Frequently Asked Questions

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General CUSP FAQs

Where can I find the CUSP application?

Click on this link to take you to the CUSP Application page on our website. Click on the green "Read More" button to open the application online. You can create a login and save the application if you are unable to complete it in one sitting.

How do I submit my CUSP application?

Click on this link to take you to the CUSP Application page on our website. Complete the application in its entirety. You can create a login and save the application if you are unable to complete it in one sitting. You can print the application and fax to (815) 425-6305 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once you submit the application, you will receive a confirmation via email that it has been submitted. Please allow 5-7 business days after that for the CUSP application review committee to notify you whether it is approved.

Are CUSP exam preparation materials available?

You can find our prep suggestions for the CUSP exam on this page: Prepare for CUSP Exam.

For the Canadian CUSP prep suggestions, go to this page: Prepare for CUSP Canadian Exam.

How do I know if I should take the blue CUSP base exam or the green CUSP base exam?

You can take a look at the eligibility requirements on this page: CUSP Eligibility. If you are still unsure, fill out the CUSP application and mark the exam you feel you qualify for.  The CUSP application review committee will determine which exam is best suited for you.

Do I have to take an endorsement exam?

Yes, you will need to pass the base exam and one endorsement exam in order to become a CUSP credential holder.

When will I get my CUSP exam results?

You will be notified by email within 5-10 business days after taking the exam. You will be notified whether you passed or failed. Actual scores will not be provided.

What happens if I do not pass the CUSP Exam?

You must bass both the CUSP base exam (green or blue) and at least one CUSP endorsement exam in order to be awarded the CUSP credential. If you pass a base exam and not an endorsement exam, you would need to retake just the endorsement exam and vice versa. If you need to retake any exam, you can attend the Utility Safety Leadership Review and retake the CUSP exam(s) at a future date at no charge. If you fail to pass the first retake exam, you can retake the exam again, but there will be a charge. For more information, visit this page.

You are required to wait a minimum of 30 days and no longer than one year before applying to retake the exam(s). Should you apply to retest after the one year, you will be required to re-submit an application and start the process again.

How do I find out my login information?

You can use the online chat in the lower right corner of our website, you can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can call the office at 815-459-1796.  We are open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm CST.  If you just need your password, you can follow the instructions for “Forgot Your Password.”

How can I earn CUSP points?

Suggestions on how you can earn CUSP points on this page: CUSP Recertification.

How do I find out how many CUSP points I have earned?

Please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the office at 815-459-1796 to request your CUSP points status.  We will be implementing a new system where you can see your points by logging into your profile soon.

How do I submit my information to earn CUSP points?

Click here to open the online CUSP points request form. For information on how to fill out the form, view these instructions

How can I use the CUSP credential title that I have earned?

The CUSP credential is only for the authorized use of the individuals to which it has been awarded to.  You can display your CUSP title after your name on resumes, business cards, correspondence and email signatures.  Here are some examples:

  • John P. Smith, CUSP
  • John P. Smith, Certified Utility Safety Professional
  • John P. Smith, (request logo from USOLN at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The CUSP credential is only authorized for use during the period the certification is valid; it expires if you have not met the recertification requirements and your CUSP credential is revoked.

What is your privacy policy regarding my CUSP candidate and credential holder information?

The USOLN will keep all CUSP candidate and credential holder personal and examination records confidential and will obtain your approval before releasing information from your CUSP records other than the cases listed below:

  • The name only of each CUSP credential holder will be published in the CUSP Roster on the USOLN website.
  • If the USOLN receives an inquiry, we will provide verification of your certification to the public.
What is the difference between a certification and a certificate program?
A certification, such as the CUSP credential, is developed to assess an individual’s competence, i.e. knowledge, skills and abilities that they have gained through their job experience and education throughout their career against an established standard. A certificate program begins with education and training that is delivered and an assessment is done to document the achievement of the learning outcomes or mastery of the material.
Why are the CUSP maintenance and recertification requirements so difficult?
Utility safety is a matter of life or death and it is critical for utility safety professionals to stay current with leading edge safety practices. In order to ensure the continued competence of CUSP credential holders, a rigorous maintenance and recertification program was developed that encourages ongoing continuing professional development.
Will there be a benefit to me in my career for earning the CUSP credential?
While nothing is guaranteed, many people have reported that the CUSP credential has provided them additional credibility in the workplace and helped them to move up in their careers. There are also some employers that are requiring the CUSP credential when they are recruiting new hires.

General USOLN FAQs

How do I become a USOLN member?

Visit this page Join USOLN and follow  these instructions.

How do I pay my USOLN renewal membership fee?

Click here to renew your USOLN membership. For more information on how to pay your USOLN renewal membership fee, view these instructions.

What is the difference between the USOLN annual renewal fee and the CUSP annual maintenance fee?
The USOLN renewal fee is to renew your USOLN membership. The CUSP annual maintenance fee is one of the steps required to retain your CUSP credential.
What benefits do USOLN members receive?

Click here to learn more about USOLN member benefits.
Additional information is also available on the Members Only Center page.

USOLN

360 Memorial Drive, Suite 10, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 | Phone: 815.459.1796
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