Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Is certification required to conduct wetland delineations/determinations in Minnesota?
A: No, not necessarily. Currently, the certification program is voluntary. However, local units of government administering the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act can and sometimes do require delineations conducted in their jurisdiction to be completed by a certified delineator. Also, many agencies, local governments, and consultants that hire staff to complete or review delineations require that thy be certified delineators upon hire or within a specified time-frame after hire. In addition, some private and government contracts involving wetland delineation/determination as a component of the contract require certified delineators as a minimum qualification. The WDCP keeps a current list of certified delineators and that list is posted on the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources website for the employers and contractors to verify certification. Continued certification indicates that an individual has kept up-to-date on the latest wetland delineation techniques and methodologies.
Q: What is the advantage of being a Professionally certified delineator versus an In-Training certified delineator?
A: Individuals with In-Training certification have the appropriate background and education, but lack experience. Most of the employers and contractors requiring delineation certification are likely referring to Professional certification as opposed to In-Training. In-Training certification demonstrates background and knowledge, but does not convey the experience component as does professional certification. The In-Training certification often serves as a stepping stone to Professional certification after experience is gained. Please see the question above regarding advantages of certification.
Q: Will the certification or in-training exam be available at the end of the 5-day training?
A: Yes, the exams will be available at the end of the 5-day delineation training. Although, you must have an approved application prior to registering for the exam. Visit the certification process and exam information page for details.
Q: Can I pay for courses, exams or continuing education renewal with a credit card?
A: Unfortunately not. Only the Annual Minnesota Wetlands Conference is open for credit card enrollment.
Q: Is there a separate fee for the exam or is it included in the cost of the training?
A: The cost of the exam is NOT included in the cost of the training. Although, once your application for either exam has been accepted you can send in one check to cover the price of the exam and training.
Q: There are a few people from my company that will be going to the training session. Do we all need to send in payments separately?
A: No, you do not need to send in separate payments for each person, but please make sure the following items are in order.
- If you mail in the payments when the registration is mailed, please mail all registration forms together with the payment.
- If you mail in the payment after the registration has been mailed, please either include a list of people the registration is meant to cover or copies of the registration forms.
- If more than one person from the company is planning on taking the exam, a separate application must be sent for each person. The check for the exams may be sent together in one payment AFTER the applications have been approved.
Q: What is the difference between direct and indirect credits for Continuing Education?
A: Direct credits are allocated to educational activities directly related to the skills and knowledge associated with conducting and reviewing wetland delineations. This typically involves activities related to soils, hydrology, and vegetation in terms of their relevance to delineation. Indirect credits are allocated to educational activities that are indirectly related to the skills and knowledge associated with conducting and reviewing delineations. This typically involves such topics as wetland regulations, wetland restoration, and others that do not directly address skills and knowledge related to conducting or reviewing wetland delineations. Indirect credits are assigned at a ratio of 1 credit for every 4 hours of activity and can be used for up to half of the biennial required continuing education hours.
Q: Why did I only get 2 credit hours for attending the 6 or 8 hour session or conference?
A: One of two reasons are possible. It could be that the credits are "indirect credits" (see previous FAQ) and they were assigned at the ratio of 1 credit for every 4 hours of activity. Another reason might be that the agenda of the session includes only a portion that relates to the skills and knowledge associated with wetland delineation and crediting was based on the estimated time devoted to those.
Q: How do I know how much a particular training session, conference, etc. is worth in terms of WDCP continuing education hours?
A: Certified delineators should first check the WDCP website to see if the event is posted with assigned credits. If not, then the detailed agenda should be submitted to the WDCP with a request for a credit determination. It may take a few weeks to hear back, so send the agenda as soon as possible.
Q: How does the WDCP determine credits for any session?
A: The WDCP reviews agendas of sessions and assigns credit based on the approved continuing education policy. If agendas are vague, lacking detail, credit assignment is conservative in terms of allocating less credit if it is not clear that the topic or topics are related to wetland delineation per the policy.
Q: Why doesn't the WDCP just give credits for anything related to wetlands, like they did in the past?
A: Because the WDCP was specifically established to educate and certify professionals in the process of wetland delineation, not wetland science in general. Expanding the program to include all wetland-related aspects would make the certification more like the Society of Wetland Scientists certification for all wetland professionals regardless if they are involved in wetland delineation or not. Certifying professionals in this more general way would provide even less assurance that certified individuals have the knowledge to become competent at delineating wetlands.
Q: Now that the renewal is on a biennial basis, can I still carry-over hours?
A: No. Now that an extra year is allotted to earn continuing education hours, carry-over is no longer allowed.