Frequently Asked Questions


No. The requirements listed are for the In-Training Certification only. This allows the applicant an option to earn the In-Training Certification until the requirements for the Full Certification have been met.

A step by step tutorial can be viewed at the following link: How to Upload your Transcript

Education credits show that you have earned a degree or professional license. ECI believes that post secondary education is valuable and that even if it is not in the erosion and sediment control, stormwater, environmental, science, planning, or construction management field it has provided valuable training.

Create a profile on the Certification Management System (CMS) portal, answer a series of background questions and provide references. After these are completed an application is created and the application fee is paid.

The job descriptions need to provide detailed descriptions of your work in the erosion and sediment control, stormwater, and environmental fields. Providing a job title only is not descriptive enough.

Application review can take up to 30 days. An incomplete application may take longer.
Application review can take up to 30 days. An incomplete application may take longer. Once the application is approved, you will need to schedule and pass the exam. A credentials packet is mailed within two (2) weeks of a passing score.

In order to treat all applicants equally, ECI requires that each individual complete the current certification application.

All college degrees are accepted for education credit and receive education per the tables found on the following webpage.

No. The application fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.


A large majority of jurisdictions, municipalities, states or over 30 countries accept or require our certification. You will need to check with your specific jurisdiction, municipality, state or country to verify acceptance.

ECI certifications show an elevated knowledge and competency in erosion and sediment control, stormwater, and environmental areas associated with the particular certification. Many jurisdictions are accepting or requiring professional certifications for qualified persons within their permits and ordinances.

ECI’s In-Training program was developed to mimic the Professional Engineering EIT or FE program. In-Training shows you have the background knowledge but not the professional experience to practice the profession individually. As with the engineering EIT or FE program you may assist a fully certified professional in their work but you may not sign or stamp reports or plans. This work will enable you to aquire in-field/on-site experience from an experienced professional. More information can be found in the Understanding In-Training Certifications PDF.

No, because Certified Professionals possessing an In-Training certification are not authorized to stamp plans and reports.  Candidates are authorized to use the CPESC-IT after their name to indicate their level of expertise but cannot sign or stamp any plans or reports as the sole professional.  

In-Training (IT) Certified Professionals shall work under the responsible charge of a Licensed Civil Engineer or Certified Professional until they meet the requirements for the full certification and then pass part two (2) of the exam.

Retired status is available, but must be requested. It has no professional development requirements, and a minimal yearly renewal fee of $25.00. Once you have entered into retired status you add “retired” after your certification, i.e. CPESC, Retired. Please note that you may no longer use your certification for any business or consulting purposes.
No, certifications are not reciprocal or transferable to another certification. You need to create a separate application for each certification.

Requirements for each certification can be found here CPESC, CPSWQ and CPISM require a minimum of seven (7) years of professional experience or professional experience and education credits combined as well as a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent. CPMSM requires a minimum of five (5) years of professional experience or professional experience and education credits combined as well as a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent. CESSWI requires a minimum of one (1) year of professional experience or professional experience and education credits combined. Currently CPESC, CESSWI, and CPSWQ offer an In-Training program with lesser requirements and the remaining programs will offer an In-Training program in the near future. Requirements for the In-Training program for CPESC and CPSWQ is two (2) years of professional experience or professional experience and education credits combined and CESSWI is one (.5) year of professional experience or professional experience and education credits combined. NGICP requires a minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent and 35-hours of GI training. QSM requires a completed and approved application.

You can find your certification number on the ECI website within the directory or in your portal.

Fully certified professionals can practice with the full rights and privileges of the certification. As an In-Training certified professional you may assist a fully certified professional in their work but you may not sign or stamp reports or plans.
Many jurisdictions accept or require ECI certifications. You will need to check with specific jurisdiction you are working in to verify acceptance.
Many jurisdictions accept or require ECI certifications. You will need to check with specific jurisdiction you are working in to verify acceptance.
The directory only shows those certified professionals that are current with their certifications. If you are current and your name does not appear, please contact a Program Associate.
The Qualified SWPPP Developer (QSD) is a program administered by the State of California and is a Certificate of Training for that state only. CPESC and other programs administered by ECI are Professional Certifications that are recognized in over thirty-five (35) states in the US and over forty-four (44) countries. *Note CPESC meets the underlying certification requirement (if you are not a PE) to become a QSD in California.


Stormwater management practices that protect, restore, or mimic the natural water cycle are referred to as green infrastructure (GI). Some of these practices use trees and vegetation (i.e. rain gardens and green roofs) while others do not (i.e. rain barrels and permeable pavement). However, all green infrastructure does work to capture and store precipitation near where it falls so it can be managed in a way to deliver environmental, social, and economic benefits.

The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) is a certification program that offers a credential for GI installation, inspection, and maintenance workers that verifies that they have the required knowledge to build, inspect, and maintain sustainable GI systems. It is meant to be an entry-level certification that focuses on knowledge that is important for all three of these groups of workers to possess to carry out their job tasks properly.

The NGICP covers the following GI types:

  • Bioretention (includes rain gardens, curb cuts/curb extension, stormwater planters/tree boxes, tree trenches, and bioswales/vegetated swales)
  • Permeable pavements (porous asphalt, pervious concrete, pervious pavers)
  • Rainwater harvesting (rain barrels and cisterns)
  • Rooftop detention practices (green roofs and blue roofs)
  • Dry wells
  • Stormwater wetlands

The NGICP was created to promote skilled individuals who will install, inspect, and maintain green infrastructure (GI) systems and also support community-based job creation, and establish national standards for individuals seeking to work on GI projects. The driver for this joint effort was DC Water’s amended federal consent decree (2005 consent decree, amended in 2016) to construct large-scale GI to manage combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the District of Columbia, and the Green Jobs Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DC Water and the District of Columbia. The consent decree is a legal agreement between DC Water, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Additionally, demand has been growing for a national program to provide credentialed green infrastructure construction and maintenance professionals.

The NGICP certification is a green infrastructure-specific credential that will signify that you possess the foundational knowledge needed to properly perform construction, inspection, and maintenance tasks for GI.

The credential helps you to stand out among other GI job seekers. Employers will know that you have a solid background knowledge of GI and that you are ready to apply that on a job site. GI project owners will be assured that having certified workers install, inspect, and maintain their GI practices will improve the efficiency, performance, and longevity of their GI investment.

The eligibility requirements include a high school degree (or equivalent) and completing a GI construction, inspection, and maintenance training program.

The certification process involves the following steps:

  •  Meeting the eligibility criteria
  • Attending a GI training course in your region
  • Submitting a certification application form and fees
  • Taking the exam and receiving a passing grade

For more information, please read the Certification Policies and Procedures Handbook.


Professional Certification Exams and Certificate of Training Exams are not open book.
Description on the ECI Website under the “How To” section.

The following times are allotted to complete each exam:

Part A – open book no time limit

All full certification exams (part 1 & 2) – 180 minutes

Individual Section 1 Exams



Individual Section 2 Exams



QSM – There are quizzes at the conclusion of each module, excepting Module 1 and the applicant has 90 minutes to complete each quiz.

NGICP – There is one section with a 180-minute time limit.

For the exam, the exam questions will provide the necessary information to address the question, and no additional reference materials, charts, or maps will be required. 

Where conversions of more complex units are involved, the conversion information will generally be provided.  However, there will be certain basic unit conversions such as:

a)  inches to feet (“x” inches/12);

b)  feet to yards (“x” feet/3);

c) feet to miles (“x” feet/5,280); 

d) feet to acres w(“x” feet/43,560)

e)  pounds to tons ( (“x” pounds/2,000)

Where the candidate should have a basic understanding of these basic conversion elements.

The conversation table is there as a reference in the manual.  To this end, the only conversions you are expected to know is inches to feet, and the conversion of feet to yards.  The only formula you may need remember is Rise / Run = Slope.  All other formulas are provided in the questions or in a drop down provided with the question.

Your digital credentials packet will be emailed to you to the email address on file within two (2) weeks. Watch for an email from

No. ECI suggest and encourages that you sit for the exam as quickly as possible once you are approved.
Exams are offered through Prometric Testing Centers internationally.


You may not sit for the review of the certification(s) you hold to earn PDHs. However if you do not have the certification you are attendig the review for you may use it towards PDHs the first time only.
Description on the ECI Website under the “How To” section.
You may carry over one years PDH requirement.

To have PDHs carryover you must request in writing (emails are acceptable) that available PDHs be carried over to the next PDH/renewal cycle.

PDHs are earned after you become certified. The exception is that you may receive, one (1) renewal cycle equivalent of PDHs for passing the exam.
One PDH is equivalent to one contact hour. Typically but not always a CEU is equivalent to a tenth of a contact hour. When entering your PDHs into the portal, base the number of PDHs earned on contact hours.

PDHs are earned whenever there is an increase in knowledge of the environmental industry as it relates to the specific certification. This includes, but is not limited to, formal training, workshops, webinars, in-house training, presentations, reading articles, books, or study material. This also includes if you are instructing or developing the learning material.

Your old PDHs are still in the portal. Only those for the current renewal cycle appear when you open My PDH Portfolio. To see your old PDHs click on the “All” toggle in the upper right of the My PDH Credits screen.

These forms can be found on our Learning Resources page under the “Professional Development Hours – Tools & Information” drop down menu.

ECI offers online On-Demand General Principles Reviews that can be used for PDHs. You can find and purchase them here: ECI Store. ECI is currently developing more training and education classes, please watch for announcements coming during this year with this information.

Typically any course with an environmental emphasis is accepted as a PDH. As a certified professional, ECI expects you to use your professional judgement as to if a course is applicable.


Log into the portal, click profile, click update profile. Further directions can be found under the “How To” section of our website.
Be sure to select the grey box located directly below your certification on the renewal page. Please refer to step 10 in How to Renew Certification for more information.

A step by step tutorial is available at the following link: How to Reset your Password

A step by step tutorial can be viewed at the following link: How to Print a Receipt


This is on a case by case basis and must be approved by the Associate Executive Director.
This is on a case by case basis and must be approved by the Associate Executive Director.
If you are less than 30 days past due you renew and pay a late fee. If you are past due more than 30 days you will need to go through the reinstatement program.
The reinstatement program allows those whose certifications are past due more than thirty days to bring their certifications current again. To enter the program you will need to submit a written request (email is acceptable) to enter the program and explain why you let your certification lapse and if you have been using it during the time it has been expired. Once entered you will need to update your portal showing all the PDHs you earned since your last renewal and update your professional experience for the time since your last renewal. Upon completion of the entries you need to notify the Technical Manager who will review your data and either request additional information or send a reinstatement approval email with the fee. Upon payment of the fee your certification will be reinstated and made current.


A receipt is emailed to the email on file. However, you may get a copy of your receip by following the instructions found here . You may also email your request to .

A receipt is emailed to the email on file. However, you may get a copy of your receip by following the instructions found here . You may also email your request to .

Description on the ECI Website under the “How To” section.

A step by step tutorial is located at the following link: How to Enter PDHs

This varies per certification and between Full and In-Training (IT) status. CPESC, CPSWQ, CPMSM, and CPISM all require eight (8) PDHs per year for Full and four (4) PDHs per year for IT Status. CESSWI requires six (6) PDHs per year for Full and three (3) for IT Status. NGICP requires seven (7) PDHs per year.

Every year from your current certification date.
You need to earn the amount of PDHs for the certification requiring the most.

This varies per certification. For full CPESC $175.00 and CPESC-IT $95.00. For CPSWQ $175.00 and once the CPSWQ-IT program becomes active $95.00. For full CESSWI $145.00 and for CESSWI-IT $95.00. For CPMSM $155.00 and when the CPMSM-IT program becomes active $95.00. For NGICP $135 and for QSM $100.

No. If you need a replacement certificate you may order one from the Store on the ECI website.

Review Course

Reviews are included in Exam Bundles through Prometric Testing Centers. Please submit a Prometric testing request through at the following link. Please note that you must have an approved application to purchase an exam bundle through Prometric. If you would like to purchase the On-Demand Reviews individually please take the following steps: 1. Visit the ECI Store and select the review you want to schedule. 2. Add the course(s) to cart and then complete the checkout and payment process. 3. When you purchase a course you will be prompted for an email and password if you have not yet registered. This will become your login for the site and when you register you will receive an email reminder of your username. 4. All purchased courses can be found at My Purchased Reviews which is in the main menu in the dropdown under On Demand Reviews. Contact ECI offices at 279-888-6911 or email with any questions.

You will need to check the calendar on the ECI website. Additionally ECI offers these review courses online (see above).


Trainers are compensated within the two (2) models for event set-up available. Independent Sponsored Events: The trainer obtains an approval from ECI to hold an event. The trainer advertises or solicits individuals, sets the class fee, the location, date, time etc. including fees (independent of ECI application and class fee per person) and responsible for all location and A/V fees. Registration is collected through the ECI website, and the trainer is paid the remaining balance of the registration fee collected after the class has been completed and excluding the $70 per person fee due to ECI. ECI Sponsored Events: ECI sets up all the event details and pays all fees. The Trainer is paid an established or negotiated fee after the completion of the class including acceptable travel and expenses as set forth in the Trainer Reimbursement policy found here .

ECI has taken every effort necessary to keep the exam questions confidential. ECI tracks exam scores and performs detailed psychometrics and associated exam weighting as well as evaluating each question. For CPESC, CPSWQ, CESSWI, CPMSM, and CPISM Presenters/Trainers are providing a presentation of the general guidelines that have been provided. This training is NOT intended to be a substitution of the basic education and professional experience that the candidate should have. The Review presentation is intended to be a high-level review of the general principles. The exams and associated questions change regularly without notification. For QSM and NGICP, Presenter/Trainers will be providing the necessary training to obtain the certification. Any Presenters/Trainers advice about the number of a certain type of question or where to focus to pass the exam would be out of date and considered a breach of contract and a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct violation The best preparation is to arrive to the exam well rested, with a solid knowledge of the material in the manual, and all the decision-making skills and knowledge that comes from experience in the field.

CESSWI Exam Transition Plan

ECI has determined at this time that that while many Certified Professional CPESC may possess the requisite knowledge to perform field inspections, the underlying Certification is a planning and design program.  The authority for field observations and inspections are not expressly provided when a candidate earns the CPESC Professional Certification.

Each candidate has a maximum of two (2) attempts to pass the CESSWI exam. 

The application, exam, and first year of certification are all free of charge.  All CPESC’s that already have a CESSWI, will be given a one (1) year fee waiver for renewal of their CESSWI certification.

The deadline to apply for and pass the CESSWI exam as a part of the transition plan has been extended to 31 March 2024.  If additional time is needed contact Associate Executive Director, Melissa McKinney at .

You do not need to add anything you have previously provided.  However, please ensure you have added all professional experience related to inspections.  To review or update your profile, please refer to the How To found here:

To reset your password, please refer to the How To reset your password found here:

If you need additional assistance with logging in, please contact our office at (279) 888-6911 or via email at

You may need to reset your LMS password at the following link:

Once your password has been reset, clear your cache, revisit the CESSWI exam webpage, and refresh to access the exam.

If you need additional assistance with logging in, please contact our office at (279) 888-6911 or via email at

The instructions in your application approval email contain both the webpage link and password to the LMS exam.  If you no longer have access to this email contact ECI at (279) 888-6911 or email  

Your computer must support Google Chrome or Firefox, Windows 8.1 or higher or MacOS 10.13 or higher, and steady internet connection to utilize ECI’s LMS and complete the CESSWI exam.  Completing the exam from a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet is not supported, please only use a laptop or desktop computer.

Additionally, clearing your website cache before starting the exam will ensure the best online functionality during the exam.

If you believe you have an existing LMS account, you can verify this by visiting

If you attempt to Register an email address that is associated with an existing account, the system will display an error message that reads “Error: An account is already registered with your email address.  Please log in.”

If you do not apply and complete the exam as outlined in the transition plan before the deadline of 31 March 2024, you will be required to complete the CESSWI Certification process and pay all applicable fees as a new candidate.  Please note, practicing outside of a Certified Professionals’ demonstrated expertise is a violation of the ECI Code of Ethics and Conduct.

No, upon application approval you will receive an email from ECI staff with directions on access the LMS exam.  This exam is separate from Prometric and not accessible through the Prometric website.

We are doing everything possible to expedite the application review process.  To assist with expediting, please ensure your professional experience has been added to demonstrate inspection related experience.  If staff need additional information to process your application, you will be notified via secure message in the certification portal.

Once your results have been QA/QC’d and released, you will receive an auto email from the Certification Portal letting you know your results are ready to view.  If you passed the exam, you will be able to see that your CESSWI Certification has been added to your candidate profile and staff have entered your first year of PDHs on your behalf. 

No, the additional review and training acquired through individual states provides you with the necessary authority.

A good example is the California QSP program. The program accepts ECI certifications to qualify for the QSP/QSD program, and a candidate then undergoes additional training and receives an additional certificate to practice. Another example is New York where CPESC is written into the regulations.

Therefore, if you don’t have a state certificate or another qualifying certificate, then you are welcome to avail yourself of this offer, otherwise, no further action is needed.

No. The CPESC program provides planning, design, conservation, etc., and the CESSWI program provides field inspections, etc.

No. You only need CESSWI for performing field observations, inspections, etc.

Sorry for any confusion on this. No. All CPESC’s have to the end of November 2023. We will work with individuals on a case-by-case basis if extensions are required.

Please refer to the links in the email announcement we sent also found here as it will have the necessary codes, steps, etc., to move through the transition plan with no fee.

The questions are from previous CESSWI exams or are variations of new questions that ECI is benchmarking. The questions probe basic principles of inspections and observations. There are no rules and regulation questions, but you can expect pictures of field conditions and you will be prompted to deduce a very common sense (objective) answer to demonstrate your knowledge of the particular subject.

ECI will provide copies of the current manual and presentation (currently being re-written). We believe most CPESCs can take and pass the exam based on acquired professional knowledge, but ECI will provide access for thirty (30) days to the online on-demand CESSWI review at no charge, per request if you feel you need it. Email requests to .

No. ECI is a certification body. If we start certifying and advocating for practices that are not vigorously supported by the policies, history of the curriculum, examination, as well as the standard of practice in the planning and design of erosion and sediment control related sectors, we basically water down and the program. It becomes a disingenuous promotion of an industry and promotes substandard practices. Further, a person who has been practicing for x number of years does not translate and ensure they possess the minimum competency and expertise. We are trying to maintain and ensure the stature and integrity of the program.

A professional raised an issue about older CPESC exams possessing field inspection content. In response, ECI staff are researching decades old exams to assess if those prior exams possessed the necessary technical content.

The “now” timing of the component is the termination of over two (2) years of evaluating this question with a variety of different groups, which has included evaluating the scope (and limitations) of the CPESC and CESSWI authority (as well as CPSWQ). We also believe that the industry has continued to evolve and become increasingly specialized, requiring greater depth and breadth of skillsets.

ECI has concluded that the CPESC program is based on planning and design concepts in erosion and sediment control. This is a certification program and not all parties come to the table with a standardized education and program of training. CESSWI was created to provide individuals with the authority to perform inspections.

ECI is a certification body. If ECI starts certifying and advocating for practices that are not vigorously supported by the policies, history of the curriculum, examination content, as well as the standard of practice, we basically begin to invalidate the program. It becomes a disingenuous promotion within the industry and promotes substandard practices. ECI continues to maintain and ensure the stature and integrity of the CPESC program, and hence this very difficult process that we need to overcome.