Certification Procedures & Standards
The current version of the Certification Procedures and Standards is the one available on the CPESC, Inc. web site (www.cpesc.org). If there is a difference between the printed version and the online version, use the online version.
Article I - Certified Professional Status
Section 1. Definition
A CPESC is a recognized specialist in soil erosion and sediment control. CPESCs have educational training, demonstrated expertise, experience in controlling erosion and sedimentation, and meet certification standards.
Section 2. Application Procedure
Interested individuals should follow the steps below to apply to become a CPESC.
Receive and review CPESC Application Forms. Forms are available from CPESC web site (www.cpesc.org), CPESC representative, IECA or SWCS headquarters, chapter representatives, trades show displays, etc.
Assemble the following materials:
Application fee (see Article II, Section 3, Fees) (check made out to CPESC, Inc.)
Original copy of the following
- Application for CPESC
- Education, Training, and Professional Accreditations
- Professional Experience Profile for each job (that is, employment position) that you wish to report erosion and sediment control experiences (make additional copies as needed from original)**
- References — provide contact information for four (4) references.
- College transcripts — if any
- Additional documentation (such as, resume/vitae or government SF171)
** Professional Experience must detail pertinent work experience. Copies of relevant consulting reports, publications, manuscripts, and other significant professional activities may also be submitted. All materials received by the application review committee will be kept confidential. The experience materials must demonstrate competence in erosion and sedimentation control principles and methods and knowledge of federal and state/provincial laws relating to erosion and sediment control.
It is imperative that prospective references are fully qualified to provide information about your skills and experience in erosion and sediment control. They will be instructed not to fill out the form and to return it to you if they do not feel qualified to answer the questions. It is recommended, where possible, that at least one individual familiar with the applicant's expertise be a CPESC. These individuals may be peers or clients but no more than two should be coworkers.
Please let your references know that you are using them as a reference and that they may be contacted.
Send all materials from Step 2 to the CPESC Administrative Office.
Candidates whose materials are not complete will be notified of missing portions. The application review process will not begin until the application is deemed complete.
Section 3. Application Review Committee
Application materials are forwarded to the Application Review Committee (ARC). The ARC will review applications and return to CPESC Administrative Office within 30 days.
Approval for certification requires a majority affirmative vote of the ARC.
All decisions are vested in the ARC and are considered final after due provisions for an appeal have been satisfied.
Applicants who are denied qualification for the exam may:
appeal, providing they are able to furnish additional supportive data to the ARC, or
pursue In-Training status
Article II - Standards for Professional Certification
Section 1. General Information
Certification shall be valid for the calendar year in which it is granted and must be renewed annually.
Each applicant must subscribe to the Code of Conduct and Ethics, which shall be the standard of conduct.
Professional Development is a requirement for certification maintenance (see Section 5 of this Article).
Section 2. Eligibility Requirements
Each applicant must successfully pass a written examination designed to determine proficiency in the principles, practices, and legislation of erosion and sediment control. Applicants must also meet one of the following requirements:
Earn a qualifying BS degree* or higher plus three (3) years of professional level experience** in the soil erosion and sediment control profession - college transcripts are required.
Complete seven (7) years or more of professional level experience** in the erosion and sediment control profession.
* Degree in engineering (agricultural, civil, or environmental), geology, soil science, natural resource science or management, landscape architecture, or a related field is acceptable. ** The time requirement for professional level experience may be reduced by obtaining In-Training status. See Article III for information about In-Training status.
Through the professional experience profile, references, and written exam, the applicant must demonstrate an ability to observe, evaluate, and synthesize information; to consider alternatives; and to propose appropriate recommendations in a clear, logical manner.
International applicants must provide documentation to assure that educational degrees obtained and work experience are comparable to the requirements described in Item A above. Qualification under a delegated program (e.g. CPESC - Australia) meets this requirement.
Section 3. Fees
The application fee is US$200 and is non-refundable.
The application fee entitles the applicant to sit for the exam, upon approval. Note, the exam sponsor may charge an additional fee to cover their costs. If a qualified applicant fails the exam, there is a non-refundable US$75 re-test fee for all subsequent exams. After 2 re-tests the applicant must reapply through the application process. The appropriate application fee is required.
Renewal fees must be paid annually by the date shown on the face of the CPESC wallet card. (This is the anniversary of the date that the registrant achieved CPESC certification.) Payment is due at the CPESC Administrative Office on or before this anniversary date. Renewal fees are considered late one month after this date.
The renewal fee is US$100.00 per year. A late fee of US$25.00 per year will be added for late renewals. The renewal and late fees are subject to change.
Section 4. Revocation or Suspension of Certification
The right to revoke or suspend certification is vested in the CPESC Council.
Certification may be revoked or suspended for any of the following reasons:
Violations of the rules and regulations of the CPESC Code of Conduct and Ethics.
Misrepresentation on an application or submission of incorrect information in any communication to the ARC or the CPESC administrative office.
Proven charges of incompetence.
Any action to deprive a certified individual of his/her status (for the reasons in Section 4.B) shall be handled according to the "Complaint and Hearing Procedure" contained in Section 3 of the Policies & Procedures.
Failure to renew registration as described in Article II, Section 3.D is a basis for suspension of certification. Reinstatement following a lapsed time can be obtained by submission of proper justification and payment of all past renewal fees including a late fee for each year. If renewal has lapsed for three or more years, re-application for certification will be necessary.
Failure to maintain CPESC-IT status as specified in Article III, Section 3 is a basis for suspension or revocation of In-Training status.
CPESC-IT registrants who fail to pass the Practical Application part of the CPESC exam as specified in Article III, Section 5 is a basis for suspension or revocation of CPESC-IT status.
Section 5. Professional Development
CPESC's are required to accumulate a minimum of sixty (60) professional development units (PDUs) over a three-year period.
CPESC-IT's are required to accumulate a minimum of ten (10) professional development units per year.
The program relies on the honesty and integrity of each individual registrant.
Units must be earned in at least two different categories.
Continuing Education and training;
Professional publications, reports, or presentations;
Other professional activity.
Registrants with multiple certifications may be audited for all certifications.
Registrants who are selected to be audited for compliance with professional development requirements must submit their documentation to the Administrative Office within thirty (30) calendar days of receiving the audit notice. Registrants who fail to meet this requirement may have their certification suspended by action of the CPESC Council. If the requested documentation is not received within ninety (90) calendar days, the registrant's certification may be revoked by action of the CPESC Council.
Section 6. Time Limit for Professional Certification
Applicants must complete certification requirements within one (1) year of receiving full certification candidacy.
An extension of time may be granted only for extraordinary reasons upon written petition to the ARC.
Article III - In-Training Status
Section 1. Definition
Individuals who do not qualify for professional certification under the existing standards (see Article II, Section 2) may apply for CPESC In-Training status. In-Training status allows the individual increased standing, but does not allow them to take personal responsibility (to be in charge) as a CPESC. These individuals may include graduating seniors, graduate and post graduate students from accredited four year institutions, or practicing professionals who do not meet the eligibility requirements shown in Article II, Section 2.
Applicants must have a minimum of two (2) years of professional level experience or education to qualify for the CPESC In-Training exam.
In Region 10 (Australasia), CPESC In-Training status is known as CPESC Associate status.
Section 2. Application
Applicants may attain In-Training status by either of the following two methods:
Applying for In-Training status following the application requirements for professional certification in Article I, Section 2 (mark box for In-Training on application), and successfully pass the written examination. If the Application Review Committee determines that an applicant meets the eligibility requirements in Article I, Section 2, In-Training status will NOT be allowed.
Being offered In-Training status by Application Review Committee and pass the written examination.
Section 3. Maintaining CPESC-IT Status
The In-Training registrant must:
Meet professional growth requirements (see Article II, Section 5).
Pay the annual renewal fee (see Article II, Section 3).
Gain full CPESC status within six (6) years of the date that they obtain CPESC-IT status.
Failure to meet these requirements is a basis for suspension or revocation of CPESC-IT status. A registrant whose CPESC-IT status has been suspended or revoked may appeal the decision by submitting written notice to the Council showing why the registrant should be given special consideration. The right to suspend or revoke In-Training status is vested in the CPESC Council.
Section 4. Achieving Full CPESC Status
In-Training registrants desiring to move to full CPESC status must be in good standing as described in Section 3. Maintaining CPESC-IT Status. Additionally they must have completed the additional years of qualifying experience specified by the Application Review Committee.
CPESC-IT registrants who meet these eligibility requirements should submit a CPESC-IT Evaluation package to the CPESC Administrative Office. This package must contain the following items:
- Cover letter requesting evaluation for full CPESC certification. The cover letter must be signed by the registrant and contain an affirmation of compliance with professional development requirements.
- Completed CPESC-IT Professional Experience Profile sheets showing erosion and sediment control experiences gained since the original application was made.
- College transcripts for any education completed since the original application was made.
- Any other relevant information, including professional development training courses, etc. that you want the Application Review Committee to consider.
Allow 45 days for the Application Review Committee to determine the status of the request. The CPESC, Inc. administrative office will send an appropriate letter to the In-Training registrant who requested evaluation.
Section 5. CPESC-IT Retest Policy
A CPESC-IT registrant is allowed up to two (2) retests on the Practical Application part of the CPESC Exam. Failing to achieve a passing score on the second retest is a basis for suspension of CPESC-IT status. If suspended, the registrant will have three (3) years in which to get the suspension lifted and to pass the retest. After that, the CPESC-IT status may be revoked by action of the CPESC Council (see Article II, Section 4).
To lift the suspension, the registrant must petition the CPESC Council with evidence showing training courses the registrant has taken to improve their knowledge of erosion and sediment control principles and practices. If approved by the Council, the registrant will be granted one additional retest. The registrant may appeal the decision of the Council by providing additional supportive data. Failing to achieve a passing score on this retest is a basis for revocation of CPESC-IT status.