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Operator Certification Update Utility Technology Conference March 14, 2013 Alan Cranford, Chair Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Board.

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Presentation on theme: "Operator Certification Update Utility Technology Conference March 14, 2013 Alan Cranford, Chair Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Board."— Presentation transcript:

1 Operator Certification Update Utility Technology Conference March 14, 2013 Alan Cranford, Chair Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Board

2 Acknowledgements Joe Holmes (Director) - Fleming Training Center Sherry Messick (Certification Program Coordinator) – Fleming Training Center Association of Boards of Certification (ABC)

3 Agenda Operator Certification Board Examinations Water Treatment/Distribution (Examination Results) Wastewater Treatment/Collection System (Examination Results) Exam Pass Rate Comparisons Pass Rate Per Education Level Certification Training Questionnaire Results Top 5 Areas of Non Mastery Key Points for Taking the Exam Textbook Reference List Biggest Issues Before the Board General Notes Questions

4 Operator Certification Board Purpose The General Assembly established the operator certification program and created the Water and Wastewater Operator Certification Board in 1971 As stated in T.C.A. § , the Board's purpose is to administer a program of certification for operators of water and wastewater systems that will ensure proper operation of such systems and protect the public and environment

5 Operator Certification Board Duties of the Board are specified in TCA Implementation and enforcement of rules necessary for proper program administration Holding at least one (1) examination annually Advertising and promoting the program Encouraging operators to become certified in addition to those required by law Distributing applications and notices Receiving and evaluating applications Preparing, conducting and grading examinations Setting up a system of fees and late penalties for applicants

6 Operator Certification Board Duties of the Board are specified in TCA Maintaining all records of the program, and maintaining a register of certified operators Promoting and scheduling regular training schools and programs Hearing appeals from orders or ruling issued by the Commissioner Recommending to the Commissioner the staff required to effectively administer the program

7 Operator Certification Board Funding Program fee revenues Federal moneys from the Safe Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund and the Expense Reimbursement Grant Staff Certification Program Coordinator Administrative Secretary File Clerk/Receptionist

8 Operator Certification Board Board Operator of the highest class representing certified operators – Recommended by the Tennessee Water and Wastewater Association Operator representing certified operators – Recommended by the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts Representing Municipal Government – Recommended by the Tennessee Municipal League Representing University Faculty – Recommended by the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers Ex-Officio member – Manager of Quality Assurance and Enforcement for the Division of Water Supply and representing the Department of Environment and Conservation

9 Operator Certification Board Current Board Members Alan Cranford – Chair Darryl Green Randal Braker Dr. Larry Moore Sherwin Smith – Ex-Officio member (Representing the TDEC)

10 Examinations Examinations have Association of Boards of Certification (ABC) and Tennessee questions Initial development guidelines from the Tennessee Need to Know (NTK) criteria –Approximately 75% ABC, 25% Tennessee –ABC - Process, Operations, Maintenance, General, Procedures, Data Interpretation, Public Health, Science, Safety and Rules –Tennessee – Math and Rules (to include ethics)

11 Examinations ABC questions are written at three levels of knowledge (i.e., comprehension, application, analysis) Comprehension is the most basic level of understanding and remembering. Items written at the comprehension level require examinees to recognize, remember, or identify important ideas Items written at the application level require examinees to interpret, calculate, predict, use or apply information and solve problems Items written at the analysis level require examinees to compare, contrast, diagnose, examine, analyze, and relate important concepts

12 Examinations Need to Know is based upon specific certification –Knowledge required of an operator –Subject matter and understanding of each classification –Certify knowledge of subject matter Process –Biological, chemical processes –Machinery or equipment actions or functions Operations –Activities –Exercise judgment –Take action to affect processes –Plant design and plant construction

13 Examinations Maintenance –Preventative, routine and emergency –Troubleshooting and problem identification General –Basic knowledge Procedures –Lab –Industry procedure Data Interpretation –Received –Analyzed –Acted upon

14 Examinations Public Health –Impact on public health –Laws –Rules and regulations –Quality control –Compliance Math – Use of Mathematics Formula Booklet –Basic operations –Graphs –Tables –Formulas –Conversions

15 Examinations Science –Basic science –Biology –Chemistry –Microbiology Safety –Recommended or required safety practice –Identification categories, procedures and violations –Description categories, procedures and violations Rules –Federal rules (USEPA) –State rules (TDEC) To include ethics

16 Water Treatment/Distribution

17 Wastewater Treatment/Collection

18 Exam Pass Rate Comparisons

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32 November 1, 2012 Exam

33 Pass Rate Per Education Level November 1, 2012 Exam

34 Pass Rate Per Education Level November 1, 2012 Exam

35 Certification Training Questionnaire November 1, 2012 Grade Exam Taken (# taking Exam) Percent without Any Course Percent with Cram Course Only Percent with Cram Course and Other Courses Percent with Other Courses Only Number of Courses Taken Majority of Study Time WT 1 (8) WT 2 (1) WT 3 (11) WT 4 (36) DS 1 (14) DS 2 (69)

36 Certification Training Questionnaire November 1, 2012 Grade Exam Taken (# taking Exam) Percent without Any Course Percent with Cram Course Only Percent with Cram Course and Other Courses Percent with Other Courses Only Number of Courses Taken Majority of Study Time (Hours) BNS (6) WW 1 (2) WW 2 (2) WW 3 (28) WW 4 (24) CS 1 (8) CS 2 (46)

37 Certification Training Questionnaire PassedFailed Tested Before12.5%39.5% Taken Courses and Cram Course62.5%31.5% Taken Other Courses Only23.5%66.2% Taken Cram Course Only12.5%17.0% Post Secondary Education26.3%10.0% Study TimeMajority 41 – 100+ Hours November 1, 2012

38 Top 5 Areas of Non Mastery Water Treatment 1.Collect Samples 2.Evaluate Equipment 3.Lab Process Control 4.Monitor Evaluate Adjust Filtration 5.Monitor Evaluate Adjust Other Distribution System 1.Administration 2.Disinfection 3.Maintain Equipment 4.Operate Equipment 5.System Inspection November 1, 2012

39 Top 5 Areas of Non Mastery Wastewater Treatment 1.Evaluate Equipment 2.Monitor Eval Adj Tertiary Treatment 3.Perform Lab Analysis 4.Secondary Treatment 5.Solids Handling Collection System 1.Evaluate Equipment 2.Maintain & Restore System 3.Maintain Equipment 4.Monitor Evaluate Adjust System 5.Operate Equipment November 1, 2012

40 Key Points for the Taking the Exam Requires dedication of study time in addition to classes Attend multiple classes to better prepare Utilize Operator Certification Study Guide as resource Passing does not require a BS or higher degree Textbook Reference List located on Fleming Training Center website ABC has been involved in the Tennessee Certification Program since 1978 to some degree

41 Textbook Reference List

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45 Biggest Issues Before the Board Extension of time to replace certified operator Extension of time to acquire continuing education Receipt of application after deadline Receipt of renewal payment late New certification exam

46 General Notes Online Services –Renew your Operators Certificate* –View Continuing Education Status –Update your Personal Information 2013 Exam Application Deadlines –March 2, 2013 –September 7, Exam Dates –May 2, 2013 –November 7, 2013 *Go to

47 Questions


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