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Re-certification Requirements

 

NOTICE: Change to the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission’s Re-certification Requirements

On June 21, 2013, the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission Board voted to change GSWCC’s 90 Day Grace Period Re-certification Policy.

Under the new policy, individuals will only have to sit for an initial certification course and pass the certification exam once.

Effective July 1, 2013, GSWCC will renew an individual’s certification, even if the individual’s initial certification has expired, once the individual has attended at least four (4) hours of continuing education.

Please be aware that this policy change only pertains to an individual’s certification status. An individual conducting a land disturbing activity with an expired certification is in noncompliance with O.C.G.A.12-7-1 and may be subject to enforcement action.

Change to the Verification of Lawful Presence Requirement

With the passage of Senate Bill 160, US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents have to submit lawful presence documentation to GSWCC once.  Qualified Aliens are still required to submit lawful presence documentation for each certification and re-certification course they attend.

According to State law a certified individual shall be required to attend and participate in at least four hours of approved continuing education courses, as established by the Commission, every three years. (O.C.G.A. 12-7-19)

The Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission (GSWCC) in consultation with the Stakeholder Advisory Board have established the re-certification requirements.  Individuals will have the option of attending a GSWCC four hour course or third party approved courses totaling four hours of instruction.  There will not be an examination required for re-certification.  

GSWCC Continuing Education Courses

GSWCC will offer a four hour continuing education course for Level IA Fundamentals, Level IB Advanced Fundamentals and Level II Introduction to Design. 

GSWCC courses will be given by GSWCC and GSWCC approved trainers.

Third Party Approved Continuing Education Courses

GSWCC will allow third parties to develop training courses that may be used to satisfy continuing education requirements.  There are procedures that must be followed by continuing education course sponsors in order to obtain approval and credit hours from GSWCC.    

All approved courses both GSWCC and third party will be posted on the GSWCC website.  The following third party courses have been approved by GSWCC:

Sampling and Monitoring Procedures Course
This course been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Level IA or Level IB.
The Sampling and Monitoring Procedures course is designed to train individuals involved in land disturbing activities to have the ability to sample and monitor their respective job sites.   This course will cover all aspects of sampling and monitoring such as reporting and record keeping, soil factors and stream dynamics, sampling requirements and techniques, turbidimeter use and calibration, and understanding topographical maps and contour lines.  Each attendee will prepare samples in the classroom.  Each attendee will be instructed how to properly prepare sample cells for turbidity measurements as well as the actual calibration and use of a turbidmeter.

Identifying State Waters, Wetlands, and Other Waters of the U.S. Course - Classroom Session
This course been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Level IA, IB and II.
This course is designed to provide a basic working knowledge of how to identify all delineate wetlands, waters of the U.S., and state waters.  

Identifying State Waters, Wetlands, and Other Waters of the U.S. Course - Field Session 
This course been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Level IA, IB and II.
This course is a field exercise on the delineation of wetlands and state waters.  The class will break up into teams to identify wetland boundaries, wrested vegetation, etc on state waters.

Site Inspections and Stormwater Sampling for Construction Sites Course
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Level IA and Level IB.

A presentation demonstrating the real impact to Georgia’s environment will be presented, site inspections and water sampling requirements for land disturbances greater than one acre in Georgia are the course focus.   Upon completion, the individual will be trained in the following areas:

  1. The NEW NPDES General Permit and Georgia’s inspection requirements (challenges and benefits of the new permit),
  2. Site Inspections for difficult field conditions,
  3. Sampling techniques construction site, (turbidity, sampling and data interpretation),
  4. Permit Compliance and Enforcement Inspections, Reporting and how to prepare for a field inspection.

Changes in the NEW 2008 NPDES General Permit will be discussed in detail and classroom discussion will be encouraged.  The Georgia TMDL program, 303(d) listed waters and the new BMPs that are recommended in the new General Permit will also be covered.

2008 Changes to the GA NPDES Construction Stormwater General Permit
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A, 1B, and II
This course goes over all the changes to GAR 100001, GAR 100002, and GAR 100003 in the August 2008 revisions. The objective of the course is to teach all course participants how to comply with the revised permits.

Hydrology and Hydraulics Refresher Course
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Level II
This course is an overview of hydrology and culvert design using software packages TR-55 by NRCS and HY-8 by FHWA. The software will be demonstrated in class using sample projects. It is intended for designers that have a basic knowledge of hydrology and hydraulics.

Excavations, BMPs and Changes In the Law (Online)
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A and 1B
This course encompasses a review of BMPs, laws and regulations of the GSWCC, and safety concerns dealing with confined spaces in excavations. This course is offered online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.thereallysmartpeople.com

NPDES Permit Requirements: Plan & Simple
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A, 1B and II.

This course focuses on the changes to the new NPDES Permits. The course will include the summary of changes, impaired stream segments and TMDL implementation plans.

Permit Requirements, Site Inspections and State Waters for Construction Sites in Georgia
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A and 1B and II.

The primary objective of this course is to focus on the new NPDES General Permit (Impaired Stream Segments, compliance, enforcement and Design Professional site inspections).

Reading Erosion Control Plans: Topography, Grading and BMPs
This course has been approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A and 1B

This course focuses on the reading of ES&PC Plans, including site topography, site grading, related drawings and BMPS.

NPDES Implementation on Construction Sites in Georgia                                               This course is approved for 4 hours of continuing education for Levels 1A and 1B.      This course will discuss information necessary to ensure the participant understands the laws that govern land disturbing activities in Georgia and the methods with which to comply with the NPDES General Permit(s) for construction. NTUs, site inspections, State Waters and vegetative buffers will also be discussed.      

 

Individuals that attend approved course(s) must present the instructor with government issued photo ID and current certification card or proof of valid certification (from GSWCC website).

Upcoming Course Dates
Frequently Asked Questions

When can I become re-certified?
Individuals can begin taking continuing education courses 1 year before their certification expires.  Any course or courses taken prior to the 1 year mark will not be accepted.

What if I allow my certification to expire?

Those individuals that fail to obtain at least 4 hours of continuing education prior to their expiration date will have a 90 day grace period to attend a continuing education course. Failure to attend a continuing education course after the 90 day grace period will require the individual to attend the full course and pass the exam.

Please note that the 90 day grace period does not apply to your certification status.  If an individual allows their certification to expire, they will be in noncompliance with the State Law and are subject to any enforcement actions that may occur.  The 90 day grace period will only exempt you from retaking the course and exam.   For example if you are a design professional certification must be current at the time the plan is submitted for review.

Individuals seeking to extend or renew an expired certification, regardless of how long a certification has been expired, must attend at least four (4) hours of continuing education. 

Please be aware that this policy change only pertains to an individual’s certification status. If an individual conducts a land disturbing activity with an expired certification, that individual is in noncompliance with O.C.G.A.12-7-1 and may be subject to enforcement action.

How do I find an approved continuing education course?
Individuals may check the GSWCC’s website at www.gaswcc.georgia.gov for a list of approved continuing education courses.

How will I know if the course I’m registered for has been approved by GSWCC?
All approved continuing education courses are required to print the following statement on all advertisements and references:
(Course Title) meets the criteria for a Level ___________continuing education course for the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission and is approved for ________ hour(s) of instruction.

Will there be a re-certification exam?
There will be no exam for re-certification.  To become re-certified, individuals must attend a course or courses totaling four hours of continuing education.

What if I have multiple certifications?
Individuals must attend four (4) hours of continuing education for every certification they wish to renew.  Example: If an individual is a Certified Inspector and Certified Plan Reviewer they would need at to take 4 hours for Level IB and 4 hours for Level II for a total of 8 hours of continuing education.

When will I receive my new certification card?
Individuals with four (4) or more hours will receive a new certification card in the mail approximately one week before the initial certification expires.