A professional certification title is valid for three years. To uphold the standards of the industry and to ensure that professionals keep up with current technology, certified persons are required to earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits to recertify for another three-year cycle. Payment of a recertification fee is also required.
Failure to meet recertification requirements within the three-year cycle will result in loss of certification. Individuals who have lost their certification are forbidden from using the WQA certification designations or logos on any personal or company printed materials or advertising.
CPD Credit Requirements for Reaccreditation
- CWS/MWS/CTD: 3.0 CPD credits within the 3-year certification cycle
- CWR/CI/CST/CCT: 2.0 CPD credits within the 3-year certification cycle
Persons holding multiple certification designations are responsible for earning only the number of credits required for the highest designation they hold, not for a cumulative total of the credits needed for both certifications (For example, a person with CWS and CI titles would be required to earn 3.0 credits, the amount required for the CWS alone, not 5.0 credits, which would be a cumulative total).
Checking Credit Status
Log into wqa.org with your WQA user ID and password to check your certification expiration date and total CPD earned. Click on “My Purchases” in the top menu, then choose “certifications” in the drop-down menu at the left to see your certification title(s) and expiration date. Be sure to note your “effective date,” too. Next, click on “my profile” in the top menu, then “education” in the left panel for a listing of the courses you have completed and the amount of CPD awarded. Add up the credits you’ve earned since your effective date to see where you stand with CPD needed to recertify.
Certified professionals can stay up-to-date with annual Education Kits, a set of articles and short quizzes on current industry issues and refreshers on treatment fundamentals. Successful completion of the quizzes in each kit provides up to 1.0 CPD credits toward WQA recertification.
Other ways of earning CPD
Certified personnel also can earn CPD by attending WQA webinars, participating in education sessions at the annual convention or by taking certain seminars and classes approved by WQA. Three types of CPD credits are outlined below:
Seat Time (ST) Credit
Credit earned by attendance at approved seminars, webinars, workshops, or convention sessions. WQA-accredited (pre-approved) sessions offered by WQA or state or regional associations in the industry are the easiest way to earn seat time credit. With WQA approval, “outside seat time credits” can also be earned by attendance at appropriate sessions sponsored by other organizations. Proof of attendance must be provided to WQA.
One CPD credit is equal to 10 hours of Seat Time credit or one standard CEU (Continuing Education Unit). CEUs are widely used by licensing agencies and other continuing education organizations and use of the CEU allows credit transferability.
Certified personnel wishing to use seat time external to WQA’s course must complete an online External Seat Time Credit form.
Measured Learning (ML) Credit
Credit earned for learning experiences in which learning is measured by an exam or a grade. Acceptable measured learning experiences include WQA specialty exams, state licensure exams, college or other post-secondary school courses, and self-study courses that require a certain passing grade.
Experiential Learning (EL) Credit
With WQA approval, credit can now be earned, on an individual case-by-case basis, for appropriately documented non-paid voluntary experiences such as giving a water-related speech to the local Kiwanis Club or serving on the advisory board of the water program at the local community college. Individual experiential learning projects must be approved by the WQA Educational Services Department.
Reinstatement of Expired Certification
WQA’s professional certifications are valid for three years. If a person’s certification has not been renewed by the cycle’s expiration date, the certification is considered lapsed or expired. The person will be considered “decertified” and the person’s name will not appear in the online Certified Professionals directory.
The reinstated person will then begin a new three-year certification cycle, and must earn the required CPD credits within that new cycle. Credits from the previous cycle are considered null and void and will not be carried over. If the person does not meet the reinstatement deadline, he or she must retake their most recent exam to be recertified and pay all applicable exam fees.
If you have questions about CPD credit or your accreditations status, contact us at [email protected].