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Overview of the Certification Renewal Process

All certified operators must renew their certificate every three years. The board sends a renewal application 60 days prior to the expiration date. An operator who fails to renew their certification cannot make process control decisions after the expiration date. It is the responsibility of the certified operator to know when their certification expires. DEP sends a certification expiration letter to the operator and their employer (if applicable).

Important reminder: The certified operator is responsible for notifying DEP of any address or name changes. Use the "Change My Address Form".
Certified operators must meet the continuing education requirements as a condition of renewal. Failure to meet the continuing education requirement results in the denial of your certification renewal. Certified operators must:
  • Meet the number of total continuing education contact hours shown on the chart (view Continuing Education Requirements Chart)
  • Successfully complete all continuing education within their 3-year renewal cycle.
  • Take only DEP-approved continuing education training.
  • Understand no operator may carry over excess continuing education contact hours from one renewal cycle to the next renewal cycle.

Renewal Application

Complete the application renewal form and attach the fee (fees explained here). Make certain all the information is correct. Make any changes that are necessary on the application. All payments to the state shall be made by check or money order made out to "Commonwealth of Pennsylvania". A complete transcript of the applicant's continuing education is printed on the back of the renewal application. The applicant should review DEP’s record of any continuing education. The applicant may check continuing education records on DEP’s EarthWise Academy's Transcript lookup feature.

If the continuing education transcript is in error, complete the enclosed Discrepancy Report. The Discrepancy Report and any documentation necessary to correct the error should be attached to the renewal form and sent to DEP. The Discrepancy Report is not to be returned to DEP, if there are no errors in the continuing education transcript.

Important reminders:
  • A transcript of the continuing education contact hours is on the back of the renewal application. Review for accuracy.
  • Discrepancy Reports are only accepted by DEP as part of the certification renewal process. Any other questions about errors in your continuing education records should be directed to the training provider. The training provider is responsible for the content of the continuing education records.
  • Certified operators should make every attempt to complete their continuing education contact hours three to four months before the certificate expiration date. Operators completing continuing education close to the end of their renewal cycle may experience a delay of their renewal until the training roster report is received and processed.

Failure to Renew Certification

There are two ways to lose your certification. The first way is if a certified operator fails to meet their continuing education requirements and/or complete the Mandatory Security Course during the three-year renewal cycle by their expiration date. These operators automatically lose their certification. If an operator wants to be recertified, the operator must meet all the basic requirements for certification. Recertification requires:
  • Passing the appropriate examinations.
  • Completing an application for certification.
  • Paying fees.
  • Submitting a Criminal History Record.
  • Meeting the basic education and experience requirements.
  • Being approved by the State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators.
The second way is if a certified operator has met the continuing education requirement within the three-year renewal cycle but failed to submit their renewal application within two years of the expiration date. If an operator has taken their required training hours by their expiration date, the operator may regain their certification by completing the renewal application and submitting it to DEP within two-years of the expiration date.

Many operators have lost their certification because they did not change their address with the Operator Certification program when they moved.

Certification Extension of Renewal Cycle

The State Board for Certification of Water and Wastewater Systems Operators may extend an operators certificate renewal period to obtain continuing education under certain conditions. These conditions include:
  • Military service prohibits an operator’s ability to access continuing education or mandated training.
  • Health-related circumstances prohibit an operator’s ability to participate in continuing education or mandated training or Board testing.
  • Family emergency
  • Other extreme circumstances
Important reminder: A written extension request must be made 90 days prior to the date of expiration. DO NOT SUBMIT AN EXTENSION REQUEST IF YOU FORGOT OR PROCRASTINATED TO TAKE TRAINING.

The extension request application must include a brief explanation of the circumstances and reasons for requiring an extension. It should include relevant names, dates, justification and the requested length of time of the extension. Any documents in support of the extension such as a copy of police records, medical records, military orders, etc. should be included. This request must be made within a practical time period, once becoming aware of the conditions that prevent the operator from meeting all the continuing education, mandated training, and testing required by the act, rules and regulations, and appropriate guidelines.

Contact Operator Certification staff to obtain the Extension application or submit a letter with client ID, expiration date, reason for request etc.