AAMHP news

Professional Certification with ASPHP (USA)

Pippa Wright
Pippa Wright posted on April 14, 2015 11:15am

Dear AAMHP Members

AAMHP has long entertained the prospect of developing a Professional Certification in people handling for Australian Practitioners. However as you are all aware this little committee runs as a small voluntary group that whilst totally committed to the cause, has not the infrastructure to set up such a mammoth project at this stage. However we do have the opportunity to expand our horizons through an internationally recognised program and affiliate ourselves with the internationally recognised group: Association of Safe Patient Handling Professionals (ASPHP).

The benefits of professional recognition and acknowledgment by employers and peers within Australia is now possible and we are extremely pleased to announce that AAMHP has signed off to work with the ASPHP in building an international acknowledgment of the safe patient handling profession through access to and participation in the ASPHP certification program, and as such we hope to make this possibly an even stronger affiliation in the coming years. 

Leading experts from around the world identified the fundamental skills necessary for the professional practitioner of safe people handling programs. To which there are Nine Core Competencies identified for Professional Certification: (Refer to:  Defining the Skills of the Perfect SPH Manager) 


Core competency



Financial Acumen

Demonstrated through budgeting, cost justification and/or vendor negotiation


Team Leadership

Demonstrated through assembling and leading a cross functional team


Policy and Procedure Deployment

Demonstrated through the development, modification and implementation of SPH Policies and Procedures


Training Deployment

Demonstrated by development and delivery of training


Clinical Knowledge & Experience

Demonstrated through clinical job duties


Risk Analysis & Control

Demonstrated through formal analyses and linking control measures to risk results


Program Promotion

Demonstrated by promoting the benefits and/or results of the SPH program internally and externally


Program Audit 

Demonstrated by a formal review and reporting of program performance


Unit Specific Customization

Demonstrated by adapting procedures to unit specific and patient specific needs

Many of you know that I went through this process last year and found it very rigorous but actually very rewarding by taking the time to reflect over ones achievements, work history, and put all the blood sweat and tears in to total perspective. Not only that, but the process gave me opportunities to articulate and demonstrate the resilience of my work and programs creating scope for further improvement.

ASPHP is offering all Members of AAMHP two levels of certification:
  • Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional and
  • Certified Safe Patient Handling Associate.

The only restrictions as to who can apply is that they must be a current member of AAMHP and show proof documentation of such, which the AAMHP committee will provide on request.

Once applicants have provided proof of AMMHP membership, in order to apply, receive and maintain the CSPHP credential and CSPHA membership the applicant will then pay certification application fee plus a discounted membership fee. All fees shall be established annually by the Certification Program of the ASPHP. This special rate only applies to certification applications. Any AAMHP member wishing to become a member of ASPHP without applying for certification will pay the normal ASPHP membership rate.

On application and submission of all requirements under the core competencies, the evaluators independently review, but act in teams so that three persons must concur with the outcome; all are CSPHPs.  A request may come back for RAIs (Request for Additional Information) during the review process which demonstrates that this process is rigorous and must be taken seriously by all applicants.For those who apply and are not approved, their applicant status is honored for one year’s period of time so that they can have ample opportunity to address those reasons that they could not be approved at time of application.

Certification isn't for everyone. It is for those people who want to distinguish themselves and their achievements, and for those who want to enhance their capabilities year after year. We all know professionals practicing in their field that have never been certified, including some who are very talented. However, a meaningful certification that is shared with other skilled, motivated professionals provides increased credibility for the certificants over time. (Refer to:  Certification: Who is it for?).

Much more information will be available to AAMHP members on the website and I can assure you we will keep a conversational dialogue going with our International colleagues on this process, to ensure that not only does it benefit our positions as practitioners but also adds value to the International liaisons between Associations. If you’re interested in more information on this process take a look at www.asphp.org/certification.

There is power in numbers and we are hopeful that this partnership works to strengthen the international message of the importance of safe handling of people. Working together we will augment each other’s efforts to fortify the practices that prevent caregiver injury while improving clinical outcomes and quality of life.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries, but I am confident you will find all the information you need on the websites, but I am always here if you need me.
Visit the fcorum site for more information - http://www.aamhp.org.au/forum/topic/94
Kind regards
Pippa Wright
Chair AAMHP National
Director Preventative Injury Planning Strategies P/L
Chartered Fellow Safety Institute of Australia
Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional