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Recertification Policy

Continuing Education Requirement
Certificate holders are required to participate in at least 12 hours of continuing education or training every two years. The policy affects all CWEA certificates and grade levels.

Continuing Education is required to help ensure that individuals certified by CWEA continue to be knowledgeable of technological advancements and regulatory requirements in the wastewater fields. Continuing education enhances the operation, maintenance and management skills of the certificate holders, and ensures the quality of wastewater treatment. This ultimately increases the ability and confidence of certificate holders and the credibility of the wastewater professions certified by CWEA.

What This Means For Certificate Holders  
Certificate holders are required to include documentation of 12 Contact Hours of pre-accepted training and/or education with their certificate renewals every two years.  The training must address the Essential Duties of the vocation and grade level of the certificate held. The Essential Duties are a list of job tasks that are covered on the certification tests. The Essential Duties for each certificate are available in each candidate Handbook. 

Remember, any training or educational activity will be acceptable as long as it is related to at least one of the Essential Duties and is pre-approved by CWEA. You may even apply your Contact Hours to more than one certificate as long as the training program focuses on some of the Essential Duties of each vocation. 

12 Hours Every Two Years
Certificates are still renewed every year. However, every other year each certificate requires documentation showing the 12 Contact Hours of training and/or education. The system is much like California’s vehicle registration where smog certificates are required every other year, but renewals occur annually.  
Biennial Windows
Month Certificate
Issued / Renewed
Begin Earning Contact Hours First Contact Hours Due
Month / 2015 Month / 2015 Month / 2017
Month / 2016 Month / 2016 Month / 2018

The basic definition of a Contact Hour is 50 minutes of training or instruction, or its equivalent (1.2 CEU is equal to 12 Contact Hours). There are many ways to earn Contact Hours. A few examples are listed below:

  • Participating in on-the-job training
  • Attend training conferences or workshops
  • Complete college courses
  • Complete self-study courses (such as Cal Sate Sacramento Wastewater Programs)
  • Teaching a course
  • Training others
  • Writing technical articles or books
  • Giving a technical presentation

Any training or education activity that focuses on the Essential Duties of the vocation is likely to be accepted. Since all training programs must be accepted before they are given, certificate holders are sure to know which programs will be able to offer Contact Hours.

Renewing Your Certificate
When Contact Hours are due, certificate holders will need to pay their fees and submit all paperwork documenting their Contact Hours. To minimize the flow of paperwork, CWEA will only accept complete renewal packages that include all required Contact Hour paperwork and the appropriate fee. Partial Contact Hour documentation will not be accepted. It is the responsibility of the certificate holder to make sure that the records are kept until renewal time. CWEA recommends that certificate holders keep a copy of all training certificates just in case things get lost in the mail.

Although CWEA will provide a general form to record Contact Hours earned at a training event, any paperwork will be acceptable as long as it includes the following information:

  • Certificate holder’s name
  • Course completion date
  • Educational unit type earned (Contact Hours, semester units, quarter units, or continuing education units or points)
  • Number of Contact Hours, units, or points awarded
  • Course title
  • Name of the issuing organization
  • Authorized signature, stamp, seal, or other means of validation accepted by CWEA.
What This Means For In-House Trainers  
In-house training (training conducted by the employer or a contractor of the employer) does not need to be pre-accepted. If the in-house training event is related to a CWEA certified vocation, then it will be accepted for that vocation. 1 Contact Hour will be accepted for every 50 minutes of training. 
More information for in-house trainers

What This Means For All Other Trainers  
Trainers,  other than in-house trainers, are required to have their training and educational program pre-accepted for contact hours. Pre-acceptance means that CWEA will accept certificates of completion, or other suitable documentation, issued by the trainer. Certificates of completion are issued by the trainer, given to the attendee, who then sends a copy to CWEA when his or her contact hours are due.  Certificates of completion should not be sent from the trainer to CWEA. 
More information for trainers
(Other than in-house trainers)

Standardized Training Programs
Pre-accepted standardized training programs may be given multiple times within a two year period. The training program must be submitted for approval again after two years. If possible, the original application should include all training dates and trainers for the program. If dates and/or instructors are added or changed, CWEA must be notified within two weeks of the training event.

Approved Training Events and Training Relevant to Each Vocation
The Recertification and Renewal page lists pre-approved training events, trainers, and a list of training that is relevant to each vocation.