Certification And Continuing Education Show Professionalism

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Since 1995, the National Association of Wastewater Technicians has offered a course and certification for conducting an operating level inspection for septic systems at the time of property transfer. This course came about initially due to inquiries from real estate professionals about whether a standard could be created for these inspections. Recognizing that professionals in our industry are the best equipped and qualified to conduct these inspections, the program was begun. As a part of the program there is an expectation that professionals will take at least eight hours of continuing education units over the two-year certification period to ensure the inspector is keeping up with industry advancements.

In 2005, NAWT expanded the programs offered to include an Operation and Maintenance Certification and an Installer Certification with similar expectations for continuing education. In the past two years, NAWT has worked at providing a course and accompanying certification on Design Principles. These certifications have value for the participants to promote the industry and show they are professionals concerned with providing the best services to their customers. If you have an interest in any of these programs for your state or region, contact the NAWT office.

NAWT Board members feel required continuing education is an important aspect of any certification program. The industry is rapidly changing and individuals and firms can fall behind in learning about new technologies and products available if they don’t periodically participate in education programs.

Currently, the continuing education requirement for each of the NAWT programs is eight hours every two years. We often get questions about how this stacks up with other industries. Recently we saw some articles on certification in the agricultural sector. In these articles it was highlighted that the average certification period is every two to three years; so it would appear that NAWT programs are on target with the time period. The average number of continuing education units required was stated as 15 hours. Here the NAWT programs are on the low side of requirements.

Many of the professionals we see in our programs earn many more than eight hours over the two-year period. They see the value of NAWT and other programs offered to keep current in their businesses. They recognize that growing their skills and knowledge gives them a competitive advantage as well as the best service possible to their customers. They realize that the minimum is not where they need to be. If someone is doing only the minimum they are probably falling behind and will not be one of the top professionals in their area.


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