Friday, July 19, 2013

ACE for Turf professionals?

Here's something you maybe didn't know ... Pull your copy of the ACE Code of Ethics down from the wall (you do have it framed on your wall, don't you?!?). Did you realize that the official name of the ACE certificate that you hold is Associate Certified Entomologist-Pest Control?

From the very beginning of the program back in 2004, the intent has been to expand ACE into other areas where insects intersect with and impact the lives of others. ESA is making the first explorations into this as we begin our research on developing an ACE for Turf and Ornamental (T&O) professionals. Copied verbatim below is a letter from the Director-Elect of the Certification Board, Pat Copps.

July 16, 2013

Dear Turf and Ornamental Professional:

Many Turf and Ornamental professionals have expressed an interest in obtaining certification in applied
entomology. These professionals see certification as a way to convince customers and employers that they
are the qualified professionals for the job.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) currently offers a certification for professionals in the structural pest control industry. This program titled Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) is designed for the career minded structural/industrial pest management professional. The program emphasizes the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the importance of a basic understanding of the science of entomology.
For Structural pest management professionals, the present ACE requirements include:
1. Current license or certificate that allows the holder to apply pesticides in an urban, industrial, or structural setting without supervision. This licensure must require continuing education to remain current (if the applicant's state does not require ongoing education to hold a license then the applicant is automatically exempted from this portion of the requirements).
2. A minimum of 7 years of verifiable pest management experience in the United States (if the applicant holds a minimum of a bachelor's degree in entomology the requirement is reduced to 3 years' experience),
3. The ability to take and pass an online test of your knowledge of structural pest control,
4. The application fee, which includes your first year of certification and the online examination,and
5. A willingness to adhere to the ACE Code of Ethics.
To retain their certification, ACEs must renew annually with ESA. All ACEs must submit a photocopy of their current pesticide applicator's license, reaffirm their willingness to continue to adhere to the ACE Code of Ethics, and pay the requisite fee (which is discounted for those ACEs who are also ESA members). Further, in near future, the renewal cycle will change to a tri-annual renewal rather than annual and evidence of current CEUs will be required.

ESA is in the process of gathering market information to possibly expand the ACE-Pest Control program. If there is sufficient interest, a similar certification and set of requirements would be developed for Turf and Ornamental professionals. The program would build on the foundation of the existing ACE certification and when complete would be managed by the ESA Director of Certification with the assistance of the ACE oversight committee.

The purpose of this letter is to gauge the level of interest for an ACE certification in T&O and to request assistance in developing a program if there is determined to be a solid desire to have this certification. We are requesting your feedback and willingness to become involved as a volunteer in a role as coordinator or participant on a team that could help move this project to completion.

Please contact Chris Stelzig, ESA Director of Certification, if you are interested and willing to increase professionalism within your industry through the establishment of an ACE
for Turf & Ornamental. This program can only go forward with your help!

Thank you for your time and interest.


Patrick T. Copps
Nov. 2013-Nov. 2014 Certification Board Director

Dr Mike Merchant, former Director of the Certification Board and author of the excellent blog, Insects in the City, posted about this same letter here.

At this time we're actively seeking volunteers to help fill out an exploratory committee to develop ACE T&O. Please share this post with any turf professionals you know.

Interested volunteers (or comments and questions) should be directed to me.