For more than 30 years, the CPSM has served as a real-world certification for anyone involved in any aspect of product safety management and compliance.  The CPSM focuses on effective management practices and system methods needed  to improve product safety.  The exam stresses the importance of identifying, evaluating hazards, and reducing risks involving development, manufacture, distribution, and maintenance of products of all types during their total life cycle. Product safety management has world-wide implications because of a global economy. The CPSM credential is must for anyone working in a product safety environment including those with responsibilities in traditional settings and emerging fields such as medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical equipment, electronics, import/export companies, and third party consulting.

CPSM Exam Blueprint

Domains100-150 items
1. Product Safety Management35%
2. Product Hazard Controls41%
3. Standards Compliance24%

Domain 1—Product Safety Management (34%)

IBFCSM exams contain 100-150 multiple choice items. Exam results permit the assessment to determine a candidate’s minimum competency for certification. The blueprint reflects specifications published in the JTA Technical Report. Percentages reflect proportion of test items in each domain. Candidates use recall, recognition, comprehension, and application to answer items related to professional practice.

Domain 1 Topics

1.1 Identify principles of accident costing processes

1.2 Identify the concept of strict liability

1.3 Identify consumer product certification

1.4 Identify product liability and litigation consequences

1.5 Identify the principles related to defend and indemnify liability

1.6 Identify the purpose and nature of disclaimers and warranties

1.7 Identify the key areas of employee product safety training

1.8 Identify the product risks related to flammability

1.9 Given a scenario identify food processing safety risks

1.10 Identify the purpose of hazard and danger warnings

1.11 Identify milestones related to the history of product safety

1.12 Identify the risks associated with ignoring product safety procedures

1.13 Identify the purposes of independent safety reviews

1.14 Given a scenario identify key elements of industrial accident generation

1.15 Given a scenario identify elements related to legal negligence

1. 16 Given a scenario identify the importance product safety management functions

1.17 Identify the key elements related to manufacturer liability issues

1.18 Identify types of product adverse events

1.19 Identify the importance of safety audits to product safety

1.20 Identify the purpose of product instructional information

1.21 Given a scenario identify product recall processes

1.22 Identify the importance of maintain product control records

1.23 Identify the impact of providing product safety literature

1.24 Identify product litigation actions and safety responsibilities

1.25 Identify importance of product safety promotional campaigns

1.26 Identify and define the concept of reasonably safe products

1.27 Identify the purpose of records documentation and retention

1.28 Identify reasons for conducting safety audits and hazard evaluations

1.29 Identify safety interventions and voluntary recall processes

1.30 Identify the use of warranty statements.

Domain 2—Product Hazard Controls (41%)

Domain 2 Topics

2.1 Identify elements of the product audit and inspection process

2.2 Identify purposes for conducting benefit analysis

2.3 Identify the concept of compliant safety systems

2.4 Identify conditional product related events

2.5 Identify consumer product safety analysis elements

2.6 Identify elements relevant to controlling production hazards

2.7 Identify reasons for conducting cost effectiveness analysis

2.8 Identify elements of ensuring design of safe products

2.9 Identify reasons for evaluating existing product hazards

2.10 Identify principles of failure assessments

2.11 Given a scenario identify elements of field disassembly or reassembly

2.12 Identify flowcharting benefits

2.13 Identify benefits of hazard Analysis

2.14 Given a scenario identify human factors and ergonomic hazards

2.15 Identify reason for assessing manufacturing processes

2.16 Given a scenario identify medical product risks

2.17 Identify elements related to modifications to existing products

2.18 Identify potential user behaviors

2.19 Identify methods for preventing hazardous products reaching consumers

2.20 Identify the importance of product design field reports and hazard analysis

2.21 Identify relevancy of product sampling plans and testing criteria

2.22 Identify elements relevant to production sequence and quality controls

2.23 Given a scenario identify risk and hazard severity issues

2.24 Given a scenario identify safe design objectives and assessments

2.25 Identify specification limits and substantially equivalent definitions

2.26 Identify elements of system safety science and methods

Domain 3—Standards Compliance (24%)

Domain 3 Topics

3.1 Identify Federal regulations relevant to product safety

3.2 Identify consumer product safety compliance requirements

3.3 Identify relevant consumer product safety standards

3.4 Identify CPSC enforcement scope and standards

3.5 Identify defective product reporting standards

3.6 Identify Federal agencies product safety responsibilities

3.7 Identify regulatory report procedures

3.8 Identify safety laws impacting import of foreign goods

3.9 Identify laws related to sale of goods or products

3.10 Identify requirements for manufacturer duty to warn

3.11 Identify key medical equipment and device regulations

3.12 Identify product complaint investigation requirements

3.13 Identify key product safety legislation

3.14 Identify product safety signs

3.15 Identify the use of product safety warnings

3.16 Identify accurate product safety warning labels

3.17 Identify the difference between product warnings and cautions

3.18 Identify product radiation compliance standards

3.19 Identify regulator jurisdictions

3.20 Identify processes for reporting consumer product injuries

3.21 Identify key consensus and voluntary product safety standards

CPSM Sample Questions

  1. What statement best describes the reason or reasons for a product legal liability claim?

a. The misuse or poor application of safe products

b. Design, manufacture, distribution, or sale of products*

c. Purchase and use of illegal products

d. Ownership and distribution of dangerous products


  1. What best describes the fundamental philosophy of a system safety process.

a. A system approach requires a complete safety staff including analysts

b. System safety methods emphasize a reactive approach rather than a proactive approach to risk

c. Complexity of safety systems requires a safety manager experienced in systems

d. System safety approaches always improve the bottom line*


  1. What is a manufacturer=s duty to warn users about a product?

a. Duty exists for products designated as hazardous by a regulatory/consensus organization

b. Duty ends in most situations once the product has been sold*

c. Duty to warn exists after the sale of the product

d. Duty can be waived with a properly developed disclaimer


  1. What key issue relates to the general theory of negligence in product safety?

a.Reasonableness of the manufacturer conduct at the time the product left its hands*

b. Reasonableness of the product in the environment for which it was designed

c. Reasonableness of product usage prior to an incurred injury

d. Availability to the manufacturer of reasonably safe alternative product designs

CPSM Study Resources

  • CPSM Self Directed Study Guide, TLCS, Available in downloadable PDF and PRINT format. Buy it here! 
  • Basic Guide to System Safety; 2nd Edition; Vincoli, J, Wiley Inter-Science; Hoboken, NJ, 2006
  • Products Liability, 7th Ed, Owen, G. & Phillips, J, Thomson West Publishing, St. Paul, MN, 2003
  • Product Safety Management Guidelines, 2nd Ed. Laing, P; Editor, NSC, Chicago, IL, 1996
  • Safer by Design: A Guide to the Management and Law Designing for Product Safety, 2nd Edition, Abbott, H & Tyler, M, Gower Publishing Company, 1997
  • Product Safety Management & Engineering; 2nd Edition, Hammer, W, American Society of Safety Engineers, Des Plaines, IL, 1993
  • Human Perspectives on Warnings, Laughery, K. & Young, S, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, Santa Monica, CA, 1994
  • Engineering Design for Safety: Hunter, T, McGraw Hill; NY, 1992.
  • System Safety Engineering & Management, Roland, H. & Moriarty, B, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 1990
  • Introduction to Hazard Control Management, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, 2014, J.T. Tweedy, IBSN: 978-1-4665-5158-9