Professional Certification Programs
EPA sets standard guidelines for any professional certifying organization (PCO) wishing to obtain the WaterSense label for a certification program. The WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System outlines the application process and requirements for program certification to ensure a base level of organizational competency among PCOs.
WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System Version 1.0
On July 24, 2014, EPA released the WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System (program labeling system).
- WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System (PDF) (16 pg, 397K, About PDF)
- Response to Public Comments on the Draft WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System, Draft Revised Specifications, and Draft Applications (PDF) (12 pg, 300K, About PDF)
For background information on the development of the program labeling system, please refer to the WaterSense Professional Certification Labeling System Archives.
The program labeling system defines the organizational requirements that PCOs must meet to earn the WaterSense label for their certification program(s). EPA labels irrigation certification programs based on the criteria outlined in the final specifications. The system distinguishes between two types of PCOs:
- EPA Approved PCOs: Apply directly to EPA for organizational approval and the WaterSense label for their professional certification program.
- Adopting PCOs: Apply to an EPA Approved PCO for approval to use that PCOs WaterSense labeled professional certification program.
EPA Approved PCO
PCOs seeking EPA approval must complete the following steps as described in the program labeling system:
Submit an Application for PCO Approval (4 pg, 487K, About PDF) to EPA:
- For organizational approval through WaterSense Accreditation, the PCO provides supporting documentation to EPA that demonstrates that the PCO meets eligibility requirements for institutional stability, subcontracting, independent oversight, management of certified professionals' eligibility requirements, and certification exams.
- For organizational approval through Third-Party Accreditation, the PCO follows a streamlined approach and provides EPA with a certificate of accreditation to a national standard.
- Submit an Application to Label a Professional Certification Program (3 pg, 412K, About PDF) along with all documentation pertaining to the relevant WaterSense Irrigation Certification Program Specification.
- Complete and submit a PCO Partnership Agreement.
PCOs may submit application pieces separately in the order above or as one package, however, EPA will not sign a WaterSense partnership agreement until a certification program has been approved to bear the label.
Interested in applying?
Submit a notification of interest form to tell EPA that your organization intends to apply for the WaterSense label. WaterSense will contact you to learn more about your program and assist you with the application process.
PCOs seeking approval to use an existing WaterSense labeled certification program must apply to both the Parent PCO and EPA for approval and complete the following steps as described in the program labeling system (16 pg, 397K, About PDF):
Contact the Parent PCO to obtain, complete, and submit an application.
- The Parent PCO reviews the application and notifies the Adopting PCO when all requirements have been met.
- Complete and submit to EPA an Application for PCO Approval (4 pg, 487K, About PDF).
- Complete and submit to EPA a PCO Partnership Agreement.
Interested in adopting a labeled program?
Learn more about the WaterSense labeled programs currently being offered.
WaterSense Professional Certification Labeling System Archives
On September 19, 2013, EPA released the Draft WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System, three draft revised specifications for professional certification programs, and applications for professional certification programs to apply for the WaterSense label.
Draft Labeling System, Draft Specifications, and Supporting Documentation
The cover letter, draft labeling system, draft specifications, and applications (PDF) (46 pg, 1.16M, About PDF) are contained in one PDF. Each component document is listed below. Please review the bookmarks within the PDF to visit the relevant section.
- Cover Letter
- Draft WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System
Draft Specifications (Revised)
- WaterSense Specification for Irrigation System Installation and Maintenance Certification Programs
- WaterSense Specification for Irrigation System Designer Certification Programs
- WaterSense Specification for Irrigation System Auditor Certification Programs
Interested parties had the opportunity to submit comments on the draft labeling system, draft revised specifications, and applications until November 19, 2013. In addition, on October 30, 2013, EPA held a teleconference and webinar with stakeholders to discuss the draft labeling system and revised specifications. For more information, please review:
- Comments: Draft Professional Certification Program Labeling System, Draft Specifications, and Applications (PDF) (16 pg, 844K, About PDF)
- Meeting Summary (PDF) (5 pg, 121K, About PDF)
- Meeting Presentation (PDF) (46 pg, 1.31MB, About PDF)
Please contact the WaterSense Helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org or (866) WTR–SENS (987–7367) if you have any questions.
Notice of Intent
On October 11, 2012, EPA issued a Notice of Intent (NOI) (8 pp, 91.4K, About PDF) outlining several important changes that WaterSense is considering that will revise both the Specifications for Certification Programs for Irrigation Professionals and the WaterSense irrigation professional partnership.
EPA held listening sessions on November 6, 2012, and November 8, 2012, for interested partners and stakeholders to learn more about the changes.
Visit the final specification Web page for details and background on the current specifications for certification programs for irrigation professionals.