Thursday, December 18, 2014

New ACE and BCE list December 2014

Please join ESA in congratulating the latest individuals to earn their ACE or BCE (earned prior to December 15, 2014):

  • Mrs. Noel E. MacNeil, BCE-Intern, (not provided), Interlochen, MI  USA.  Certified on 12/1/2014
  • Mrs. Jennifer O'Dell Brumfield, BCE, (Western Pest Services), Cochranville, PA  USA.  Certified on 11/13/2014
  • Mr. Trenton Scott Frazer, BCE, (Alterra, Inc.), Sandy, UT  USA.  Certified on 11/21/2014. 
  • Mr. Gary Hugh Cochrane, BCE, (Amalgamated Pest Control Pty Ltd), Brisbane,   Australia.  Certified on 11/26/2014
  • Mr. Darryl J Franke, ACE, (SOS Pest Control), Kansas City, MO  USA.  Certified on 11/13/2014
  • Mr. Richard M Gruber, Jr, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Columbus, OH  USA.  Certified on 11/14/201 
  • Mr. Robert G. Alarco, ACE, (Orkin LLC), New Hyde Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 11/14/2014
  • Mr. John A. Hernandez, ACE, (Western Pest Services), Toms River, NJ  USA.  Certified on 11/14/2014
  • Mr. Damian Marcello, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Latham, NY  USA.  Certified on 11/14/2014
  • Mr. Robert Gaul, ACE, (Craig Thomas Pest Control ), Hyde Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 11/14/2014
  • Mr. James Robert Haeger, ACE, (Pugliese Pest Solutions / Rollins Inc.), Utica, NY  USA.  Certified on 11/14/2014
  • Mr. Christopher S Schneider, ACE, (Univar), Napa, CA  USA.  Certified on 11/24/2014. 
  • Mr. Michael P. Reid, ACE, (Cardiff Pest Control), Santa Cruz, CA  USA.  Certified on 12/5/2014
  • Mr. John Peter Pirrone, ACE, (Keystone Pest Control, Inc.), Hayward, CA  USA.  Certified on 12/5/2014

Learning more about QualityPro

I've been spending a little time recently learning about Quality Pro, partially in preparation for a Symposia that ESA is supporting in early 2015 at the 8th International IPM Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT. Our session is called Building International Professionalism: Credentialing Options for the People and Places that Practice IPM in the Built Environment, and it will consist of an overview of the various types of credentials that a PMP can earn.

The Quality Pro (QP) accreditation program seems to be an excellent companion to the ACE and BCE certification programs. Whereas QP focuses on the business, the focus of ACE/BCE is on the individual. Both programs allow pest management firms to voluntarily choose to adhere to a higher level of credentialing and training than is required by the states.

Where the two programs overlap is in requirements that the QP program puts on each individual who works for the company. Since not all states require individual testing for pesticide applicators, QP requires all company employees (yes, even the receptionists) in those states to pass minimum training exams (a list of those states is here).  For ACE and BCE individual testing is an integral part of the credential. The exams are arguably significantly more difficult for ACE and BCE, based on length if nothing else.

One little-known fact about QP: Among the other benefits, QP will rebate the company up to $100 per year towards getting an employee ACE or BCE certified.

Both programs seek the same goal, that of raising the standard of professionalism of the industry. They just approach it from opposite sides of the employment spectrum.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

November 2014 Certification Board meeting

The final meeting of the 2014 ESA Certification Board was held during the ESA Annual Meeting in Portland, OR on November 16th. This concludes the Directorship for Pat Copps and marks the beginning of Laura Higgins' time at the helm of the Cert Board. Some of the highlights from the November meeting are:

  • Continued growth in both the ACE and BCE programs. Though final numbers won't be known for several more weeks, both ACE and BCE are poised for growth. If this holds to be true, BCE would be posting 2 years of growth in a row, which is unprecedented in recent years.
  • The ACE Support Committee has been watching the ACE exam scores since the new test debuted in early 2014. Overall the average score has decreased by about 2-3 percentage points. The ASC feels that an ACE applicant should be putting in a minimum of 40 hours of dedicated self-study prior to taking the exam
  • The board recommended that Jim Fredericks (NPMA) and Shripat Kamble (Univ of Nebraska) be appointed to fill the two Ad Hoc positions on the Certification Board. Though the ESA Certification Corporation Governing Board makes the official appointments, they often rely heavily on the advice of the Cert Board (as was the case here, when the ESACC GB approved a motion to have Fredericks and Kamble fill the slots).
  • Discussion about the new mission statement of the Certification programs that was developed during 2014.

ESA Certification Corporation Mission Statement:  To establish and maintain standards of professionalism for all who work with or study insects and related life forms.

  • There was some considerable discussion about the fact that the annual Business Meeting (which is historically held during the ESA Annual Meeting) is always poorly attended and by its nature excludes those who cannot come to the meeting. Several different options were discussed, but the following motion carried unanimously: "Move that the 2015 Certification Business meeting be held as a webinar immediately subsequent to the ESA Annual Meeting." The Business Meeting webinar is now tentatively scheduled for 11/23/2015.
  • The CEU Committee Chair agreed to review the BCE Professional Maintenance and Certification Report (PM&C) for any needed changes or updates to eligible CEUs.
  • The board agreed that all BCE exams should be reviewed approximately every 5 years. The Medical/Veterinary specialty is already under review and the General Core exam will be reviewed starting in 2015.
Additionally the Board agreed to the following meeting schedule for 2015:  February 17, May 12, August 18, and the annual meeting on November 15 (the first three are conference calls, the last is held in conjunction with the ESA Annual Meeting). Anyone who has business to bring before the Certification Board should be mindful of those dates.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Newly certified through early November

Please join me in congratulating the newest class of ACEs and a new BCE. These urban professionals join a very select roster of credentialed Associate and Board Certified Entomologists.

Ms. Alicia N. Thuis, BCE, (Ecolab), Eagan, MN  USA.  Certified on 8/29/2014.

Mr. Stephen A Rys, ACE, (Cornerstone Pest Management), Modesto, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/31/2014.
Mr. Mark Kingman, ACE, (Instar Pest Consultants Inc.), San Jose, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/31/2014.
Mr. Christopher Clark, ACE, (Home Team Pest Defense), W Melbourne, FL  USA.  Certified on 10/29/2014.
Mr. Neal F McCullough II, ACE, (BugPro Florida), Jacksonville, FL  USA.  Certified on 10/22/2014.
Mr. Edward Connor, Jr, ACE, (Connors Termite and Pest Control Inc.), Springfield, VA  USA.  Certified on 10/22/2014.
Mr. Todd Barber, ACE, (Paul's Termite and Pest Control), Midway, FL  USA.  Certified on 10/22/2014.
Mr. Christopher Phillips, ACE, (Buffalo Exterminating), Orchard Park, NY  USA.  Certified on 10/22/2014.
Mr. Victor Hainline, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Coldwater, MI  USA.  Certified on 10/22/2014.
Mr. Daniel Smith, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/9/2014.
Mr. Michael S Austin, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/9/2014.
Mr. Richard L. Drews, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/9/2014.
Mr. Archie L. Barnett, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 10/9/2014.
Mr. William T. Hoffman, ACE, (Hoffman's Exterminating Inc), Mantua, NJ  USA.  Certified on 10/6/2014.
Mr. Sean M. Day, ACE, (Orkin Pest Control), Anaheim, CA  USA.  Certified on 9/26/2014.
Mr. Michael W. Francis, ACE, (HomeTeam Pest Defense), Tempe, AZ  USA.  Certified on 9/10/2014.
Mr. Joseph Nathan Silva, ACE, (Home Team Pest Defense), Escondido, CA  USA.  Certified on 9/10/2014.
Mr. Don Darilek, ACE, (Hometeam Pest Defense), Las Vegas, NV  USA.  Certified on 9/10/2014.
Mr. Thomas J. Steiger, ACE, (Sprague Pest Solutions), Spokane, WA  USA.  Certified on 6/25/2014.
Mr. Richard Park, ACE, (Clark Pest Control), Lodi, CA  USA.  Certified on 6/11/2014.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Tell me a story about professional credentialing (and get a free vest for your trouble)

I want your certification story. If yours is the best story submitted, I'll give you an ACE vest for your trouble.

I'm a big believer that nothing illustrates a point quite like a story. I can give you bullet point lists of why certification is great and important, but it is the real life stories that seem to have the most lasting impact.

I'm preparing for a few speaking presentations in early 2015 and need your war stories. I'll use some of your stories for the presentation and some for future posts on the blog. I want to know:
  1. How has certification built your business?
  2. How has the LACK of certification been a problem?
This could be stories of your own experience with ACE or BCE, or it could be something that you heard about from another industry entirely unrelated to pest control.

Tell me about ...
  • the time you went to Costa Rica and went bungee jumping but foolishly chose to go with the uncertified operator.
  • when you took your car to a mechanic that did not have his ASE certification and the new muffler he installed fell off as you drove your kids to soccer practice.
  • what happened when you had a non-certified snow plow operator take care of your lot and he plowed over all your shrubs.
Or, tell me about ...
  • how you studied for years to earn your certification because you wanted to make your parents proud of you.
  • how your business improved because you got certified.
  • the big client you landed because you have certified professionals on your staff
  • How your employees look at you differently now that you are certified.
Whatever your certification or professional development story, I want to hear it. I've got a free ACE fleece vest for the best story submitted by December 15, 2014. Of course, you have to be a current ACE to get the vest.

Email me at with the subject line "Certification Stories"

Friday, October 31, 2014

Membership versus Certification

The ESA certification department gets a lot of questions about membership.
  • "Am I a member of ESA?"
  • "How do I sign up for the ACE membership?"
  • "I'm an ACE now, does that make me an ESA member too?"
To answer these, it helps to start with the basics.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is an individual membership organization. People join it because it offers benefits. Think of ESA as being like your local gym: Your gym offers benefits like weights, a track, a swimming pool, and basketball courts. But maybe you only use the stationary bikes and joined just for that reason.

Similarly, ESA offers a wide range of benefits that are designed to serve our nearly 7,000 members in over 80 different nations. One of the benefits is discounts on our certification programs, including BCE, ACE, and now ACE-International. Just like in the gym example, ESA offers many different benefits, including free online journal subscriptions, webinars, career resources, public policy advocacy, networking, and deep discounts on our conferences. Many ACEs and BCEs join ESA simply because of the affiliation with the largest insect science organization in the world and for the certification discounts. Membership in ESA is voluntary and based on the calendar year.

Membership in ESA is personal, not by institution. All of the benefits are bestowed on you as an individual, not your company. And so your company is not a member of ESA, even if someone else in your firm is a member.

ACE and BCE certification is different from ESA membership. First off, it is NOT a membership, though there are some similarities. A person can easily be certified by ESA without being a member of ESA. The strong majority (over 95%) of BCEs are also ESA members but a minority of ACEs are ESA members (about 25%).

Some of the reasons why an ACE or BCE would want to be a member of ESA would include:
  1. Discounted fees:  Fees are reduced for certification applicants and those that hold certification. 
  2. Networking potential: As a member you have access to the rosters and can find fellow members to discuss your pest control problems and challenges
  3. Scientific journal access: ESA posts Certified Science, a newsletter that goes out about every 6 weeks to also ACEs and urban BCEs. The newsletter includes the scientific abstracts, but members have access to the full articles.
  4. American Entomologist:  This fun quarterly magazine is ESA's flagship publication and is distributed free to all members.
  5. And more ... I'd encourage you to review the full list of benefits of ESA membership.
As Debi Sutton, Membership Director for ESA says, "ESA membership is the perfect complement to earning your ACE or BCE. It shows not just a dedication to the knowledge and expertise required to effectively earn a living as a pest control professional, but it also shows a wider appreciation for the impact that the insect science has on the profession of pest control. And it allows ACEs and BCEs to access a network of others involved in the science, and research published on key areas of interest."

So let's go back to those first three questions again.
  • "Am I a member of ESA?" -- Whether or not you are is totally up to you. But we hope your join.
  • "How do I sign up for the ACE membership?" -- You don't. ACE is a certification, not a membership. If you want to apply for ACE certification, see this page. If you want to join ESA as a member, see this one.
  • "I'm an ACE now, does that make me an ESA member too?" -- No. ACEs can save money on their certification fees if they also join ESA, but it is a choice.
So whether or not you supplement your ACE or BCE with an ESA membership is completely up to you, but we hope you join us!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

New ACE application rules

As was previously announced on this blog, there are several new rules for ACE applications that took effect on October 21, 2014. Specifically:

(a) All applications for ACE now require two reference letters, whereas previously all that was required was to list a single reference. The reference letters should be professional in nature and should be written by a professional colleague, a major client, an employer, a former employer, etc. The letters should cover any or all of the following subjects with regards to the applicant:
  • Professionalism
  • Entomological knowledge
  • Work history
  • Ethical behavior
  • Adherence to IPM principles
(b) All applications for ACE now require only a minimum of five year's of professional work experience, whereas previously the rule had been for seven year's experience.

Also, the ACE-International (ACE-I) program was successfully launched during PestWorld 2014 in Orlando, FL. The major difference between ACE and ACE-I are in regards to pesticide safety. Both programs stress the importance of safe handling and overall knowledge of pesticides. Pesticide applicator licenses are common in the United States, but they are not required in every non-U.S. country. Thus, the ACE-I program does not require licensure and the U.S. version does. In order to ensure that all who eventually become International ACEs are properly knowledgeable about pesticide safety, all ACE-I applicants will be required to pass a second exam based on pesticide safety.