Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CEUs for ACEs

We've been getting a few emails and phone calls from ACEs wondering what they need to do in order to renew their certification at the end of the year.  There is apparently some confusion about the new CEU requirement.

The good news is that this is all pretty simple and for most people should not be too hard to handle.

Let's start with explaining the rules:
(These rules are for those who hold the US-based ACE and will not apply to those who attain the new ACE-International certification)
1) All ACEs must submit the following with their ACE renewal:
- Renewal form
- Sign the ACE Code of Ethics
- Proof of continued licensure (must be licensed to apply pesticides in at least one state)
- Proof of continuing education during the prior three years
- Fees
2) Starting in 2015 all ACE renewals will be for a three-year period.

What is a CEU?
CEU means continuing education units. It is a way to refer to professional development and training in a standardized way. ESA (and many other organizations) assign CEUs to various activities. The current rules are that you need to attain 18 CEUs from the prior three years (an average of 6 per year). ESA does not require pre-approval of educational units. ACEs should merely list them on their renewal forms.

You'll see that ESA is pretty liberal in what we count as a valid CEU. We believe that training and education can come from a lot of different sources, not just a traditional classroom setting. In most cases one hour of the activity equals one CEU.  ESA counts the following as valid CEUs.

(Note: This list is current as of August 6, 2014. Click back to under "Maintain my certification" for a current chart of eligible CEUs).

  • Training Attended (e.g., state-led training, internal company, Purdue, PestWorld, Kentucky, etc). Most ACEs will get most of their CEUs from this category. You can claim a maximum of 7 training CEUs per year.
  • Training Taught. If you are a trainer in your company (or elsewhere) you can get credit for this. Other examples would be leading an educational session at a state pesticide association training event. You can claim a maximum of 7 training CEUs per year.
  • Job-related Community Service is open for CEUs. If you donate your time and services to keeping pests out of your local homeless shelter, you can claim that, as an example. You can claim a maximum of 2 community service CEUs annually.
  • Reading (trade publications, professional resource materials, etc) is an easy way to get some CEUs. We should all be keeping up with the trade presses and we give you credit for doing so -- up to a maximum of 2 CEUs per year.
  • Articles authored is another option. If you submit an article to a trade publication (other options could be authoring a pest control column in your local newspaper) and they publish it, this earns you CEUs. You can claim up to 6 CEUs per year for this topic.
  • College courses taken (online acceptable) is a great way to go. They must be entomologically-based is the only catch. But you can claim up to 7 CEUs per year.
  • Job-related examinations taken counts too. In fact, taking your ACE exam counts as CEUs -- whether or not you passed. If you took the ACE exam and failed and then took it again the next year and passed, you could claim 3 CEUs for both years.
  • Career-related committee service helps both ESA and you. If you serve on an ACE or BCE committee for ESA or perhaps on a committee for your local or state-based pest management association, you can claim up to 4 CEUs per year for this service.
  • Pest control blogs or social media written can earn you two CEUs per year. A good example of this would be if you maintain your company's twitter feed and spend an hour or so a month looking for interesting articles to tweet out to your clients.  You get to claim up to 2 CEUs a year for this.
  • Honors and awards (promotions, awards) is open for CEUs too. An example would be if you won the ACE of the Year Award, the PCT Crown Leadership Award, or perhaps even something more local, like from your state-based association. You can claim up to 2 CEUs per year for this activity.
  • Development of new programs (apps, community, etc) is a seldom-used CEU-earning option. If you have worked to create something new that benefits your pest management community you can claim up to 5 CEUs per year.
  • Webinars count too ... both teaching and attending them. Just because you don't have a travel budget to go to meetings doesn't mean that you don't have to stay current. Attend a webinar on pest management education and claim up to 7 CEUs per year.
  • And finally, there are some special activities that may count for CEUs. If you have done something during the past two years tha tis related ot your career development as a pest management expert but is not listed on this chart, just let us know and we'll see if we can award some CEUs.  

What kinds of documentation do I need to submit?
The renewal form simply asks for a summary detailing of your education credits. But you'll want to maintain deeper records in case your renewal is one that is selected for an audit (we randomly select a set percentage every year to ensure overall compliance).  Examples of the kinds of documentation you'll want to keep in your files is listed below for each CEU activity.
  • Training Attended -- Submit names of courses, dates, and locations. Keep receipts, program books, certificates, and/or name badges as validation for your files.
  • Training Taught. Submit names of courses, dates, and locations. Keep program books, speaker bios, and conference organizer letters as validation for your files.
  • Job-related Community Service -- Submit description and dates. Keep news clippings and letters from the organization which benefited from your service as validation for your files.
  • Reading -- Submit publication names, dates, and article names. Keep back issues as validation for your files.
  • Articles authored  -- Submit description and dates. Keep back issues as validation for your files.
  • College courses taken -- Submit course name, institution name, and dates. Keep transcripts, class notes, and/or professor's letters for your files.
  • Job-related examinations taken -- Submit examination name, organization name, and date of the exam. Keep the same for your files.
  • Career-related committee service -- Submit organization and committee name, including dates of service. Maintain meeting minutes or notes and communication with the Chair or other committee members for validation of your service.
  • Pest control blogs or social media -- Submit name of the blog or media type. Maintain clips for validation of your activity.
  • Honors and awards (promotions, awards) -- Submit the name of the hosting organization, the name of the award, and the date of the award. Maintain the same for your files.
  • Development of new programs (apps, community, etc) -- Submit the name and release date of your new program. Maintain backup information in your files as validation.
  • Webinars --  Submit names of courses, dates, and host organizations. Keep receipts, certificates, and/or communiction from the host organization as validation for your files.
ESA expects that most ACEs won't have any trouble earning their CEUs as we allow far more CEU types than most states do. New ACEs will need to submit their CEUs when their first renewal comes due as well so may need to look back in their files and calendars to document activities from the prior few years.

If you have any questions about CEUs, please contact ace [at] entocert [dot] org.