CEC Program Snapshot

Many WCTA members don't fully understand the BC Pesticide Certificate Recertification program so we've created this list of frequently asked questions to assist.  Of course, you can always contact us directly if you have any questions not covered here.

Prerequisites

To participate in the ‘Continuing Education Credit’ (CEC) program for BC pesticide applicator certificate (PAC) recertification, a candidate must have passed the initial government exam and obtained a five-year certificate in the landscape or dispensor category.  For us to track points, you must be a WCTA or BCLNA member.  The service is complimentary for WCTA members, currently $30 per year for BCLNA payable in advance. 

How do I enroll?

In order to be enrolled in the PAC-CEC recertification program, after the prerequisites are met, we simply need a copy of your 5-year pesticide applicator certificate (note that one year certificates do not qualify) faxed or scan/emailed to us at 1 866-366-5097 or admin@wctaturf.com.  

What are the requirements to obtain recertification?

A minimum of 20 CEC’s are required for PAC recertification. The 20 CEC’s must be taken during the 5 years prior to PAC expiration.  Only a maximum of 10 CEC’s can be taken in any one year.  Within the 20 CEC’s required for recertification, there must be some training on each of the following topics with minimum point requirements in each category of:  

• 3 CEC’s concerned with Integrated Pest Management;
• 3 CEC’s concerned with Safety and Environmental Protection, and;
• 3 CEC’s concerned with Application Technology.

How long do I have to get my 20 CEC’s?

Pesticide certificates are issued for 5 years so if you get on the program at the start of your certificate, you have 5 years to collect points.  If you get on the program with only 4 years remaining on your certificate, then you only have 4 years to collect points and so on.

How do I get continuing education credits? NOTE - THIS SECTION IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

CEC’s are earned when you complete ongoing education seminars / webinars relating to pesticide use that are pre-approved by the BC Ministry of Environment.  Opportunities could include:

sessions at the WCTA annual conference and trade show
attending other WCTA sanctioned events
attending web seminars through independent providers like Professional Development Solutions (make sure you’re taking BC accredited courses)
attending seminars put on by others that have been accredited like the Can-West Hort Show, CGSA Seminar Series, BCGSA meetings, Alberta Property Managers Conference, NTA Conference and so on***

***Careful about the last point.  Lots of people go to what they think are accredited courses but they are not!!! 

Ask your course provider before signing up for the course. Points cannot be awarded retro-actively.  In other words, a course can’t be certified after you take it.

ALSO EXTREMELY IMPORTANT

MAKE SURE YOU SIGN THE ATTENDANCE SHEETS AT EACH ACCREDITED SEMINAR OTHERWISE THERE IS NO WAY TO VERIFY YOUR ATTENDANCE AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE CREDIT(S).

When it’s time for my certificate to be recertified, what do I have to do?

Nothing except pay the BC Ministry of Environment fee – we’ll send you the invoice. NOTE:  The Ministry of Environment will mail your certificate directly to you.  When you receive your renewed certificate, be sure to fax or scan/e-mail a copy to us to start you back on the recertification program.

I heard first aid certificates can be used for pesticide certificate points?

The BC Ministry of Environment has given us approval to utilize valid OFA first aid certificates toward CEC points. The details are as follows:

• A minimum (valid) level 1 Occupational First Aid certificate is required (must be a WorkSafe BC approved)
• This certificate must be valid (not expired) at the time of your Pesticide Certificate renewal
• 1.0 point will be awarded in the Safety and Environmental Protection category

Further Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do I become a WCTA member so that I may enroll in the CEC program?

A. To become a WCTA member:

Online Application - CLICK HERE
CLICK HERE to get printable form
Already a member and need to update your contact information?  CLICK HERE

Q. Do I need to have a pesticide certificate to be a WCTA member? 

A.  There is no such requirement.

Q. I’m not sure if I’m on the program or not.  How can I find out?

A.  Contact Leslie Carnell at admin@wctaturf.com if you’re not sure.

Q. What if I don’t get enough points to recertify before my certificate expires?  

A. Without the proper number of points in the right categories, the Ministry of Environment will not recertify you and you will need to re-take the exam.  There is no grace period for picking up credits after your certificate has expired and if you continue applying pesticides that require a certificate, you would be doing so illegally.

Q. Can I get all my credits at once?

A.  No. 10 credits maximum can be collected per calendar year.  The program is designed for ongoing education and collecting all points in a short period of time would defeat the purpose.

Q. Wait a minute – if only 10 credits are allowed per year and I have less than 2 years remaining on my certificate then there’s no possible way to get recertified???

A. You are correct.  If you’re just coming into the program and have 1 year left on your certificate, the recertification program won’t work for you because it’s impossible to get 20 credits in 1 year.  If you have 2 years remaining on your certificate, it is possible to recertify but you will have to work really hard!

Q. Don’t I need a certain amount of CEC points in different categories?

A. Yes. There are 3 categories and 3 points are required in each at minimum.

Q. I’m going to a conference that doesn’t have BC credits available, why is that?

A. To accredit a seminar, conference organizers must apply to the BC Ministry of Environment for approval.  As credit coordinator, these requests come through the WCTA.  If the conference organizer hasn’t applied for BC credits, it’s likely they don’t feel it worthwhile to apply for BC CEC points or they may not know to apply.  As an event attendee, you can help by asking conference organizers to apply for BC credits at:

http://www.wctaturf.com/forms/request-cec.php 

Q. I’m taking horticulture at ‘insert institution name here’ and would like to receive CEC points for pesticide related education.  Why isn’t this possible?

A. The BC Ministry of Environment wants the recertification program to be based on ongoing education rather than a long-term institutional course of study.  

Q. Where can I see a list of accredited courses I can take?

A. We try to keep the WCTA website up to date with CEC point opportunities. Go to www.wcta-online.com and look under the ‘Coming events’ section.  We also provide regular updates in member emails and in the Turf Line News. So you know, there tends to be more course offerings in the fall and winter than summer, which makes sense since everyone is busy tending their turf in the summer. 

Q. How can I get a copy of my CEC record? 

A.  Currently, we email everyone their record once per year, usually in the fall.  Our administrative system is undergoing restructuring so if you have not received your record, contact Leslie Carnell at admin@wctaturf.com  At minimum, we will email your record 4-6 weeks before your certificate expires.

Q.  Does the WCTA track any other PAC categories besides landscape?

A.  Yes, we also track dispensers.

Q. Where can I find out more details about the CEC program? 

A.  Continue reading below or go to the BC Ministry of Environment website at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/pesticides-pest-management/pesticide-use/pesticide-certification/recertification.  

More CEC program information

Recertification Requirements for BC Pesticide Applicators

 Definitions

Recertification is the renewal of a certificate for an additional term.

A Continuing Education Program for recertification is where a candidate with a 5-year Certificate receives credits toward recertification for attending courses of instruction over a number of years. The credits are referred to as Continuing Education Credits (CEC’s).

General

The recertification candidate must obtain continuing education credits appropriate to his/her certification category.

The Pesticide Control Act Regulation Section 26(1) specifies that certificates for pesticide applicators and dispensers are valid for a maximum of five years. According to Section 25(2), a person can obtain recertification either by passing an exam set by the administrator or by attending courses of instruction acceptable to the administrator. 

Procedure

Options for Recertification

A candidate can obtain recertification through:
rewriting and passing the regular certification exam,
taking a refresher or upgrading course and passing an exam acceptable to the administrator, or
obtaining CEC’s in a Continuing Education Program acceptable to the administrator.

Candidate Qualifications to Participate in a Continuing Education Program

To participate in a Continuing Education program for recertification, a candidate must have passed an initial certification exam and obtained a five year certificate, and must have the ability to read and comprehend English pesticide labels and pest management recommendations.

Amount of Training Required for one CEC

The CEC’s are calculated generally on the basis that one CEC is received for one hour of training.

Number of CEC’s required to obtain Recertification

A minimum of 20 CEC’s are required for recertification of an applicator. The 20 CEC’s must be taken during the 5 years prior to recertification. Only a maximum of 10 CEC’s can be taken in any one year. 

Within the 20 CEC’s required for recertification, there should be some training on each of the topics listed above.  There must be a minimum in each category of:

3 CEC’s concerned with Integrated Pest Management;
3 CEC’s concerned with Safety and Environmental Protection, and;
3 CEC’s concerned with Application Technology. 

Continuing Education Credit Courses

All continuing education credits must be approved by the Administrator before the course is offered;
Acceptable courses include:
     • instructor-led classroom courses or presentations at conferences, symposia, workshops, field demonstrations or equipment demonstrations in which continued attendance is verified;
     • viewing approved training video-tapes where continued attendance of an individual is verified;
     • use of approved interactive computer programs where completion of the program is verified;
     • self-study of approved course manuals where the completion of the course is verified (such as by completion of work sheets or assignments).
Recertification credits will be awarded for courses dealing with one or more of the Certificate Examination Matters (Schedule 3) that relate directly to the certificate category of the course attendees;
No continuing education credits will be awarded for courses dealing with topics other than Certificate Examination Matters; 
Course presenters should endeavour to include information relevant to course participants. American presenters, for example, should refer to pesticides registered for use in Canada rather than products registered only in the USA. 
One Pesticide Safety credit will be awarded for a Level 1 Occupational First Aid certificate.

Training Course Content

 Training for CEC’s can provide new, updated or more detailed information or a refresher on topics covered in the initial certification training. Acceptable topics include the following:

A. Integrated Pest Management
  • pest identification and biology
  • pest prevention
  • monitoring methods
  • action and injury levels
  • management methods, including pesticide alternatives and decision making
  • evaluation of results

B. Safety and Environmental Protection
  • pesticide labels and label comprehension
  • legislation
  • toxicity
  • emergency response (first aid, spills, fires)
  • protective clothing and equipment
  • effects of pesticides on the environment
  • safe procedures for storage, transport, mixing, application, cleanup and disposal

C. Application Technology
  • equipment selection
  • proper equipment set-up, use and maintenance
  • equipment calibration and pesticide use calculations
  • pesticide products and factors affecting their use and performance

Courses dealing with the following types of information will not be recognized for recertification:  business aspects of farm or pest management, the mechanics of crop fertilization and irrigation, production varieties (unless pest resistance is the key issue), storage or marketing of commodities.

________________________________________

Schedule 3 Categories Cross-Reference to WCTA 

1 General pesticide characteristics
2 Act and Regulations 
3 Labeling 
4 Human Health 
5 Pesticide Safety 
6 Environment 
7 Pest Management 
8 Application Technology 
9 Emergency Response 
10 Professionalism*

Converts to:

7 Pest Management 

5 Pesticide Safety & 6 Environment
   2 Act and Regulations
   3 Labeling 
   4 Human Health

8 Application Technology
   9 Emergency Response
   1 General pesticide characteristics 

*professionalism is not tracked