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Frequently Asked Questions

Special Government Employee (SGE) Program Home

Frequently Asked Questions

As part of a VPP onsite evaluation team, a Special Government Employee (SGE) contributes to the typically week-long assessment of a VPP applicant's or participant's safety and health management system. The team duties include but are not limited to:

  • Reviewing the written safety and health management system and supporting documents
  • Conducting a site walkthrough to observe working conditions and to verify that:
    1. hazards have been appropriately controlled, and
    2. a comprehensive safety and health management system has been successfully implemented
  • Conducting formal and informal employee interviews.
  • Helping to prepare the written VPP Onsite Evaluation report and sharing finds and recommendations.

All SGEs are initially appointed to a three-year term of service. SGEs serve at the pleasure of the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health. Service as an SGE is contingent upon proper ethical conduct.

You must have the following qualifications in order to become an SGE.

  • Employee of a current VPP site or a corporate employee of a corporation with VPP sites
  • Experience applying OSHA regulations
  • Experience (currently or within the previous 2 years) in a leadership position(s) in the VPP at the applicant's worksite or corporation
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Sound reading and writing skills
  • Physical ability to perform team member's duties
  • Management or corporate support for participating as an SGE

SGEs enjoy many benefits by participating in the VPP SGE Program, such as:

  • Working alongside OSHA personnel and sharing perspectives on safety and health
  • Meeting and networking with highly qualified safety and health professionals
  • Learning firsthand by observing best practices in safety and health
  • Exchanging valuable information, experiences and lessons learned with VPP applicants and participants
  • Earning CSP and CIH certification points after successfully completing the VPP SGE training and a VPP onsite evaluation
  • Taking OSHA training courses at OTI free of charge

December 6, 2004

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is pleased announce a new benefit for active Special Government Employees (SGE)*. SGEs can now waive the cost for courses offered at the OSHA Training Institute (OTI).

This exciting new benefit, effective January 3, 2005, will allow active SGEs the opportunity to further enhance their safety and health knowledge while continuing to assist OSHA with improving worker safety and health in America's workplaces.

To take advantage of this new benefit, interested SGEs must contact the National SGE Coordinator. The registration process is simple, an SGE should:

  1. View the OTI Searchable Schedule for a complete list of available courses. The course listing will indicate the number of seats available.
  2. Make course selection and note course number; course title; and date offered.
  3. Forward course information for registration to the National SGE Coordinator at 202-693-2213.
  4. The National SGE Coordinator will process the SGE course registration through OTI. An email notification will be sent directly to the SGE confirming his/her slots for the selected course. (NOTE: Travel arrangements should not be made until email confirmation is received.)

We look forward to SGEs taking advantage of this new educational opportunity and SGE incentive. Should you have questions or concerns, please contact the SGE Coordinator at 202-693-2213.

* The term "active SGE" refers to an SGE: 1) whose term of appointment has not expired; and 2) who has participated on one or more VPP Onsite Evaluations since his/her initial appointment.

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