Continuing Education

Course Enrollment System - ELMS 

Recertification Requirements

Wondering if your contact hours are relevant? 

See a list of non-relevant contact hours and information about using contact hours for recertification on the CATS (Recertification) page.

Classroom Courses

Course materials must be printed by each participant before class. Download the materials from ELMS.

Applied Soil Concepts for ESC and SWM Professionals

A soils course for ESC and SWM professionals that concentrates on the use of soil information in plan design, review, and inspection. Emphasis will be on using this information to minimize erosion from land disturbance and optimize stormwater treatment, while doing it within the constraints of a construction site. The course will include reading and interpretation of soil surveys and geotechnical reports, and the use of online sources for plan review and inspection of BMP installation.

Cost: $0. Contact hours: 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm) 

  • Jan. 30, 2019: Richmond
  • April 5, 2019: Chesterfield
  • April 15, 2019: Chesterfield
  • Oct. 1, 2019: Virginia Beach
  • Oct. 22, 2019: Fairfax
  • Nov. 6, 2019: Fredericksburg - VDOT

Basic Plan Reading Skills

This course is for beginner inspectors and plan reviewers to help improve plan reading abilities. During this course, participants will: discuss basic plan components; translate two-dimensional contour lines into real world topographic profiles; work with others to review multiple types of site plans; learn how to color-code plans to make the pertinent portions stand out to identify areas of concern; and much more! Bring your own plan to use in the culminating activity.

Cost: $0. Contact Hours: 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm) 

  • Feb. 12, 2019 - Sandston
  • Nov. 7, 2019: Roanoke

Inspecting Non-Standard Practices

This course concentrates on non-standard ESC and SWM practices used during construction. Emphasis will be on the use of common, non-traditional and innovative techniques that are used in various localities in Virginia and in surrounding states. We ask participants to bring examples from the field so we can discuss and compare what they have used and seen. The course will also explore what localities and inspectors should be doing to meet the intent of the law and regulations when faced with non-standard practices.

 Cost: $0. Contact hours = 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)
  • Jan. 30, 2019: Richmond
  • Feb. 21, 2019: Chesapeake
  • Mar. 13, 2019: Fairfax
  • April 18, 2019: Blacksburg
  • May 16, 2019: Richmond
  • July 25, 2019: Weyers Cave
  • Oct. 2, 2019: Virginia Beach
  • Oct. 10, 2019: Abingdon
  • Nov. 7, 2019: Fredericksburg - VDOT
  • Dec. 5, 2019: Sandston
  • Dec. 12, 2019: Williamsburg

Overview of Wetlands for ESC and SWM Professionals

This course provides an overview of wetlands as it applies to ESC and SWM. The course provides a basic understanding on wetlands and their function in the watershed. It will provide details for inspectors and plan reviewers on how to recognize them in the field and on maps and plats. Participants will also learn about the impacts of land development on wetlands.

Cost: $0. Contact hours = 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)
  • Mar. 27, 2019: Daleville
  • June 11, 2019: Culpeper
  • Aug. 21, 2019: Richmond
  • Nov. 20, 2019: Front Royal

Photography for Inspectors

This course provides a basic understanding of photography and photographic techniques for inspectors to improve the quality of their inspection photographs. It is hoped that better photography will lead to better inspection reports, to better compliance, and in cases of noncompliance, to better enforcement. The course will discuss taking photos with cameras, cell phones and cell phone apps, all with stormwater inspections and enforcement in mind.

Cost: $0. Contact hours = 3.0.

Course dates (1:00 pm - 4:30 pm)

  • Mar. 12, 2019: Fairfax
  • April 2, 2019: Charlottesville
  • Oct. 29, 2019: Charlottesville
  • Dec. 11, 2019: Williamsburg

Plants 2.0

This course provides an overview of the use of plants in ESC and SWM, with a renewed emphasis on the use of native Virginia plants and invasive plants. The course includes a discussion of basic plant characteristics; regulatory requirements for the use of plants; design specifications of ESC and SWM; plan review; planting techniques; inspections and maintenance. The class has been updated and streamlined since the previous class. Students will encounter new and updated material.

Cost = $0. Contact hours = 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)

  • Feb 20, 2019: Chesapeake
  • April 17, 2019: Blacksburg
  • Nov. 19, 2019: Front Royal                                          

Refresher for ESC Inspectors

This course provides an update on the recent changes in the Erosion and Sediment Control Program (VESCP). It covers state minimum standards and specifications for conservation practices, basic soil mechanics, and inspector skills. The course is open to all; however, it particularly targets ESC Inspectors and Combined Administrators that completed their ESC classes before 2014.

Cost = $0. Contact hours = 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)

  • April 10, 2019: Front Royal
  • Aug. 14, 2019: Suffolk
  • Oct. 23, 2019: Fairfax

Regulatory SWPPP Inspections for Localities (v 2.0)

This course provides locality, state, and federal SWM inspectors (and consultants working on behalf of these entities) with an understanding of the components of a SWPPP. Participants will also learn how to conduct regulatory stormwater inspections with the SWPPP in mind for compliance with the Construction General Permit (CGP).

This course has been updated to reflect the 2019 CGP (effective July 1, 2019) and contains some additional new material. 

Cost = $0. Contact Hours = 6.0. 

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)

  • April 3, 2019: Charlottesville
  • April 11, 2019: Front Royal
  • July 24, 2019: Weyers Cave
  • Aug. 13, 2019: Suffolk
  • Oct. 9, 2019: Abingdon
  • Dec. 4, 2019: Sandston

Soil Amendments for Inspectors

A follow up course to Applied Soil Concepts, this course provides more detailed information on the use of compost, fertilizer and other soil amendments for erosion and sediment control and in bioretention practices. The course will provide an overview of types of materials, when to use the materials, how to use them, special requirements, inspections, and maintenance.

Cost = $0. Contact Hours = 3.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 12:00 pm)

  • Mar. 12, 2019: Fairfax
  • April 2, 2019: Charlottesville
  • Oct. 29, 2019: Charlottesville
  • Dec. 11, 2019: Williamsburg

Where the Water Goes

A hydrology and plan reading skills course for Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Inspectors that will provide a basic understanding of hydrology going from a macro (or landscape) scale down to the micro (or building site) scale.  After the class, students should have a basic understanding of items such as: hydrologic cycle; contour lines and critical slopes; drainage areas; water flow on a site; erosive force and sedimentation dynamics; hydrologic design principles used in BMP design; and inspection considerations.

Cost = $0. Contact hours = 6.0.

Course dates (8:30 am - 4:30 pm)

  • Feb. 27, 2019: Lynchburg
  • May 15, 2019: Richmond
  • June 12, 2019: Fredericksburg
  • Aug. 6, 2019: Gainesville
  • Aug. 28, 2019: Wytheville
  • Oct. 30, 2019: Charlottesville

MOST Online Courses

The Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center offers free online training for stormwater and erosion and sediment control professionals. Relevant training may be used towards recertification.  Some MOST courses are not relevant for Inspectors (see below).

Courses relevant for all recertification:

  • Building Blocks of an Effective Stormwater Management Program (2 contact hours)
  • Erosion and Sediment Control for Construction Sites
    (2 contact hours)
  • Green Infrastructure and LID 101 (1 contact hour)
  • User's Guide to Urban BMPs in the Chesapeake Bay
    (2 contact hours)

Courses NOT relevant for Inspectors (Program Administrator and Combined Administrator only): 

  • Asset Management for Stormwater (1 contact hour)
  • Introduction to Local Government Stormwater Financing
    (3 contact hours)
  • Public-Private Partnerships 
    (Videos 1,3,4 = 0.25 contact hours, Video 2 = 0.5 contact hours)
  • Stormwater Financing 101 (1 contact hour)

To learn more, please visit the MOST Center

ELMS Online Courses

DEQ has developed several online courses that can be used towards recertification for all certifications. Search ELMS using the course titles below.

  • Bioretention for VSMP inspectors
  • Constructed Wetlands for VSMP Inspectors
  • Dry Swales for VSMP Inspectors
  • Extended Detention Ponds for VSMP Inspectors
  • Grass Channels for VSMP Inspectors
  • Permeable Pavement for VSMP Inspectors
  • Pollution Prevention for VSMP Inspectors
  • Rooftop Disconnection for VSMP Inspectors
  • Sheet Flow to Filter Strips for VSMP Inspectors
  • Soil Compost Amendments for VSMP Inspectors
  • Wet Ponds for VSMP Inspectors

DEQ Webinars

VRRM Spreadsheet Webinars

DEQ has developed a series of 12 free VRRM spreadsheet webinars for plan reviewers that can be used towards recertification.

ESC & SWM Webinars

Plants for Bioretention

This 1 hour webinar (1 contact hour) is relevant for all SWM/ESC certification renewals. The webinar discusses the interaction between plants and the bioretention mix (soil), reasons for plant selection, native plants, plants that accumulate contaminants, and installation and maintenance issues related to bioretention. 

Erodibility, Sedimentation and Sediment Basin Design:

This webinar discusses how soils erode and how sediment is transported and deposited in the context of sediment basin design, plan review and inspection
(1 contact hour).

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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