Important News for All Potential R.S. Exam Candidates
Changes being made by NEHA will affect FEHA R.S. exam administration. Beginning January 1, 2020, NEHA will eliminate the paper version of their exam nationwide and exam administration will change to Computer Based Testing (CBT) ONLY at Pearson Vue locations. We anticipate that this will improve test security and will offer scheduling advantages. You will be able to select a testing location near you that offers a more convenient date and time. After your application is approved, you will have up to a year to take the exam. Unofficial test results will be available upon completion of the exam. FEHA's pricing to acquire & maintain registration will remain at about 30% less than NEHA's fees.
Due to a price increase from NEHA, effective 1/1/2020 , the cost for the exam for FEHA members will increase to $320, and for non-members the exam cost will increase to $370.
The last date to lock in the current CBT pricing by submitting your application, transcripts and remitting payment is December 27, 2019. The current CBT fee for members is $250 and $300 for non-members. You will then have one year from 12/31/19 to take the exam.
The Registered Sanitarian (R.S.), Registered Environmental Health Professional (R.E.H.P.) and Registered Environmental Health Specialist (R.E.H.S.) credentials reflect the highest level of expertise and competency in the environmental health profession. Registration is voluntary in the state of Florida. Those awarded the credential are recognized as demonstrating a high degree of personal initiative and long-term commitment to public health. Registered professionals are more likely to be up-to-date on the latest advancements in their field and are better equipped to direct the activities of others. Registration enhances credibility in communicating risks, serving as an expert witness, or discussing environmental health issues with other professionals or the general public.
The standards for registration in Florida meet the requirements of the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and have been adopted by FEHA. Our organization maintains a reciprocity agreement with NEHA. Once you have received your FEHA credential, you may apply for, pay for, and receive the NEHA credential without taking an additional exam. Also, any other state with a similar NEHA reciprocity agreement will also recognize the Florida R.S. credential. To find out more about other states' agreements, check with NEHA.
To be eligible for the R.S./R.E.H.P./R.E.H.S. credential, applicants must meet education and experience requirements established in our bylaws and then successfully pass NEHA's national R.S./R.E.H.S. exam covering all aspects of environmental health, including bioterrorism and disaster preparedness. Once registered, individuals must complete and submit continuing education hours bi-annually to the Registration Board and adhere to a professional code of ethics.
There are 2 new credentials for active RSs which are "EMERITUS R.S." and "Active Military R.S." - these will not require continuing education contact hours! Additionally, a new "In-Training" credential has been established for candidates that don't yet have the required time in service. To request these specific credentials, please send an email to RSboard@feha.org to receive further instructions. To qualify for these new credentials, we follow the NEHA guidelines on these new options.
As organizations strive for a more talented workforce, an R.S. credential is a recognition of professionalism and offers incentives for individuals to increase their job-related value by developing and maintaining new skills. Employers and customers both benefit from the enhanced quality of services that an R.S. can impart. This is especially true during difficult times, like natural disasters or budget reductions, when a credentialed individual can be readily identified as having a level of expertise. Also, many employers provide an increase in pay for those achieving registration. The Florida Statutes (s. 381.0101) allows the R.S. registration to substitute the certification required for all food and onsite sewage program inspectors at the Department of Health.
R.S. certification is an accomplishment that will generate a sense of pride on a personal level and will earn commendation from your peers on a professional level.
For more information on the benefits of becoming an R.S./R.E.H.P./R.E.H.S, please review the R.S. presentation.
So...what are you waiting for?
Bob Vincent, R.S., Chair
FEHA Registration Board
P.O. Box 10807
Tallahassee, Florida 32302