Water industry professional certification changes underway, announces WQA

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LISLE, IL, Feb. 18, 2014 -- The Water Quality Association (WQA) has announced important changes to its professional certification scheme in coordination with the unveiling of its new Modular Education Program (MEP). Beginning in March 2015, WQA will offer two advanced-level certifications -- Master Water Specialist and Master Service Technicians -- as well as four core titles -- Certified Water Treatment Representative, Certified Water Specialist, Certified Installer and Certified Service Technician.

The Certified Water Specialist (CWS) designation will cease to exist in its current form, although the title will continue. Certified professionals holding the titles of CWS-V and CWS-VI will be redesignated as Master Water Specialists, and professionals holding the titles of CWS-I, CWS-II, CWS-III and CWS-IV will be redesignated simply as Certified Water Specialists. All Certified Water Specialists can work through the advanced curriculum of the new MEP program to achieve the Master Water Specialist title.

Individuals currently holding the Certified Installer (CI) designation will retain that title. They will also have the opportunity to progress to the level of Certified Service Technician and subsequently to the Master Service Technician level. Further, individuals currently holding the Certified Sales Representative (CSR) title will be redesignated as Certified Water-Treatment Representatives (CWRs). Certified professionals may also pursue any other core certification title through the MEP.

Through the MEP, WQA will offer a variety of educational pathways designed for non-technical office staff, sales and marketing personnel, equipment installers, service technicians, and system designers. Upon completion of any education pathways, the learner will receive a certificate of completion, which differs from a title-bearing certification.

Beginning March 2015, to become eligible for certification, all non-certified enrollees will be required to complete the foundational learning activities, which consist of the Basics curriculum badge followed by the Fundamentals curriculum badge. Once the Fundamentals badge is achieved, the learner may proceed to the core material, where they can choose from four different certification paths, including:

1) Certified Water Treatment Representative -- appropriate for office staff, sales and marketing personnel

2) Certified Water Specialist -- intended for system specifiers and designers

3) Certified Installer -- geared toward equipment installers

4) Certified Service Technician -- intended for service technicians

After achieving the core-level certification, Certified Water Specialists may go on to earn the Master Water Specialist designation while Certified Service Technicians may pursue the title of Master Service Technician.

"These fundamental changes to how WQA educates and certifies professionals were made with the input of numerous volunteers and a top learning design firm," explains Tanya Lubner, Ph.D., WQA director of education and professional certification. "We wanted to provide training options for a variety of different types of employees, regardless of whether they plan to pursue certification, while also reimagining our certification structure to mirror the precise training needs of the companies we serve."

About Water Quality Association

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. To best serve consumers, industry members and government officials, WQA has an ongoing dialogue with other organizations representing all aspects of the water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). For more information, visit www.wqa.org.

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