Certified Professional in Erosion & Sediment Control™
A CPESC designation establishes and expands your credibility as an ESC practitioner. It combines many disciplines and specialties to help you produce plans and designs that comprehensively address current and potential erosion and sedimentation issues at sites. The practices and measures taught are cost-effective, understandable, and are intended to ensure that professionals meet ‘Qualified Personnel’ requirements. CPESC professionals develop the knowledge and experience to ensure that the projects they oversee meet local, provincial, territorial and federal environmental regulatory requirements.
CPESC registrants meet educational and practical experience standards, subscribe to the code of ethics, pass a rigorous qualifying exam, and maintain expertise through a continuing professional development program.
To help support the growth of knowledge and professional development, ESCA Canada has established an “In-Training” status (-IT). The purpose of this status is to recognize professionals who have a strong foundation of knowledge and are working toward expanding their expertise through experience and continuing education. For those interested in obtaining a CPESC but not yet qualified in terms of the number of years of experience are encouraged to get certified as an CPESC-IT.
Benefits of a CPESC® On Your Team
If your team works on landscapes that involve land disturbances, land development and land management then incorporation of a CPESC on your team is a smart move. While working on sites like subdivisions, commercial sites, parks, other recreational areas, mixed use developments, highways, transmission lines (power, oil, and gas), farms, forests and surface mines. CPESC team members are a resource which ensures your projects will: run according to regulation, be permitted efficiently and perform exceptionally. CPESC qualification identifies professionals who have a high-level of experience and technical knowledge. The program is significantly difficult and so reliant on collection of experience that a CPESC-IT (in training) designation has been established. This IT designation identifies professionals who are on the path to certification but who have the need for continued experience and professional development before they can achieve CPESC certification.
Certified Professionals in Erosion & Sediment Control have been trained and tested on each of these subjects and have proven their proficiency on subjects including but not limited to:
Regulations – Federal
Permitting – types, authorities and methods
Permitting Application Requirements – municipalities, construction activity and industrial activity
Erosion & Sediment Site Planning and Management – resource planning, hazards associated with urban development, land development plans, scheduling and implementation
Predicting Soil Loss – via the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and the Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE)
Procedures for Estimating Gross Erosion – sheet, total and wind erosion
Runoff Management Planning and the associated equations and considerations to address: – soil permeability, precipitation and hydrologic cycle
Soil Stabilization Mechanisms (Erosion Control) – vegetation, bio-technical protection, soil tackifiers and stabilizers, turf reinforcement mats, hydraulically applied erosion control products, erosion control blankets and other related technologies.
Secondary Education Requirement
All ESCA Canada certification programs require a High School Diploma or a GED (General Education Development) Credential.
- Highschool diploma or GED required - Yes
- Diploma required - No
- Required total Professional Experience/Education credit (min) 7 years
- Highschool Diploma plus 7 years experience
- Associates Degree plus 5 years experience
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree plus 3 years experience
- MS Degree plus 3 years experience
- PHD-plus 3 years experience
Application Requirements, Instructions & Forms
Certification Procedures & Standards
Renewals, PDH's & Fee Schedule
Once a candidate passes an exam and achieves certification status, this status is maintained by completion of a required number of Professional Development Hours (PDH's) and paying an annual fee. Note that the number of PDH's required annually is dependent on the type(s) of certification the registrant is renewing.
- Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control Exam Review Study Guide (2018 - V.1 Standard. Int. Unit Version)
- Urban Hydrology for Small Streams, TR-55
- Designing for Effective Sediment and Erosion Control on Construction Sites. J. Fifield (April 2004)
Scope of Practice
The public demands evidence of professional competence from persons whose activities affect the physical and economical well being of people throughout the world. Such professionals increasingly must be able to show evidence of their qualifications. Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control, Inc. (CPESC, Inc.) certifies individuals based on thorough examination and review of an individual's educational, scientific and service activities in both the public and private sector.
The Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC) began in 1982 under the sponsorship of the Soil and Water Conservation Society with the goal of identifying individuals qualified to work in the specialized area of erosion and sediment control. The program grew soundly, but gradually for almost 20 years. Its operating body, CPESC, Inc, became an independent entity in 2001. Today, CPESC, Inc. is operated under the umbrella of EnviroCert International, Inc. and there is a registry of approximately 5000 CPESC registrants internationally.
CPESC certification is based upon scholarly preparation, knowledge and experience. Certified professionals listed on the CPESC registry (a) meet educational and practical experience standards prescribed by CPESC, Inc., (b) subscribe to the code of ethics, (c) qualify for particular identification of special abilities, (d) have passed a rigorous qualifying examination, and (e) maintain a continuing professional development program.
Scope of Practice
"Scope of practice" describes the kinds of work that CPESCs do as they practice (work) in their areas of expertise in erosion and sediment control. The activities listed as A. through H. in this document describe the CPESC "scope of practice".
CPESCs work on landscapes that involve land disturbances, land development and land management. Most of the sites are included with subdivisions, commercial sites, parks, other recreational areas, mixed use developments, highways, transmission lines (power, oil, and gas), farms, forests and surface mines. An individual CPESC works in one or more of these categories and often collaborates with another CPESC or technical expert to provide the technical expertise that is needed at a specific site. The specific knowledge that the CPESC needs to provide erosion and sediment control services can be found in a related document Competency Areas for CPESCs.
Erosion and Sediment Control Planning
A common example of work in this category is the development of a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) needed by a developer to obtain a General Permit in order to begin construction of a project in compliance with the NPDES requirements of the Clean Water Act. This includes the development of an erosion and sediment control plan as a component of the SWPPP.
Designing Erosion and Sediment Control Practices and Measures
This area is quite specialized because of the uniqueness that practices and measures have within certain work sites. For example, while a grass swale at a commercial site and a grassed waterway on a mined site are similar except in name, the grading required for soil stabilization to restore mined land from specific soil layers to original contours is much different from developing the desired landscape for the commercial site. Within the area of stormwater pollution prevention plan development, the interdisciplinary skills for specific designs often require multiple areas of expertise including agronomy, engineering, geology, hydrology, landscape architecture and soils. CPESCs recognize that designs involving structural, hydrology, foundation or other engineering calculations must be prepared by a licensed Professional Engineer in accordance with State statutory requirements. The goal in this work area is to produce site-specific designs that comprehensively address current and potential erosion and sedimentation issues with practices and measures that are cost-effective, understandable by the contractor and that meet environmental and regulatory requirements. Reviewing erosion and sediment control and stormwater pollution prevention plans is included in this category.
Installing Erosion and Sediment Control Practices and Measures
Although less formal training is required for many installation jobs, the expertise needed and used is critical to the success of the related erosion and sediment systems being installed
Inspecting Erosion and Sediment Control Measures
Inspecting temporary and permanent erosion and sediment control measures requires an understanding of applicable regulatory requirements and the ability to read and understand contract requirements, construction plans and specifications. An individual making inspections must understand how to verify that measures are installed per plans and specifications and be able to recognize when the measures that are installed are not providing the erosion and sediment control performance needed at the specific location.
Research and Development Related to Erosion and Sediment Control
This category includes a small group of individuals. Subtopics in this category include erosion and sediment control processes, erosion and sediment control products and their performance and testing criterion and models related to processes and/or products to predict field performance.
Administration of Erosion and Sediment Control Program
This category includes activities associated with the development of erosion and sediment ordinances, enforcement procedures, and penalties. In addition, program administration can include management of a local unit of government, state entity or agency, or federal agency responsible for an erosion and sediment control program. The management of these programs would include oversight for appropriate permit regulations, adherence to technical standards, reporting to a governing board and/or serving on various local, state, or federal committees
Education of Erosion and Sediment Control Practitioners and Others
This area includes educating erosion and sediment control planners, designers, installers, inspectors and others that need to know erosion control technologies. The depth of knowledge that is required in this category varies considerably depending upon the category of training being provided. In addition to possessing excellent communications skills, individuals that provide education to the erosion control industry must have a thorough understanding of the performance elements that he/she teaches.
Manufacturing and Distributing Erosion and Sediment Control Products
Activities in this category require that the CPESC involved has a very specialized knowledge base related to the products that they market. Product applicability, limitations, economics, effectiveness and other selection considerations are important aspects of the services provided by individuals in this category.