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.