Recent Changes to the AETA Certification Program

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Published on: March 15, 2012

During the winter board meeting in Phoenix, the board adopted an updated set of guidelines for the Certification Program.  These guidelines are now available online at our association’s website and reflect the changes that have resulted from adjustments that have been made to the program during the past few years.  They also include some current changes made during the recent board meeting.

During the past several years, our program has moved from an entity that certified businesses to one that certifies individuals.  The current guidelines reflect that change.  The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) duties are now handled by the chairman of the Certification Committee and that is also part of the current guidelines.  A few other minor changes to the wording of the document were made to hopefully make it more clear and concise.

The new guidelines also include two changes made to the program at the time of the winter board meeting.  These are changes to the inspection part of the program and an opportunity to obtaining continuing education (CE) credits from an additional source.  It was apparent from membership response that the general membership did not support a policy that would require all certified individual to have an inspection every three-year cycle.  During the past year or so when the inspection program was discussed in committee or during board and membership sessions, it appeared that there was support for some type of expanded inspection program because of the enhanced credibility the certification program would receive from the inspection process.

The board approved an inspection program that has three separate types of inspections.  Inspections that would be necessary due to noncompliance issues remain unchanged from previous guidelines.  With the new program, all newly certified individuals would be inspected during the year following initial certification as part of the certification process.  The purpose and focus of these visits would be supportive in nature.  However, all certified individuals, including newly certified individuals, are expected to follow certified guidelines.  The guidelines also allow for additional inspections to be done on a random basis, as time and finances allow.

The additional CE opportunity involves a colleague visit program.  It is a totally voluntary program that would allow individuals, both the individual visiting and the practitioner hosting the visit, to earn 5 CE credits as a result of these visits.  Both the inspection and colleague visit program are covered in detail in the current guidelines.

In early March, the Certification Committee met in Ames, Iowa.  We put together a suggested protocol for both the inspection and the colleague visit programs.  At least initially, inspections are going to be done by members of the certification committee.  The documents with respect to the colleague visit program are available from the AETA office.  The committee also discussed the exam that we are currently using for initial certification and made some changes to it to reflect current information and changes in the industry.

The certification program’s function and purpose should be to benefit the membership, our association and the industry in general.  Any questions, comments, and suggestions are always welcome by the committee, staff, CAO, and board.

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