Exams and Endorsements

Operations Management, Supervisor, Foreman

Safety/Training Management

CUSP Blue Base Exam Blueprint

This is the matrix by which the CUSP BLUE exam was developed. It is expected that a Utility Safety Professional will meet and/or exceed the required knowledge in these subject areas.

STANDARDS: 15%
  1. OSHA Federal Regulations
  2. Cranes and Derricks in Construction
  3. Performance and Consensus Standards
  4. OSHA Record-keeping Requirements
  5. Certification or Qualification
  6. Legal Considerations
  7. Enforcement Policies of Regulatory Agencies
  8. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)
  9. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
HAZARD ID: 15%
  1. Typical Workplace Hazards
  2. Hazards vs. Risks
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Common Utility Industry Practices
  5. Monitoring
  6. Evaluating Program Effectiveness
INCIDENT PREVENTION: 15%
  1. Define Incident Prevention
  2. Fundamentals of Incident Prevention
  3. Tracking and Interpreting Incidents
  4. Incident Investigation
  5. Typical Incident Prevention Programs
LEADERSHIP SKILLS: 25%
  1. Communicating Safety Values and Expectations
  2. Identify/Explain Critical Safety Data Measurements
  3. Safety Program Accountability
  4. Proactive vs. Reactive
  5. Building Effective Relationships
HUMAN PERFORMANCE: 5%
  1. What is Human Performance?
  2. Recognizing Active and Latent Errors
  3. Understanding Latent Organizational Weaknesses
  4. Anatomy of Events
OPERATIONS: 25%
  1. Operations Responsibilities and Accountabilities in the Safety Process
  2. Understanding the Difference Between Compliance and Safety
  3. Implementing Operational Practices
  4. Gap Analysis
CUSP Green Base Exam Blueprint

This is the matrix by which the CUSP GREEN exam was developed. It is expected that a Utility Safety Professional will meet and/or exceed the required knowledge in these subject areas.

STANDARDS: 30%
  1. OSHA Federal Regulations
  2. Cranes and Derricks in Construction
  3. Performance and Consensus Standards
  4. OSHA Recordkeeping Requirements
  5. Certification or Qualification
  6. Legal Considerations
  7. Enforcement policies of Regulatory Agencies
  8. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)
  9. Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD)
HAZARD ID: 20%
  1. Typical Workplace Hazards
  2. Hazards vs. Risks
  3. Responsibilities
  4. Common Utility Industry Practices
  5. Monitoring
  6. Evaluating Program Effectiveness
INCIDENT PREVENTION: 20%
  1. Define Incident Prevention
  2. Fundamentals of Incident Prevention
  3. Tracking and Interpreting Incidents
  4. Incident Investigation
  5. Typical Incident Prevention Programs
LEADERSHIP SKILLS: 15%
  1. Communicating Safety Values and Expectations
  2. Identify/Explain Critical Safety Data Measurements
  3. Safety Program Accountability
  4. Defining Critical Behavior
  5. Proactive vs. Reactive
HUMAN PERFORMANCE: 5%
  1. What is Human Performance?
  2. Recognizing Active and Latent Errors
  3. Understanding Latent Organizational Weaknesses
  4. Anatomy of Events
OPERATIONS: 10%
  1. Operations Responsibilities and Accountabilities in the Safety Process
  2. Understanding the Difference Between Compliance and Safety
  3. Building Effective Relationships
  4. Implementing Operational Practices
  5. Gap Analysis

The base CUSP exam is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions. In addition, all CUSP candidates will be asked to designate an endorsement exam from the following utility work environments:

  • Electric Transmission & Distribution
  • Gas
  • Power Generation
  • Civil

Each endorsement exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions.  Candidates must pass at least one endorsement exam along with the base exam in order to become certified. A maximum of two endorsement exams can be taken at the time of the base exam. There is an additional fee if a candidate elects to take more than one endorsement exam.  For more information, visit this page.

An exam proctor will be on-site to administer the exam. Candidates will be asked to provide a photo ID before the exam begins.  All desktops will be cleared and cell phones must be turned off during the exam period. Notes cannot be used during the exam. There are no math questions on the CUSP exam so calculators are not necessary.

All those who take the exam will be notified of their pass or fail result via email within 7-10 business days. Letter grades or passing percentages will not be issued. Examinees who pass the CUSP exam and one endorsement exam will be sent their CUSP certificate via mail within three to six weeks.  Those who fail will be forwarded information on how to retest should they choose to do so.

Helpful Tips & Resources to Prepare for CUSP Exam

Endorsement Exams

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The CUSP Electric Transmission and Distribution endorsement exam is for those that have experience working in the construction and maintenance of the electric power grid infrastructure. The topics and knowledge that are required by a utility safety professional include:

  • T&D Maintenance & Construction
  • Training
  • Retraining
  • Qualified Employees
  • Supervision & Annual Inspections
  • Job Briefings
  • Enclosed Spaces
  • Live Line Tools
  • Materials Handling & Storage
  • Working On or Near Exposed Energized Parts
  • Minimum Approach Distance

Gas Endorsement

The CUSP Gas endorsement exam is for those that have experience working in constructions and maintenance of the utility gas infrastructure. The topics and knowledge that are required by a utility safety professional include:

  • Regulatory Agencies
  • Explosive Limits
  • Gas Characteristics
  • Pipeline Characteristics
  • Standards
  • DOT Cylinder Handling

Power Generation

The CUSP Power Generation endorsement is for those that have experience working in a power generation facility in the utility industry. The topics and knowledge that are required by a utility safety professional include:

  • Hazardous Energy Control (Lockout/Tagout)
  • Electrical
  • Permit Required Confined Spaces
  • Industrial Hygiene – Managing Health Hazards
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Welding Hot Work Permits
  • Walking & Working Surfaces

Civil Endorsement

The CUSP Civil endorsement is for those that have experience working in the construction and maintenance of utility infrastructure.  Work tasks include underground, concrete and structural steel construction work.  The topics and knowledge that are required by a utility safety professional include:

  • General Requirements for Scaffolds and Platforms
  • PPE and Noise Protection
  • Industrial Hygiene Controls and Management
  • NFPA Life Safety Code
  • Electric Safety
  • Fall Protection
  • Trenching and Excavation
  • Confined Spaces
  • Ropes and Rigging
  • First Aid Training
  • OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy
Sample questions similar to those found on the CUSP exam:
The Utility Safety Leadership Review is offered before all CUSP exams. It is not a requirement that you take the review, but most find it very beneficial. If you wish to just take the CUSP exam only, please indicate your intention during CUSP registration process.
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