Since its creation in 2016, the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) has bestowed credentials to more than 350 water professionals who have demonstrated the skills and knowledge needed to design, build, and maintain cutting-edge green stormwater infrastructure.
As the first-of-its-kind certification program expands, Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) Member Associations (MAs) may now purchase training licenses that will extend NGICP’s reach. By actively supporting the program, MAs can prepare their members for work in a crucial and quickly growing segment of the water sector.
Become a training licensee
An increasing number of MAs have members who have received NGICP professional credentials. These newly certified professionals return home equipped with new knowledge and skills, and they are eager to pass on what they have learned to their colleagues.
James Moore, stormwater specialist for the Georgia Association of Water Professionals (GAWP), is among 11 individuals in the state who earned NGICP certifications in June 2018. Moore will attend an NGICP “Train-the-Trainer” workshop in August, where he will learn how to teach the NGICP curriculum to those seeking to follow in his footsteps.
Moore says familiarity with green infrastructure will become increasingly important for Georgia stormwater professionals. Those in the state anticipate new state regulations that will require on-site reduction or capture of at least 25.4 mm (1 in.) of rain for all regulated municipal separate storm sewer systems by the end of 2020.
“GAWP members are keenly interested in getting up to speed on the installation and maintenance of the green infrastructure practices that will accompany the new standard. NGICP offers a … means to do this, along with a robust credentialing process,” Moore said. “We’re looking forward to adding NGICP to our toolbox of professional stormwater trainings.”
Professional organizations that purchase an NGICP training license can designate up to five individuals to serve as official NGICP trainers after completing a Train-the-Trainer workshop. Trainers gain access to NGICP materials and best-practice standards for educating hopeful practitioners. These pracitioners pay a fee to take the official NGICP exam.
“For those entities that are focusing on educating professionals already in the field, who can afford the ongoing costs of certification, a license is the best option,” said Adriana Caldarelli, NGICP director.
Become an NGICP partner
MAs interested in helping a larger number of members pursue certifications also may become official NGICP partner organizations. After purchasing a 2-year partnership commitment, these MAs can provide a “one-stop-shop” for members to access state-of-the-art green infrastructure training materials, earn their certification, and participate in ongoing professional development opportunities, all without paying out of pocket.
Becoming a partner organization also allows the MA to designate new NGICP trainers, to appear prominently in NGICP press releases and marketing materials, and to participate in NGICP Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) activities. Maintaining a voice on the NGICP SAG allows organizations to help guide the program’s expansion as it works to organize an in-demand, skills-driven, sustainable workforce.
MAs that want to help certify several individuals but do not want to serve as full NGICP partners also may purchase certification packages that cover up to 40 people. This spares members from incurring exam application fees, re-test fees, and certification maintenance fees.
Partnership and group-certification packages are suitable for MAs that focus heavily on professional development. They also are valuable for MAs interested in using NGICP as part of larger workforce development programs, Caldarelli said.