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CPESC anyone?


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#1 Dleg

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 12:18 AM

Anyone have a CPESC certification? Anyone planning on taking the test? Anyone have an opinion on this certification?

I am tempted to take the exam and get the certification. I know one engineer who has that certification, and his ESC plans now are awesome. But I also know another, very experienced PE who thinks the CPESC certification is "meaningless" and puts little value on it.

Seeing how the Civil and Env. PE exams do not cover ESC, I can see some value to this. I am also working on new stormwater regulations that include a certification program for designers and contractors, but the CPESC might be a good thing to incorporate to ensure better ESC plans - our new regs and manuals are mostly focused on post-construction stormwater design.

Comments and opinions welcome.

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 12:37 PM

I have my certification. It seems like a good thing to have even if it is not your core business. Also, in GA, the class you take before the exam is cheap and worth something like 12 PDHs. As for the exam itself, don't sweat it. It was more of an exam to make sure you knew how to use a pencil, IMO.

#3 VTEnviro

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:07 PM

I've been on the fence with this one. It'd be a nice notch in my belt, but as an envl PE I'm more than qualified to do an erosion control plan.

I think it's a good thing to encourage your field inspectors and technicians to get. Often times here, and in NY when I worked there as well, one of the requirements of erosion control and stormwater permits is periodic inspections by a PE or "qualified environmental professional" - aka a CPESC or CPSWQ. We've got one job now with serious biweekly reporting requirements.

This way your regular field guy can do the inspections and you don't have to bill the client for 3 hours of a PE's time.

#4 VTEnviro

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 02:07 PM

Wow, check this new one out from CPESC.org:

INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED EROSION, SEDIMENT AND STORM WATER INSPECTOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM (CESSWI) LAUNCHED

Marion, N.C -- The Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) Inc. is excited to announce the development of it's Certified Erosion, Sediment and Storm Water Inspector Certification Program (CESSWI). This new program will be available to all qualified technicians and inspectors who wish to demonstrate their proficiencies in construction and post construction inspection skills and abilities. This new designation for certified specialists was created by CPESC, Inc., in conjunction with a national oversight committee of erosion and sediment control and storm water management professionals. Registrants will be expected to understand minimum requirements for inspections of erosion, sediment, and storm water management practices, activities, and sites as set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) storm water permitting program and/or Canada's Department of Fisheries and Ocean's Requirements.

This unique program will make it possible for both the regulators and the regulated community to employ qualified inspection staff to observe and report the adequacy of erosion and sediment controls and storm water management for construction, industrial and municipal operations. CESSWIs will be recognized throughout the United States and Canada as candidates who have demonstrated the minimum proficiencies needed to inspect construction and post construction Best Management Practices (BMPs). Specific state requirements may be added to the certification process.

To apply, a candidate will provide information on education and applicable work experience, along with references of those who can verity their experiences with inspection related activities. The candidate's application will be reviewed by a qualifications committee and notified of his/her eligibility to sit for an examination. An Inspector Study Course will be available if the candidate chooses to sharpen his/her skills prior to the examination.

A candidate must submit his application and fee and successfully complete a written examination to demonstrate his/her knowledge of the basic inspection skills for erosion and sediment controls and storm water management. The candidate must also subscribe to a code of ethics for inspectors. An annual renewal fee is required to obtain registration status along with documentation of continuing education credits. Applications may be obtained at the International Erosion Control Association's (IECA) Environmental Connection 07 (EC-07) in Reno, Nevada on February 15, 2007 or downloaded after February 15th at www.cpesc.org

"We are excited about the opportunity to provide a North American continent-wide certification program for inspectors involved in construction and post construction activities," said David Ward, Executive Director of CPESC, Inc. "Many states and governmental bodies have been anticipating the advent of this program for quite some time and now we can offer it to them."

Nearly 3000 professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control and Storm Water Quality have been certified by CPESC, Inc in the past quarter century. CPESC, Inc. plans to continue its certification expertise and excellence over the next quarter century.



#5 Road Guy

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:46 PM

yeah I did the GA one, GA DOT requires at least one person in each firm do it and I got stuck with it last year.

sad thing is all the EC "stuff" was really more about finding a way for the contractor to get paid for maintenance of EC devices and less about actually caring about "erosion control)

IMHO

#6 Dleg

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 01:30 AM

^^Like I said, we have only one guy out here with a CPESC, and his plans are awesome. But then again, when all other plans are terrible, I guess it might not take much to look awesome - but his plans really are good, and I know they weren't like that until he got his certification. I suppose it may be just a simple case of "yikes, now that I have this certificaiton I'd better make sure my plans are up to snuff" but that's fine by me.

I like the inspector program - thanks for clueing me into that one VTE. I'll be pushing for that for our inspectors and maybe also for our contractors around here. The problem with the CPESC for inspectors, from what I recall, is that you have to have several years of experience to get the certification if you're not an engineer. Maybe the CESSWI addresses that - I personally don't think an inspector certification should require that many years.

#7 VTEnviro

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 07:08 PM

^ I think an inspector certification should be some time in an exam room, followed by a field evaluation of a mock up site.

#8 VTEnviro

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 07:18 PM

So we just got an RFP for a job. Site work and improvements at a state police training center.

One of the requirements on the RFP is that there is a CPESC on hand to prepare and inspect the erosion control plan.

Anyone ever heard of this before? It seems like they got something mixed up. I've always seen ESC stuff as prepared by a PE or certified erosion control professional. We're going under the assumption it was prepared by some clueless bureaucrat, but if it were true that'd be interesting.

#9 ferryg

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 07:27 PM

Anyone have a CPESC certification? Anyone planning on taking the test? Anyone have an opinion on this certification?

I am tempted to take the exam and get the certification. I know one engineer who has that certification, and his ESC plans now are awesome. But I also know another, very experienced PE who thinks the CPESC certification is "meaningless" and puts little value on it.

Seeing how the Civil and Env. PE exams do not cover ESC, I can see some value to this. I am also working on new stormwater regulations that include a certification program for designers and contractors, but the CPESC might be a good thing to incorporate to ensure better ESC plans - our new regs and manuals are mostly focused on post-construction stormwater design.

Comments and opinions welcome.



I am taking the exam in a few weeks. I have my PE...but we have a specific client who is requiring their consultants to have someone on staff who is certified.

GTScott....you feel that the test was pretty easy and straight forward then? I guess I was just concerned about the legal portion of the exam...it is hard to find much info from anyone about the actual difficulty of the exam...since so few individuals have taken it.

#10 jregieng

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:01 PM

ferryg --

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Let us know what you think about the exam.

JR

#11 ferryg

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 08:11 PM

ferryg --

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Let us know what you think about the exam.

JR



Thanks a lot...I will post my feelings concerning the exam. I'm sure I will be on to the CPSWQ after that.

#12 Dleg

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 06:21 AM

Yeah - I'm eager to hear about it too, though I have heard a little from the guy I know who took it. He thought it was "tough". I would like to go and take both tests sometime during the next year.

#13 ferryg

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 12:16 PM

I'll be sure to make a post after the test to give everyone interested my feelings. I think it would be wise for anyone who is planning on taking it...to take the review course always offered the day before the exam. I took the course back in November...but not the exam. I thought the course gave you a pretty good idea of the topics that will show on the exam.

#14 ktulu

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 12:32 PM

ferryg,

My wife is going to work for an erosion control company starting next week. She is going to be responsible for drawing up the erosion control plans for submittal. I'm going to ask and see if she can get any info about the test from the guys there that draft the control plans. Maybe I can some info that you can use...

ktulu

#15 ferryg

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 04:59 PM

ferryg,

My wife is going to work for an erosion control company starting next week. She is going to be responsible for drawing up the erosion control plans for submittal. I'm going to ask and see if she can get any info about the test from the guys there that draft the control plans. Maybe I can some info that you can use...

ktulu



ktulu...

Thanks a lot...that would be great! The test does not seem like it will be that hard...but it would just be nice to know what it is like. I think as it currently stands...there are 35 people in Pennsylvania that have passed the exam...so it is not like you can just walk across the hall and ask somebody what it is like.

Thanks again...

#16 Road Guy

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 01:33 AM

I just had to suffer through the 2 day Level II (design Professional) course & exam here in GA.

does the CSEPC cover you in all 50 states or do you still have to sit through each states own specific test also?

I hate seminars like that , but it was one of the better ones I have been in lately, especially since I am now in construction, plus I got to bank 15 pdh's..

#17 jregieng

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 02:29 PM

plus I got to bank 15 pdh's..

Posted Image

I have been to a number of workshops lately and have become a PDH whore. Thing about it, I can't bank them, so I will end up losing them. :)

JR

#18 ferryg

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:31 PM

Well...I took the exam today...and I must admit...I think it DEMOLISHED me. The exam literally took my blaster rifle...and smashed it over my head. I could not believe the depth of some of the questions on there. One REALLY needs to be prepared for this test. I went in thinking I would have little problem...not the case.

There were several topics on there I have never dealt with. The review course is a joke. You absolutely MUST have the review manual to study though. I really didn't study as intently as I should have...and that is my fault. I think it is a reasonable, and passable exam. However...it was more difficult then I had ever envisioned. Kudos to all of you who passed it.

Not having experience in some of the topic areas really sunk me. I will take the exam again...and now knowing what it is like...I plan to pass. However...if you plan I doing it yourself...I suggest getting the manual early...and memorize everything in there that you do not already know.

#19 ktulu

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:11 PM

I hate to hear that, and I apologize for not getting you any information that might have helped; my wife's colleague basically said what you already THOUGHT you needed to know. I'll leave it at that.

Good luck next time (hopefully luck is on your side and will be no next time...)

ktulu

#20 ferryg

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 08:24 PM

I hate to hear that, and I apologize for not getting you any information that might have helped; my wife's colleague basically said what you already THOUGHT you needed to know. I'll leave it at that.

Good luck next time (hopefully luck is on your side and will be no next time...)

ktulu


No apologies necessary!...I was the one who was not adequately prepared. I'll get it next time...I guess I was just really stunned at the level of depth on the exam. I've already gone through the PE nightmare...so I figured this was a piece of cake. I was wrong. They put together a pretty tough test....not tough if you know what you are doing. I guess I just realized I didn't know as much as I thought I did...I will eat my crow and humble pie...and I will take another crack at it.

#21 jregieng

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:20 PM

ferryg --

Good luck taking the exam on the next go round !! Posted Image

I was looking at some resources within my state and noticed that my Department offers a two-day course and accompanying 'state' certification for sediment erosion control. There is information about the certification and a handbook if you or anyone else is interested:

The Florida Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation Control Inspector Training & Certification Program

JR

#22 CE_Transpo_GA

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 02:32 AM

if your state does its own certification (LIA) what the point of getting the CSEPC?

I dont see anything different that you can do with that versus the PE and the state certification for erosion control?

#23 ferryg

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 06:37 PM

if your state does its own certification (LIA) what the point of getting the CSEPC?

I dont see anything different that you can do with that versus the PE and the state certification for erosion control?


The difference occurs when a specific client requests having a certified person on staff.

#24 Road Guy

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 08:01 PM

but like CE said, isnt it an either or sitation in terms of what the law requires?

#25 umjeffr

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 04:51 PM

ferryg --

Good luck taking the exam on the next go round !! Posted Image

I was looking at some resources within my state and noticed that my Department offers a two-day course and accompanying 'state' certification for sediment erosion control. There is information about the certification and a handbook if you or anyone else is interested:

The Florida Stormwater, Erosion, and Sedimentation Control Inspector Training & Certification Program

JR


I got this certifiaction, but there was not a big test like a P.E. Should i be calling my self a licensed CPESC?

#26 Dleg

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:24 PM

^^ I don't know, but the one guy I know who has the certificaiton puts those initials after his name on his business card after "PE" and when signing anything to do with erosion control plans. He even has a special CPESC stamp that he got somewhere, and he dual-stamps his design basis report with it and his PE stamp.

#27 Road Guy

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 02:44 PM

yes I just got my "brown card" from the GSWCC (GA Soil Water Conservation Commission) certifying me as a "level II Certified Design Professional" so now I have to get my business card changed to Road Guy, P.E. ,L2CDP

#28 umjeffr

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 03:51 PM

yes I just got my "brown card" from the GSWCC (GA Soil Water Conservation Commission) certifying me as a "level II Certified Design Professional" so now I have to get my business card changed to Road Guy, P.E. ,L2CDP



Road Guy, P.E. ,L2CDP

Is that R2D2 or C3PO

#29 Road Guy

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 08:08 PM

I was always partial to R4 myself

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:34 PM

I took the review course in Ohio last year - that's all that's required by law at the moment here. Full certification to be required in a few years.

#31 jregieng

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 01:57 PM

I took the review course in Ohio last year - that's all that's required by law at the moment here. Full certification to be required in a few years.

Out of curiousity - what kind of work will be requiring the full certification? Is it certification where professional engineering certification does not cover the requirement?

Thanks.

JR

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Posted 13 June 2007 - 07:16 PM

Out of curiousity - what kind of work will be requiring the full certification? Is it certification where professional engineering certification does not cover the requirement?

Thanks.

JR

I can't recall the date when things switch from requiring just the class to the full certification, but I want to say it is 2009. This is for the state DOT.
Here's what you need it for:

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SS 832.12).

1. The Department requires that the SWPPP be designed by an Engineer (P.E.) that has attended and completed the CPESC Exam Review Course. The effective date of the CPESC training requirement is July 1, 2006. The designer’s CPESC training record will be made available for confirmation by the project.


-and-

Inspections and Updates (SS 832.14).
...The inspector must be CPESC Trained....



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Posted 18 December 2007 - 06:20 PM

When I took the CPESC Exam review course, our instructor mentioned that every E&S plan in NY state must now be certified by a licensed CPESC. I reside and work in Pennsylvania - can anyone confirm?

But yeah, after the spring exam, PA was up to around 45 CPESCs, including myself and 3 others who work for the same small firm as I do. Weird!

#34 squishles10

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:12 PM

How does the crossover to CPSWQ work? Another exam or just another fee?

Edit: on a related note, does anyone have the review book?

#35 mjp8

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:01 PM

QUOTE (Dleg @ May 10 2007, 01:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yeah - I'm eager to hear about it too, though I have heard a little from the guy I know who took it. He thought it was "tough". I would like to go and take both tests sometime during the next year.



I took the exam last month. It was tough and I just found out I passed it. The CPESC is important because most PE's don't know there ass from their elbow when it comes to SWPPP's or the basic fundimentals of ESC. Take the exam. In NYS where I'm from, the only individuals that can certify SWPPP's are PE's, Registered LA's, Soils scientist's and CPESC's

#36 mjp8

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 08:14 PM

QUOTE (ferryg @ May 23 2007, 02:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well...I took the exam today...and I must admit...I think it DEMOLISHED me. The exam literally took my blaster rifle...and smashed it over my head. I could not believe the depth of some of the questions on there. One REALLY needs to be prepared for this test. I went in thinking I would have little problem...not the case.

There were several topics on there I have never dealt with. The review course is a joke. You absolutely MUST have the review manual to study though. I really didn't study as intently as I should have...and that is my fault. I think it is a reasonable, and passable exam. However...it was more difficult then I had ever envisioned. Kudos to all of you who passed it.

Not having experience in some of the topic areas really sunk me. I will take the exam again...and now knowing what it is like...I plan to pass. However...if you plan I doing it yourself...I suggest getting the manual early...and memorize everything in there that you do not already know.



Hi Ferryg

I took the exam last month and it demolished me as well. I was still able to pass it ( got a 78) by the grace of god, don't ask me how. Yes, the test is difficult and in my opinion, the calculation for pure seed mix and fertilizer were ridiculous. Some of the erosion questions were insane. I did study my ass off and like you, encountered topic I wasn't totally familiar with. Write back

#37 squishles10

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 10:58 PM

That's interesting- in California you can certify a SWPPP as long as you've been to SWPPP training (it's a day long deal, no big deal, no test or anything) EXCEPT settling ponds, as they actually have to be engineered. If you had one of those, then that part had to be stamped but the rest was still good by you. I've certified probably near a hundred of them there. Kind of why I was wondering what the big deal was. If other states treat it differently I can understand that I guess, although I don't think that THAT particular certification really makes you legit to certify a SWPPP.

#38 VTEnviro

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Posted 23 June 2008 - 01:25 PM

I thought about going for the CPESC or CPSWQ. But it doesn't look like those certifications grant you anything you can't already do as a PE so I never bothered. I'd like to sit in on a review class sometime or get the books though, the material sounds worthwhile.

#39 afrey22

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 02:35 AM

I've been blown away by how full of themselves the CPESC board has been in my experiences. I've been writing SWPPP's since I was 2 months out of college and I have passed every audit and when I asked to get permission to take the test, the representative said "I think you'd probably have some trouble with the math sections." What a ridiculous comment. We're engineers, we can handle a little multiplication. They aren't asking us 3rd-order derivatives.

I was only going to get the certification as a notch on the belt and from what I've seen here in Texas, not only does it not matter, but most people don't even know what it is.

#40 pro-in-MA

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 10:26 PM

I have only just recently, become aware of the CPESC certification. My hometown just passed a local bylaw (Stormwater Management & Land Disturbance Regulations) requiring all proposed developments with over 20,000 s.f. of "cumulative" alteration of land to file for a Special Permit before development can take place.

A condition of the special permit is that the applicant must submit a Site Plan, prepared by a Prof. Eng. AND a CPESC. WOW! I thought that once I obtained an education, took the EIT, worked for several years, busted my but to pass the PE that I had finally obtained the stature of a Professional and that my credibility and ability to provide a suitable ESC plan wouldnt be questioned!

Of course, I will now have to travel to RI or PA or NY in the next few months to spend two days training, or in my case "re-training" and getting privately "re-certified", by a company that I, and apparently few others, know very little about. So thats 2 days of lost wages, travel, meals, hotel expense, and of course the cost of the course and exam, and annual renewal, to have someone tell me what I already know. BUT I get a piece of paper to prove it, and the honor and priviledge of charging no more for my services than I already do. Oh yeah and I'll have to throw away 500 business cards and get them reprinted with PE, CPESC added, so that EVERYONE will know that I too, was sucker punched into getting another useless "Private" certification.

But wait, here we go down the slippery slope of Local government officials (most often lay persons, aggreived by a recent development of the woods in their back yard), using their new found position and "powers" to stroke thier egos, and promulgate regulations that are not always based on sound reasoning and logical principles.

Essentially, until I get my certification from CPESC, INC. as a CPESC, I will need to hire a CPESC consultant to review and sign my own plans, in my own town. Oh, and just to add salt to the wound, since 1990 their have been only 33 - yeah thats right 33 CPESC's obtained in my whole state. That's 10,000+ practicing PE's and only 33 CPESC's, of which about half are PE's. Im afraid that if this catches on with the other town's in my area, I may be out of business, in an already dismal economy.

Just to add another kick in the groin when your already down for the count, the consulting engineer's firm for the planning board, has three of the CPESC's in his office. The closest CPESC to my office (other than the Consultants) is 20+ miles away.

Another thing that worries me is that this is a "Private" company, (Which apparently has only been around since 2000 and according to their profile on www.manta.com, only has 2 employees and manufactures Industrial instruments for Measurement, etc). How did this company gain credibility to issue these certifications (has anyone asked or does anyone really know the history of the company?)

Does anyone know if this certification has been sanctioned or recognized by ANY state or federal agency, dept, etc. What do the Professional Registration Boards have to say about "local municipalities" REQUIRING professional certification from a "Private" company. What is next a "Private" certification for design of retaining walls, drainage, surveying, you name it. Where will it stop. If it doesnt, would anyone like to take Bill's certification for sewer and pump design, I hear its going to be a local by-law in my home town soon, and the two hour training course is only $500 and its just another $200 a year renewal fee ($150 if you subscribe to my newsletter published by Bills Sewer & Pump, Inc.). I'm hoping it will catch on and in a few years everyone will want to be certified by me, if it does I might branch out into other fields of certification as well, say Doctors and Lawyers. Their State licenses will be useless in my town, without Bill's Inc, certification for Internal Medicine and Tort's.

My opinion, as if its not obvious, take the course for CEU credit, or for training just so you can keep abreast of the latest in science and tech., but to make it a requirement to perform a job for which licensure already assures "competentency", and reputation assures "quality" this certification is HOGWASH.

Professionals should take pride in their abilty to obtain licensure, and NOT allow self-serving private companies , to "cheapen" our status by offering "certifications", (after all if you dont pass the test, they cant collect the $200.00 for going past GO).



#41 Dleg

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:07 PM

^All very good points.

I have no CPESC but I would like to take the exam just as a "notch" on my belt.

As far as additional certifications beyond the PE exam, I believe that it is appropriate in some instances. In the case of erosion and sediment control, neither the Civil or the Environmental PE exam covers this topic, at all. Yes, you get a little rudimentary runoff calculating, but absolutely nothing on BMPs, SWPPP, etc.

As a state regulator, I constantly have to deal with plans from PE's that show an almost complete lack of understanding of the principles, even though we have a free design manual that they could consult prior to working up their designs. This requires more time and more tax-payer money for me to review the plans and step them through learning the ropes, which often gets further delayed when said PE's get indignant and self righteous about being a PE already and how dare I quesiton them when the state has already sanctioned their knowledge and blah blah.

States and local governments can choose a number of ways to improve the situation. At the most non-invasive, they can offer education (free on-line manuals, training courses, etc.) and then hope that avoiding delays with permitting will be incentive enough. Or the states can require such training, as a pre-requisite for cerifying plans. After offering voluntary learning for over 10 years now and getting virtually no results, I am of the opinion that most engineers will not take the time to learn this non-PE stuff on their own, unless they are forced to. And unfortunatley, many small permitting authorities just don't have the expertise on-hand to contantly have to train the local engineers on-the-job.

And quite frankly, some of the worst-performing ESC systems I have seen implemented have been designed by engineers who "have been desiging sites for over 20 years, Dleg, I don't think I need any training on how to design my site". If your locale is one where water quality can affect the bottom line (i.e., tourism), the it really is important.

So until ESC, stormwater BMPs, septic systems, etc. are covered on the PE exam and in college, you can probably expect to have to deal with some additional certification requirements from the state. Now, whether it is a state-specific certification, or some standardized, privately run-certificaiton that you can carry with you to other states, well, it remains to be seen which method is better. As I have said, we run our own certification program for our state. But it can't be taken with you when you move somewhere else.

#42 engineergurl

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 11:36 PM

QUOTE (pro-in-MA @ Aug 14 2008, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have only just recently, become aware of the CPESC certification. My hometown just passed a local bylaw (Stormwater Management & Land Disturbance Regulations) requiring all proposed developments with over 20,000 s.f. of "cumulative" alteration of land to file for a Special Permit before development can take place.

A condition of the special permit is that the applicant must submit a Site Plan, prepared by a Prof. Eng. AND a CPESC. WOW! I thought that once I obtained an education, took the EIT, worked for several years, busted my but to pass the PE that I had finally obtained the stature of a Professional and that my credibility and ability to provide a suitable ESC plan wouldnt be questioned!



I hope someone with more experience will read this and maybe answer my quesion, but I was under the impression that LIA's could not require more strict standards then what is outlined in the NPDES permits to begin with, and in our permits, plan reviews are outlined and included. I know things slightly differ from state to state but I am confused about this... how can the local want more then the state here? any answers?


Also, Dleg- I agree with additional certification required... but some of the plans we have come thru our office shows that even that doesn't help sometimes smile.gif

On a third note- you guys in GA- take note that there are new checklists out.



#43 Dleg

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 01:47 PM

The way environmental laws work is that the state can always go more stringent than the feds, and local can always go more stringent than the state. But it can never work the other way - you can never go less stringent than the laws "above" you. But "more stringent" is always allowable, if that's what you local rule makers decide they want.... The only thing to be careful of is if they clearly go beyond the authorizing legislation's intent. But most environmental legislation is pretty broad.

True, another certification is no guarantee of good performance. It's more useful to make sure that the engineers actually learn these things that otherwise they wouldn't (not in PE exam, most likely not in school, either) and then, for the plan reviewers, to serve as the "no excuses" clause when they do screw up. As in "hey, you got the certificaiton, you should have known this." Good God if I could only have all the time back that I have lost listening to arguments from engineers who have never even opened an ESC or septic systems manual.....

#44 bennett279

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 04:27 PM

I am in Georgia and I have my CPESC registration. At this time, it isn't required for any of the work we are doing although we do GDOT work and I thought I read someone mentioned that GDOT requires a CPESC??? Having it do allow me to take my Level II Certification prior to getting my PE (hopefully I can replace EIT with PE this week!!)

The Level II Certification for a Plan Preparer is pretty weak and really does not prove a designer's expertise in erosion and sediment control. I could see making the requirements stiffer which could mean having a CPESC review all plans.

Keep in mind, CPESC is an INTERNATIONAL organization with members in every state and many countries. I do think the point of the organization is for lobbying of stiffer environmental rules concerning erosion and sediment. I just wanted to get my CPESC ahead of the wave.

Now, if you are going to take the test, you need to THOROUGHLY read the review manual. I did not attend the review class but studied the manual. If you are a practicing ESC designer, then a lot of it will be repetitive. However, remember the review manual and test were developed by environmentalist so you have to skew your thinking in that manner to understand some of the questions and desired solutions.

Good Luck!!

#45 PEPG

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 02:54 PM

I have been on the CPESC website, and can not find any information on the exam type, frequency, where it is offerred, etc.

Is this one of those exams they give at one of those testing "centers", where make an appointment and just show up?

Is it closed book?

Any info would be helpful, thanks.

#46 Dleg

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 03:22 AM

It's been a long time since I looked, but I think you can arrange to take the test pretty much any time you are able to get one of their many certified test-givers to agree to. I know that you can take a review course followed by the exam administration as one of the "attractions" of the International Erosion Control Expo every year, wherever it happens to be held, and there are other organizations that offer similar workshop/test administrations at different times of the year. Just keep digging and you'll find it.

But note that I have not checked into this in a long time, and I have never taken the exam myself (though my office sent two staff to one of the workshops, only to discover they didn't possess the right qualifications to sit for the exam).

#47 PEPG

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 02:46 PM

QUOTE (Dleg @ Mar 17 2009, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's been a long time since I looked, but I think you can arrange to take the test pretty much any time you are able to get one of their many certified test-givers to agree to. I know that you can take a review course followed by the exam administration as one of the "attractions" of the International Erosion Control Expo every year, wherever it happens to be held, and there are other organizations that offer similar workshop/test administrations at different times of the year. Just keep digging and you'll find it.

But note that I have not checked into this in a long time, and I have never taken the exam myself (though my office sent two staff to one of the workshops, only to discover they didn't possess the right qualifications to sit for the exam).


Thanks Dleg, I will keep digging around.

#48 JPenviro

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE (Dleg @ Feb 7 2007, 08:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyone have a CPESC certification? Anyone planning on taking the test? Anyone have an opinion on this certification?

I am tempted to take the exam and get the certification. I know one engineer who has that certification, and his ESC plans now are awesome. But I also know another, very experienced PE who thinks the CPESC certification is "meaningless" and puts little value on it.

Seeing how the Civil and Env. PE exams do not cover ESC, I can see some value to this. I am also working on new stormwater regulations that include a certification program for designers and contractors, but the CPESC might be a good thing to incorporate to ensure better ESC plans - our new regs and manuals are mostly focused on post-construction stormwater design.

Comments and opinions welcome.

I have prepared E&S/NPDES plans for approximately 12 years. I recently took the CPESC training and exam. There needs to be a level of certification on E&S. You have a lot of PEs and otherwise technical people that although are highly skilled in various technical areas, E&S may not be one. On the other hand, you have a lot of uneducated folks that have done a few cookie-cutter E&S plans and they carry themselves as professionals.

The exam is just difficult enough to weed out those who shouldn't be completing E&S plans in the first place.

#49 ferryg

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 07:12 PM

QUOTE (JPenviro @ Jul 25 2009, 05:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have prepared E&S/NPDES plans for approximately 12 years. I recently took the CPESC training and exam. There needs to be a level of certification on E&S. You have a lot of PEs and otherwise technical people that although are highly skilled in various technical areas, E&S may not be one. On the other hand, you have a lot of uneducated folks that have done a few cookie-cutter E&S plans and they carry themselves as professionals.

The exam is just difficult enough to weed out those who shouldn't be completing E&S plans in the first place.


I agree...it is a good means of weeding out those who are unqualified. If someone has legitimate experience preparing plans...you should be able to pass. I thought the exam was difficult, but I actually did well on it...but like JPenviro...I've been preparing plans for 12 or 13 (goodness...maybe almost 14) years now old-025.gif

#50 roak

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:45 AM

CPESC study tips:
for part 2 (word problems) know how to use RUSLE, MUSLE, N-P-K, Pure Live Seed, and how to calculate a Curve Number. If you understand these, you should pass part 2. There were 6 problems of which you have to choose 3: Agriculture, Mining, Linear Construction, Small Commercial Development, Residential Development, and I think Forestry. Each problem had 12 questions to answer. Small Commercial and Residential were very similar problems but with different acreages and a different CN, but if you got one right, then you would get the other one right also. Agriculture was a little different, but not too tricky. I stayed away from Mining, Forestry and Linear. READ THE PROBLEM TWICE! They really didn't try to trick you with the questions but some of them were worded in unfamiliar ways and could be misinterpreted. All in all, the 2nd part was not too bad. If you study the above topics, you should do OK.

for part 1 (True/False, Mult Choice), there were alot of questions on the RUSLE equation parameters (what are they, what happens if you change one of them, is there a parameter for "x", etc..) There were some questions on soil pH which I didn't even look at while studying, but I recommend that you at least read through that section. Some of the answers could be found just by browsing through the reference book they give you that has the charts and equations in it. In my review course the instructor said to know the flow charts associated with BMP selection and SWPPP preparation, but I did not find that to be necessary to answer the test questions. Rather than study those charts, just understand the concepts and the different options available. The legislative questions were geared toward the logistics of obtaining a general permit such as: who applies for it, who do you submit it to, what happens when the site is finally stabilized, what are the penalties for noncompliance, etc.. There weren't any questions relating to the date of the CWA and its various ammendments on my test, but there might be on others. I had one question on CZARA: Are entities that comply with CZARA exempt from the CWA requirements? I still don't know the answer to that one, but it is probably right there in black and white in my study guide.

That's all I can remember. Good Luck!!
MHeinzer, P.E., LEED AP, CPESCwannabee
Toledo, OH




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