Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 Director's Report

Thank you for your strong and continued interest in the ESA Certification programs. I am pleased and proud to serve as your 2015 Director of the ESA Certification Board. Continuing a tradition that was started by my predecessor, Pat Copps, my purpose in writing today is to report to you on the state of our Society's certification and credentialing programs (Pat's 2014 report is on the blog).

The BCE, ACE, and new ACE-International certification programs are strong and continue to provide a platform for personal credentialing in our industry. Last year continued a recent track record of record growth for ACE and BCE. Here are some of the highlights:
  • ACE grew at rate of 9%, closing the year with 833 ACEs.
  • BCE grew at a more modest 1%, but that is significant after several years of flat growth and small declines. Of note is that for the first time in recent history, BCE recorded back-to-back growth years, having also grown by 1% in 2013.
  • I am pleased to welcome a new member to the Certification Board with the addition of Robert Kunst, ACE, filling the ACE Representative role. He was elected last summer and will serve a three-year term.
  • ACE-International was successfully launched at PestWorld, NPMA's industry trade show, in October 2014. While ESA HQ has been receiving applications, as of this writing we have not yet had anyone pass both exams (read more about the launch). Zia Siddiqi, BCE, is Chairing the new ACE-I Support committee.
  • The Certification Board approved the process of beginning to update all of the BCE exams. Two of these are underway now. Harold Harlan, BCE, is chairing a task force to examine and update the BCE Qualifying (Core) exam and George Schoeler, BCE, is leading a similar group to review and revise the Medical and Veterinary Specialty exam.
  • Two other groups are currently and actively exploring alternative ACE designations with Nic Ellis, BCE, leading a group on ACE-Turf and Ornamental and Ed Bordes, BCE-Emeritus, leading a group investigating ACE-Public Health.
  • The long-discussed ACE Study Guide is nearing completion and a manuscript will go out for review by April 1st with a book expected for sale by late summer or early fall.
  • At the 2014 annual business meeting during the ESA Annual Meeting in Portland, OR, the group discussed the perennially low attendance at the business meeting. In an effort to have a wider impact, those assembled voted to try something new this year for the annual business meeting. Late this fall watch for the first ever virtual BCE business meeting to be held sometime after the ESA Annual Meeting. Details will be forthcoming.
And finally, last year new logos for ACE and BCE were unveiled. The new logos do a good job of portraying the prestige and purpose of our two proud credentialing programs.

As always, I am available to answer any questions you may have about BCE, ACE, or any of our related programs. 

Your Certification Board and staff are hard at work building these programs. If you would like to contribute, please consider either serving on a committee, running for an office, encouraging your peers and colleagues to become certified, and possibly serving as a proctor. This is YOUR program. Help make it a success for all of us by contributing.

Laura Higgins, BCE (Plant-related specialty)
2015 Director, Certification Board 
ESA Certification Corporation