Frequently Asked Training Questions

If you are unable to find the answer to your question, please contact certification@deq.virginia.gov.

FAQ Categories:

  • Certification Exam
  • Course Registration and Cancellation
  • ESC and SWM Training
  • Licensed Professionals
  • Provisional Certification
  • Recertification
  • RLD
  • State Agency Inspections
  • SWPPP Inspections
  •  


    Certification Exam

    1. How do I qualify to take an exam?

      You may qualify to take the exam by either completing the required DEQ training, or by completing the DEQ Work Experience Form and having your company certify that you have at least 800 hours of relevant job experience. Visit the exam page for more information.

    2. How do I apply to take an exam?

      Anyone who has qualified to take an exam can schedule their exam directly with DEQ's examination services vendor.

    3. Can I still sit for the exam even though my provisional certification has expired?

      If your provisional certification has expired and you have 800 hours of job experience related to your certification classification, you should either: (1) attend the required courses again (recommended) and take the exam; or (2) certify that you have at least 800 hours of relevant job experience, complete the DEQ Work Experience Form, and take the exam..

    4. What if I have a handicap that necessitates special assistance or access for a course?

      DEQ adheres to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and we will make every effort to accommodate requests under ADA. If you need special accommodations with an exam, contact Pearson VUE. If you need special accommodations for a class, contact certification@deq.virginia.gov prior to attending a course.


    Course Registration and Cancellation

    1. What if I have registered for a course and need to cancel?

      Please see DEQ's Refund and Substitution Policy. Any request for refunds should be submitted directly to certification@deq.virginia.gov.

    2. If I can't get a refund, do I have other options?

      You may request enrollment for a course of the same title; however, you cannot enroll in a course with a different title. Any request for an enrollment change must be submitted to certification@deq.virginia.gov. For additional details, see DEQ's Refund and Substitution Policy


    ESC and SWM Training

    1. I will be conducting regulatory inspections for a VSMP authority. Which course should I attend?

      You should take the Inspector for SWM Training if you work as a stormwater inspector for a locality VSMP authority or if you are a consultants working as a stormwater inspector for a locality VSMP authority.

    2. I am certified as an ESC Inspector and a SWM Inspector. How do I get a Dual Inspector Certification?

      Certifications can be combined in CATS. The expiration date of the new certificate will be three years from the expiration date of the newest certificate acquired.

    3. I have a program administrator, inspector, and plan reviewer certification. How do I obtain a combined administrator certification?

      Email certification@deq.virginia.gov to have your certifications manually combined. 

    4. I work for a landscape company and I conduct maintenance on BMPs, do I need to be certified?

    5. If you are are only doing post-construction maintenance on BMPs, then you do not need to be certified. Individuals must be certified if they are conducting post-construction BMP inspections for a VSMP authority.


    Licensed Professionals

    1. As a VA professional engineer, architect, certified landscape architect, land surveyor, or professional soil scientist, do I need to complete training in order to conduct ESC plan review?

      The licensed professionals listed above are automatically certified as ESC plan reviewers. They do not have to take the ESC plan reviewer class or pass the ESC plan reviewer exam to review ESC plans for a VESCP authority or entity with standards and specifications. VA licensed professionals, however, may choose to take the ESC plan reviewer class and the ESC plan reviewer exam. See the VA Licensed Professionals FAQ for more information.

    2. As a VA professional engineer, architect, certified landscape architect, land surveyor, or professional soil scientist, do I need to complete training in order to conduct SWM plan review?

      If you are a VA licensed professional working for a VSMP authority or an entity with standards and specifications, you are not exempt from any SWM certification requirements. All VA licensed professionals must pass the appropriate exam for their SWM classification. See the VA Licensed Professionals FAQ for more information.

    3. As a VA professional engineer, architect, certified landscape architect, land surveyor, or professional soil scientist, can I be considered a RLD without further training, certification, or fees?

      Yes. VA licensed professionals can be considered a RLD without further training, certification or fees.  The RLD shall be a member of the project team or development team; not an employee of the plan approving authority. See the VA Licensed Professionals FAQ for more information.


    Provisional Certification

    1. How do I become provisionally certified?

      Individuals seeking SWM or ESC certification will be considered provisionally certified for two years from the date they complete their first required training course. You can only be provisionally certified once. For more details, see Guidance Memo 14-2010.

    2. What happens if I do not successfully obtain certification while provisionally certified?

      You will not hold a valid certification until you pass the exam. You should either: (1) attend the required courses again (recommended) and take the exam; or (2) certify that you have at least 800 hours of relevant job experience, complete the DEQ Work Experience Form, and take the exam.

    3. How long do I have to become certified?

      You have two years from the date you complete your first required training course to complete all required training courses and obtain a passing score on the certification exam.
      Individuals seeking SWM or ESC certification will be considered provisionally certified for two years from the date they complete their first required training course. For additional information, see Guidance Memo 14-2010


    Recertification

    1. How long is my certificate valid?

      Certificates are valid for three years. You must recertify in the Certification Accreditation Tracking System (CATS).

    2. How do I recertify in SWM or ESC?

      You must recertify before your certificate expires. There are three options for recertifying:

      1. Re-take the exam with Pearson VUE.
      2. Complete required contact hours before certificate expires, enter the contact hours in CATS, and pay the recertification fee. See the Recertification & Contact Hours Guidance Memo for more information. You can recertify during the last 12 months of your valid certificate without losing time on your expiration date. In other words CATS does not move you expiration date forward if you recertify during those last 12 months.
      3. Maintain your VA professional license, enter your license number in CATS, and pay the recertification fee. See the VA Licensed Professionals FAQ for more information.

       

    3. I was unable to recertify my certification prior to its expiration and it has now expired. Do I need to take the course(s) again?

      If you demonstrate that you have 800 hours of job experience related to your certification classification, you can take the exam without retaking the courses. You must complete the DEQ Work Experience Form and bring it to the exam. However, if you cannot demonstrate that you have accumulated 800 hours, you will need to complete the course(s) again before retaking the exam. 

      As an example, a building inspector who conducts two hours of ESC inspections per week would NOT qualify. Over the course of 3 years, this person would have accumulated about 312 hours not the 800 hours required to qualify to take the exam.


    Responsible Land Disturber

    1. What is a responsible land disturber?

      The RLD can be anyone from the project or development team holding a valid RLD Certificate who will be in charge of and responsible for carrying out the land disturbing activity for the project.  RLD certificates are not transferable. Upon separation from a project, a different RLD must be designated and the locality notified. See Responsible Land Disturber Certificate for more information.

    2. Can I be considered a Responsible Land Disturber (RLD) if I’ve already obtained an ESC certificate?

      Yes. If you hold a valid certificate of competence for Combined Administrator, Program Administrator, Plan Reviewer, or Inspector, you can be considered as the RLD without further training, certification, or fees. The RLD shall be a member of the project team or development team but not an employee of the plan approving authority.

    3. How can I look up a RLD certificate number?

      You can search for certificate holders in CATS.


    State Agency Inspections

    1. I work for a state agency and I’m responsible for conducting inspections for compliance with the ESC plan. Which training do I need?

      Inspector for ESC

    2. I work for a state agency and I’m responsible for conducting inspections for compliance with the ESC, SWM and P2 plans and/or post-construction BMP inspections. Which training do I need?

      Inspector for SWM

    3. I work for a state agency and I’m responsible for conducting SWPPP inspections. Which training do I need?

      If you are responsible for conducting SWPPP inspections for the permit holder, you must be able to inspect the site to ensure the ESC plan and pollution prevention plan are being properly implemented. If you need training to effectively perform SWPPP inspections, visit SWPPP Inspection Training.


    SWPPP Inspections

    1. I will be conducting SWPPP inspections for the operator/permit holder, which training do I need?

      If you work at a construction site and are responsible for conducting SWPPP inspections for the permit holder, you must be able to inspect the site to ensure the ESC plan and pollution prevention plan are being properly implemented. If you need training to effectively perform SWPPP inspections, visit SWPPP Inspection Training.

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


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