Wastewater Treatment Operator Certification Continuing Education
This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on an agency until amended by such agency. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the agency and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

Form #:  10-021
Guidance Documents
Revised: 11/28/16

As a prerequisite for renewal of their certificate, each certified wastewater treatment operator must obtain a minimum of 20 hours (2 CEU’s) of training approved by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) during the two years prior to expiration of the certificate. Hours earned in excess of the required 20 hours earned in a two year interval may be carried over into the next two year interval up to a maximum amount of 10 hours (1 CEU).

A list of the total continuing education hours earned and eligible for certificate renewal in the current certificate renewal cycle for each operator is maintained by the Department. For non-compatible Industrial operators, at least three hours (0.3 CEU’s) of the required 20 hours must be training in operations of industrial facilities.

All training hours for initial qualification, as well as certificate renewal, shall be subject to review and approval by the NDEQ to ensure that the training is applicable to wastewater treatment facility operation and meets the training hour criteria. Identification of the approved training, assignment of training hours and verification of successful completion is the responsibility of the Department. Training records must be maintained by the operator and submitted to the NDEQ as part of the application for certificate renewal.

Qualified education programs include all wastewater courses and related technical courses, workshops, correspondence courses, and other education experiences approved by the NDEQ. Training may also be provided by wastewater operator personnel to other operators. This type of training may meet the training hour requirements as long as prior approval of the training to be provided is obtained from the Department. Examples of qualified programs and their eligible training hours include:
  • College level course for three quarter hours or two semester hours credit – 30 hours (3 CEU's);
  • One year of applicable post-high school education (45 quarter hours or 30 semester hours) – 450 hours (45 CEU's); and
  • Courses related to operation of wastewater treatment plants offered by the University of California at Sacramento – 40.5 or 90 hours (4.5 or 9.0 CEU’s).

Training submitted to the Department for approval must meet the following criteria:
  • Instruction should be provided by an operator certified at a level equal to or greater than the classification level of the facility whose operator is receiving instruction, or by a trainer that has submitted information demonstrating qualifications for specific training activities;
  • An outline of the training to be provided should be submitted and should include the time allotted to each main topic; and
  • A list of the teacher's objectives should be submitted documenting the essential points of the instruction, need-to-know information and the methods used to illustrate these principles.

Written evidence of successful completion of the training must be submitted to the NDEQ by the instructor within 30 days following the training and a copy provided to the operator for his/her training record.

Additional information on training or educational programs you wish to have reviewed for consideration for Department approved professional development hours for wastewater operator professionals can be found in the Guide to Submittal of Continuing Education Programs For Professional Wastewater Operator Certification.



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