EPA                                                   Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                          Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
                   Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
           Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
 1.0  Scope and Objective

 This specification establishes criteria for the labeling of certification programs for irrigation
 designers under EPA's WaterSense Program. It applies to irrigation professionals who develop
 the design of new irrigation systems and/or modifications to existing irrigation systems. The
 purpose of the label is to identify programs that certify irrigation designers with demonstrated
 ability to apply water efficiency concepts in their practice. An irrigation designer who holds a
 WaterSense labeled certification should be capable of designing irrigation systems with water
 efficiency  being a fundamental component of their practice.

 2.0  Criteria for WaterSense Labeling

 To be labeled under EPA's WaterSense Program, the certification program must meet the
 following criteria:

 2.1  Independent Oversight Committee

     The  certification process provided by an organization must be supervised by an
     independent oversight committee. The oversight committee must be established by the
     organization and be composed of at least three professionals who are recognized for their
     expertise in the irrigation field. Employees of the certifying organization must hold no
     more than one third of the oversight committee positions. The committee must be able to
     exercise independent judgment and oversight to ensure the integrity of the certification
     process.

 2.2  Experiential Requirement

     The  certification must require that the applicant have a minimum of three years of
     demonstrated  experience in the field of irrigation design. The oversight committee must
     establish the documentation required to demonstrate the experiential requirement has
     been met.

 2.3  Exam Requirement

     The  certification must include a requirement for the successful completion of an exam or
     series of exams.  The exam process may include a written component, a field component,
     or a  combination of the two. Exam procedures must be established or approved by the
     oversight committee.
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EPA                                                   Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                          Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
              2.3.1   Exam Content

              The exam process should be structured so that passing practitioners must have
              demonstrated proficient applied knowledge in the following subject areas and
              their relationship to water efficiency. (Note: exam content is not limited to these
              subject areas as they are provided as a minimum for recognition by
              WaterSense.):

                       Design, operation, and scheduling for water efficiency
                       Preparation of site design reflecting site requirements
                       Soil/water/plant relationships
                       Slope and runoff
                       Equipment selection and specification
                       System hydraulics
                       System pumps
                       System pressure
                       Maintenance
                       Evaluation of available water sources
                       Water management (budgeting and consumption)
                       Awareness of other aspects of good practice, such as OSHA, and
                        electrical and plumbing codes, as well as the knowledge of when local
                        and state regulations supersede federal regulations.
                       Recent innovations and technology developments

              Specific exam questions should be established or approved by the oversight
              committee.

              2.3.2  Exam Passing Score

              The oversight committee should establish the passing score. The passing score
              on an exam must provide an objective level of assurance that the concepts listed
              above are understood and can be applied by the practitioner.

              2.3.3  Quality Assurance/Quality Control

              The exam process must include the  following QA/QC elements:

                       The technical content of exam questions should be established or
                        approved by, and periodically reviewed by the oversight committee to
                        ensure that the exam meets the requirements specified in Section
                        2.3.1.  In addition, an independent academic institution or professional
                        testing organization must review the exam questions to ensure that
                        they accurately test the subject material.  The exam review process
                        should be conducted at least once every two years or every 1,000
                        exams, whichever occurs first.
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EPA                                                    Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                           Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
                       Exams must be administered by an independent academic institute, a
                        professional testing organization, professional test administrator, or an
                        irrigation professional certified in the subject matter.
                       Exams must be graded by an independent academic institute,
                        professional testing organization, professional test administrator, or a
                        certified irrigation professional not involved in the training or proctoring
                        of the practitioner being examined.
                       The security and integrity of the test questions and test processes
                        must be protected at all times.

 2.4  Renewal Process

     The certification must have a renewal process with a set periodicity.

              2.4.1  Expiration

              A certification must be renewed at least once every two years, or more frequently
              as established by the oversight committee.

              2.4.2  Maintained Proficiency

              One aspect of the renewal process must require the submission of
              documentation that the practitioner has maintained proficiency in the subject
              matter (e.g. continuing education units).  Documentation of maintained
              proficiency must include evidence of the professional's ongoing application of
              water-efficient concepts in their area of certification. The oversight committee
              should establish valid documentation requirements of maintained proficiency.
              The certifying organization must either request submission of this documentation
              or have an auditing process in  place to ensure individuals are completing their
              maintained proficiency requirements.

 3.0 Application for the WaterSense  Label

 The organization seeking the label must submit an application to EPA's WaterSense  Program
 for review. The label will be granted upon the approval of an organization's application by
 WaterSense staff. The application should document that the organization's certification process
 meets the criteria listed in Section 2.0.  The application must include the following materials:

 3.1  Letter of Intent

     The letter of intent serves to introduce the organization's certification program and should
     include a background section that describes its certification and reason for seeking the
     label under EPA's WaterSense Program.  The letter should  include a statement attesting
     to the validity of information submitted, and be signed by the chairman of the oversight
     committee responsible for the certification program and an officer of the organization.
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EPA                                                   Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                          Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
 3.2  Identifying Information

     Provide the following identifying information for this application: a) Title of certification, b)
     Name and address of certifying organization, and c) Name, address, phone number, and
     email address of point of contact with certifying organization.

 3.3  Documentation of Independent Oversight Committee Responsibility

     For the oversight committee identified in Section 2.1, provide a description of the role,
     responsibility, and function of the oversight committee within the organization. The
     description should address the following topics:  1)  How committee members are selected
     or appointed, and 2) Committee member terms of service, such as duration of
     appointment or nature of compensation, if any.  If available, a copy of the organization's
     by-laws pertaining to the oversight committee may be submitted as documentation.

 3.4  Documentation of Independent Oversight Committee Composition

     For the current oversight committee, provide each committee member's name, committee
     position, professional affiliation, and a brief synopsis of irrigation expertise.

 3.5  Documentation of the  Certification Process

     This portion of the application  consists of documentation for both the experiential and
     exam requirements.

              3.5.1  Experiential  Requirement

              The organization must submit a description of the process they use to ensure the
              experiential requirement listed in Section 2.2 is met  as part of the certification
              process.

              3.5.2 Exam Content

              The organization must submit a sample certification exam that has been
              administered no more than 6 months prior to the application date. The sample
              exam should be annotated to indicate how each subject, listed in Section 2.3.1, is
              tested in a sufficient manner.  This documentation should link exam questions or
              field demonstration requirements with the subject areas and demonstrate how
              each subject area was tested.  The exam  may be claimed as confidential
              business information and if so, will be safeguarded as such.

              3.5.3 Exam Administration

              Describe the process used to administer and grade  the exam. Indicate what a
              passing grade is.
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EPA                                                    Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                           Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
              3.5.4  Documentation for the Exam Material Review Process

              Provide the name and address of the independent academic institution or
              professional testing organization used to review exam material, and describe the
              process used by that organization for the review.

 3.6  Documentation of the Certification Renewal Process

     The organization must submit a description of the certification renewal process, including
     the documentation required for renewal, or a description of the auditing mechanism used
     to ensure compliance.

 3.7  Letters of Reference

     The organization must submit two letters of reference that address how the certification
     program has benefited water efficiency within their region, their state, or on a national
     level.  One letter must come from a utility and the other from a state agency or regional
     water district. Both letters must be signed and dated by the individual responsible for the
     reference.

 4.0  Effective Date

 This specification is effective on 20 October 2006.  Certifying organizations may apply for the
 label upon release of this specification.

 5.0  Renewal Process for the WaterSense Labeling of Certification Programs

 The WaterSense label for a certification program is effective for 3 years from the date use of the
 label is granted. To renew  the label, the certifying organization must submit a new application
 prior to the expiration of the label for review by WaterSense staff. This application must include
 all materials designated in Section 3.0.

 In addition, it is the responsibility of the certifying organization to notify WaterSense of any
 changes to its program that result in the program no longer meeting the criteria designated in
 Section 2.0.  The WaterSense label  will be revoked if the certification program no longer meets
 the listed criteria.
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EPA                                                    Specification for WaterSense Labeling of
                                           Certification Programs for Irrigation System Designers
6.0  Definitions

Irrigation System Designer:  Individual who develops the design of new irrigation systems
and/or modifications to existing irrigation systems.

Independent Oversight Committee: A committee formed by the certifying organization that
supervises the certification program while exercising independent, professional judgment. This
committee should act as a governing body for the certification program and be responsible for
establishing policies and requirements. It must be established by the organization and be
composed of at least three professionals who are recognized for their expertise in the irrigation
field. No more than one third of the positions may be held by employees of the certifying
organization.

Professional Testing  Organization:  An organization that supports, or provides for the
development or administration of standardized tests, typically on a fee for service basis.

Independent Academic Institution: A public or private institution dedicated to higher
education, which  grants academic degrees.

Professional Test Administrator:  A professional trained to maintain a secure, fair, and
consistent testing environment.

Water Management:  The practice of creating a water budget by comparing landscape water
use  to landscape water needs, taking into consideration weather, variability in plant needs, and
source water availability.  This assessment should include adjustments to the irrigation schedule
or irrigation system to balance the water budget.
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