazardous
Substances Specialist functions in positions that involve testing,
sampling, routine inspecting, and providing information on hazardous
materials/waste practices, techniques and methods for the purpose of
identifying, preventing, and eliminating environmental health hazards.
Eligibility and Exam
Eligibility to sit for this credentialing exam
is determined by the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).
Applications and fees must be submitted to NEHA for review. For
applications and additional information about eligibility requirements,
please contact: National Environmental Health Association, 720
S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 1000-N, Denver, CO 80246, Phone: 303-756-9090,
ext. 310, E-mail:
Candidates must meet either the education requirement under Track One or
Requires successful completion
of a two-year A.A., A.A.S., or Certificate program in hazardous
materials/waste management. With this level of education, there is no
Requires successful graduation
from a standard four-year high school or acceptable equivalency
certification, and, a minimum of two years work experience in the
hazardous materials/waste field.
Exam Description/Content Areas
The RHSS exam is an objective, 200
questions multiple-choice test designed to measure knowledge expected of
two-year technical program graduates. You will have three (3) hours to
complete the exam. The RHSS exam is broken down into the following
Determination and Characterization of Hazardous Wastes
Sampling and Analysis Procedures and Interpretations
Proper Handling, Packaging, Storage
Waste Reduction and Recycling
Waste Treatment Technologies
Disposal Options and Restrictions
Transportation and Manifesting
Permitting and Record Keeping Requirements
Short/Long Term Hazardous Waste Management Responsibilities
Federal Laws and Regulations
All fees should accompany the
Application for Professional Credentials.
Exam Scheduling and Locations
Examinations will be scheduled at times and locations convenient to
candidates. THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF A QUALIFIED PROCTOR MUST BE
INCLUDED ON THE APPLICATION. Individual candidates or should
contact NEHA for further details.
Admission To The Exam
NEHA will send each approved candidate
an admission letter. The admission letter shows the date the exam will
be given, the address of the exam location and the time for reporting to
the exam. Those not appearing on the date and at the time shown on the
admittance letter will forfeit all fees. Persons arriving after the exam
supervisor has started may not be admitted. If you lose your admission
letter, or have not received an admission letter at least two days
before the exam date, contact NEHA immediately. Please notify NEHA of
any change of address. Only approved candidates will be admitted to the
exam. No walk-in applicants will be admitted.
Passing score is 70%.
Your score will be based on the number of
questions you answer correctly. If you are unsure of the answer, it is
better to guess because you will not be given credit for any answer that
has been answered incorrectly, left blank or marked with more than one
answer. There is no penalty for guessing. A score letter will be
mailed to you approximately two weeks after the exam date. To insure
confidentiality, exam scores will not be given by telephone or
Special Needs Candidates
If a physical or mental impairment
prevents you from taking the exam under normal conditions, you may
request special arrangements. Please submit documentation of your
impairment with your registration form and a letter describing the
special arrangements that are necessary.
What to Bring to the Exam
You must bring your
admission letter and photo identification (such as a driver's license).
Please bring two #2 pencils for marking your answer sheet.
In order to keep your credential
current you must:
1) earn 12 hours of continuing education every two
years and provide documentation to NEHA with a Continuing Education
Submission Form; and
2) pay a renewal fee of $115 NEHA Members/$245
Non-Members every two years.
RHSS Study Manual has been carefully developed to help
prepare the candidate for the Registered Hazardous Substances Specialist
exam. This reference contains valuable information on hazardous waste
management; environmental laws and regulations; basic chemistry; basic
toxicology principles; personal protection – sampling, risk assessment
and communication; emergency response; transportation of hazardous
materials and wastes – treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous
materials; site assessments; waste minimization; environmental audits
and inspections; and project management.
NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook
It is strongly recommended that you read
NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook: Guide to
Policies and Procedures for NEHA’s Credentialing Programs. This
handbook outlines all the policies you are expected to follow
by being a NEHA credential holder. The handbook also outlines in further
detail the procedures for applying for a credential, submitting
continuing education, and maintaining your credential.
would like to request a hardcopy of NEHA’s Credentialing Handbook,
please contact the Credentialing Department at (303) 756-9090 ext. 310,