Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dropping Fees!

In case you missed it, the ESA Certification Board has voted unanimously to drop fees on submitting the re-certification report (the tri-annual Professional Maintenance and Certification Report).

Yes, you read that right. Dropping the fee. Like in getting rid of it altogether.

From here on, you'll pay no fee for submitting your CEU report to renew your BCE IF ....
  • The report is submitted on time, and
  • The report is submitted electronically.
Otherwise the fees are actually increasing, albeit slightly. Here is what's going on ...

The CEU report fee has been $25 for ESA members and $50 for non-members for pretty much forever (certainly it has not changed in the past 12 years at least). The original reason for the fee was due to processing of paper. But then somebody went and invented the internet and increasingly we're finding that more and more of the reports are being submitted electronically and the ESA workload for each report is pretty negligible. So we are encouraging all BCEs to submit their report electronically to (a) smooth out the workload, and (b) save the BCE some cash.

What does "on time" mean?
For those who don't know, the Professional Maintenance and Certification Report (PM&C) is a tri-annual report that documents CEUs earned during the prior three years. It is due on December 31st of the year and must be submitted by March 15th of the following year. For example, if your report is to cover the years 2012-2014, it is technically due on Dec. 31, 2014, but it will be considered "on time" up until March 15th, 2015.

What does "submitted electronically" mean?
The PM&C report is available in three formats (click on the link below and choose "save as" to see a sample):
If the report is submitted to ESA in such a fashion as to allow us to store it electronically without intervention, then that is considered electronic. Examples include PDF, Excel file, MS Word file, and jpegs. Our faxes come to us as PDFs, so even a fax is acceptable (faxed to 301-731-4538).

What if I cannot submit electronically and/or on time?
The fees are going up slightly for those reports that are not submitted this way. The PM&C fee for ESA members will be $30 as of Jan 1, 2014 and it will be $60 for non-ESA members as of the same date. However, we feel that virtually every BCE can avoid paying the fee by submitting on time and electronically.

Be warned, however, BCEs who cannot submit their report on time MUST contact ESA and request an extension. If your report is not received in a timely fashion, it can result in the revocation of your certification.

When Can I Submit my report?
Now. As soon as you earn enough CEUs to cover the period in question you can submit your report.