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 ace@entocert.org 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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Things aren't always what they seem (Guest post by Gerry Wegner, BCE)

Things aren’t always what they seem.

A sweat bee resting calmly on a leaf might be a bit sluggish from the cool autumn air, or there might be something else going on.

As I was photographing this halictid from a front angle, I noticed an extra pair of wings on the abdomen.  As I changed my angle of orientation, I beheld a rare treat – a male twisted-wing parasite (Strepsiptera: Stylopidae) – positioned atop the bee’s abdomen.

Either the strepsipteran had just emerged from its pupa, tucked beneath a tergite, or he was mating with a hidden female in that location.  Either way, the male left his spot and took flight from one of the sweat bee’s hind legs.

The whole episode passed quickly but the experience, to me, was priceless.






Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Renewing ACE and BCE

It's October so that means it is time to get ready for renewals of your ACE and BCE certification. For many of you this is a new venture, so I wanted to try and explain it in a little more detail.

First off, don't freak out. ESA's intent is to have this be as stress-free as possible. Renewing your ACE is not hard. You will find that our definition and a state regulatory group's definition of a CEU may be a little different -- with our definition being the more lenient version. For example, we count things that the states don't (an obvious example here is reading pest control magazines).  We call a CEU most activities that show you have continued to develop your knowledge of structural pest contro as it intersects with entomology.

But before we start talking about renewing, we need to revisit the ACE application.

Recall that the new ACE application that started being used in late 2013 changed renewals a bit. The new applications have a 3-year lifespan and at whatever point during the application period a person passed their exam, they were ACE certified until the end of it. So anyone who applied on the new application does not yet need to renew their ACE. The price paid for the application tells you if you used the new or the old application (old fee was $150/non-members or $125/ESA members. The new fee is $355/members and $395/non-members). If you still don't know, contact ESA.

ACE Renewals:
Renewing your ACE is now simpler than ever. Starting in 2014 we began allowing people to renew for 3 years. This year all renewing ACEs will be for a 3-year period.  The basic rules for renewing your ACE (U.S. version of ACE only) are these steps:
  • Must be a licensed applicator and be allowed to apply pesticides without supervision, or whatever is the highest credential in your state, territory, or region. State-based, tribal, and Dept of Defense applicator licenses all count. You must submit proof of this licensure.
  • Sign your name to affirm your continued adherence to the ACE Code of Ethics
  • Submit your renewal fees (currently $295/ESA members and $375/non-memers). Recall that ESA is a personal membership, not company-based like NPMA is. So to claim the lower rate you must be a member of ESA (generally about 30-40% of ACEs are also ESA members).
  • Must submit 18 CEUs earned during the 3 previous years, according to this table of eligible CEUs.
It is this last point that generates the most questions. People want to know "what counts as a CEU?" ESA is very generous on what counts as a CEU. For the vast majority of ACEs this is the same information that you need to submit to renew your state-based license. If you are having trouble finding credits, contact ESA.

Here are four scenarios that help to explain renewing ACE certification:
  1. John is a new ACE, having earned his certification in January 2014. He applied on the old application so his renewal comes due on December 31, 2014. He needs to submit CEUs earned during the years 2012-2014 which would include from the time prior to his becoming an ACE.
  2. Jane is a new ACE, having earned her certification in January 2014. She applied on the new application so does not need to renew until the end of her initial application period (end of 2016).
  3. Jack earned his ACE years ago but has been renewing annually every year, including in 2014. This year he submits CEUs earned during 2012-2014 to renew for 2015-2017.
  4. Jill earned her ACE years ago and has been renewing annually, but in 2014 she chose the phase-in of the new structure and renewed for 3 years. She does not need to renew until December 31, 2016.


BCE Renewals:
Renewing a BCE is still an annual process. The reason for this discrepancy is that most BCEs (95%) are also ESA members and ESA membership renewal is also calendar-year based.  Every year a BCE must pay the annual renewal fee (see fee schedule here). Fees are reduced for Interns and Emeritus BCEs.

Every three years all full BCEs (Interns and Emeritus are exempt) must also submit a report that documents their CEUs. There is no fee for this report as long as it is received prior to the due date and is submitted electronically. The report covers CEUs attained in the three years prior to the report. It is due on December 31st and considered to be on time if received by the end of March in the following year.

The link to the annual BCE renewal form is here (or just do it as a part of your ESA renewal)

The link to the tri-annual CEU report is here. You can download a copy of the report in Excel, Word, or as a PDF.

Monday, September 29, 2014

So I hear you're interested in becoming an ACE ...

At ESA we get a lot of phone calls and emails from people who are interested in becoming ACE or ACE-International certified. This post is designed to serve as a link to get you started and answer most of the more common questions that people have about the programs, including:
  1. An overview of what the ACE program is, and what it isn’t.
  2. Hear from some people who have passed the ACE exam via a testimonial and a guest post on our blog.
  3. ESA is the organization that runs the ACE program. You can join ESA and save a little money on your ACE fees. Taking and passing your ACE exam does not make you an ESA member, though.  Here is some more about ESA membership benefits.
  4. There are lots of ways to study for the ACE exam. From a list of study materials, to finding a prep course near you, to simply reviewing the materials on which the exam is based.  There is also a sample exam (the username and password are both ACEQ).
  5. The Certified Entomologist blog is a good source of information with general info, including a good post with FAQs about the ACE application and exam process.
  6. The application is good for three years. You will need to pass the ACE exam within that time period in order to have it still be active. That 3-year “clock” starts when your application is officially accepted (we’ll email you). As soon as you pass your ACE exam within that time period you will be an ACE until the end of that 3-year period before needing to renew. 
  7. The main differences between ACE and ACE-International are simple -- if you are a permanent resident of the United States, then ACE is for you. If you aren't then you need to look at ACE-I.
  8. When you feel that you are ready to get started, click here to access the ACE and ACE-I application.

Your contact for more ESA certification questions is:
Chris Stelzig
Director of Certification
Entomological Society of America
3 Park Place, Suite 307
Annapolis, MD 21401-3722
301-731-4535, x3012 | Direct dial – 240-696-3741