Through a cooperative
agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), NEHA has
worked with and various partner groups to develop a national credential to
certify installers of onsite wastewater treatment systems. The credential
covers all forms of installation and will be offered at both a basic and
The credential is designed to test the knowledge, skills and abilities
needed for the successful installation of an onsite wastewater treatment
system. Since it is a national credential, and state and local codes are
not covered this credential is meant to enhance a state or local
A lot of time and effort is involved with maintaining an examination, a
database of credentialed individuals, and tracking continuing education.
NEHA hopes to make that task easier by offering this exam. For the
professional installer, NEHA would like to give you this opportunity to
set yourself apart from your professional colleagues and get the
recognition you deserve for your quality work and knowledge.
Through a cooperative
agreement with USEPA, NEHA facilitated the development of a credential for
onsite wastewater system installers. The development of this credential is
part of USEPA’s Voluntary Management Guidelines for Decentralized
Wastewater Treatment Systems. These guidelines acknowledge that onsite
wastewater systems are a permanent part of this nation’s infrastructure
and will only work properly if the correct design, installation, and
management guidelines are established.
To insure that the certification process results in a credential that will
be accepted, used, and maintained by the onsite industry, NEHA has
enlisted the participation of stakeholder groups such as The National
Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association (NOWRA), The National Association
of Wastewater Transporters Inc.(NAWT), National Small Flows Clearinghouse
(NSFC), and State Onsite Regulators Association (SORA) among others.
Through recommendations from its partner organizations and NEHA
membership, NEHA has gathered together an industry representative group of stakeholders
to help set guidelines for the credential development. This group includes
representatives from NOWRA, local and state onsite regulators, National
Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Consortium of Institutes for Decentralized
Wastewater Treatment (CIDWT).
The stakeholder group spent two days defining the tasks associated with
the successful installation of an onsite wastewater system. From there the
knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA’s)
needed to complete those tasks were identified.
The information provided by the stakeholder group was put into a job
analysis and sent out to onsite wastewater professionals throughout the
United States. Individuals were asked to rate the frequency, time taken
and potential for harm for all tasks. In addition, they were asked their
opinion on academic and job-related experience requirements to be
associated with the exam.
One of the main outcomes of the stakeholder group meeting and job analysis
is that there is a need for a basic level credential and also an advanced
credential. The two credentials are being developed to stand alone.
Therefore, a state (or individual, county, city, etc.) can utilize one or
both of the credentials in their program.
The installer credential is
designed to be utilized in a variety of ways at both the state and local
level. Part of the development process included soliciting feedback from
state and local agencies on how this credential would work within their
administrative framework. The goal for this is to alleviate some
administrative duties for EH regulators and help create a uniform standard
across state and county lines.
The credential can be a legislated requirement at the state level, or a
code requirement at the county level. Credentialed individuals will
receive proof of their having met the requirements and passing the
credential exam which can be presented at the time of registration or
licensing at the state or county level.
At the state level, the credential examination will be available for
purchase by any state that would like to add the exam to their existing
program. NEHA would still update and maintain the examination data base
and the state could administer the examination as they saw fit. The state
could also require its installers to take the examination through NEHA and
once they have passed the test, keep their registration up-to-date with
NEHA through continuing education.
For counties and towns that have the authority to set their own
requirements for onsite wastewater professionals, the options listed above
for the state level would be appropriate. Of course, any individual would
be able to take the exam and become credentialed through NEHA if they met
the eligibility requirements.
Basic Level: The exam contains
75 questions involving the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to
successfully install an onsite wastewater system. State and local codes
are not covered. Passing score is 70% correct.
Advanced Level: The exam contains 125 questions involving the necessary
knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully install an onsite
wastewater system. The questions contain more difficult scenarios that the
basic level and require the test-taker to apply their knowledge to
different situations. Passing score is 70% correct.
For the basic level
examination, candidates must be at least 18 years of age and provide
proof of high school graduation or GED.
For the advanced level examination, candidates must meet the requirements
of the basic level AND provide a work history that contains AT LEAST two
years experience installing onsite wastewater treatment systems.
For both the basic and
advanced levels of the credential, twelve (12) hours of continuing
education is required for every two years. You must fill out and email or
mail in a Continuing
Education Submission Form. Acceptable forms of continuing education
include: national, state and local conferences, and training center
programs. If you have any questions on whether or not your program meets
the requirements, please contact the Credentialing Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEHA is committed to ensuring
that no individual is deprived of the opportunity to take a credentialing
examination solely by reason of a disability or impairment. All test
centers are fully accessible and compliant with the American with
Disabilities Act (ADA).
To make a request for special accommodations you must complete the
Accommodation Request Form and Documentation of Disability Related Needs
Form (click here
to download forms) including the specific diagnosis of your disability;
medical records, or other written proof of the diagnosis by an appropriate
licensed professional; and the type of accommodation being requested. Both
forms must be returned to NEHA at least 30 days prior to the scheduled
If the forms are not returned to NEHA within 30 days prior to the
scheduled test date your request for special accommodations may not be
With respect to all matters related to testing accommodations, NEHA will
only communicate with the candidate, professionals knowledgeable about the
candidate’s disability or impairment, and the candidate’s authorized
representative (if applicable).