Questions and Answers for Course Providers
To help provide information to potential and participating Course Providers on the Be Green program, the following are questions and answers on the program and the Course Provider role in it.
How do I become a Be Green Organic Yards NY Course Provider?
By signing a Be Green service mark agreement with DEC, a Course Provider agrees to adhere to a set of conditions, which include:
- Developing and offering a Be Green 7-hour Basic Education course that covers at least the topics outlined in the agreement and submitting a completed course application and detailed agenda to DEC for review.
- Developing a one-half hour basic education exam and providing it to DEC for review. Providing that exam to all basic education course takers. Sending a list of the course attendees, identifying those who answered at least 75% of the questions correctly.
- 4 hours of Be Green continuing education. Offering every two years, and providing related application forms and rosters to DEC.
- Ensuring that all course instructors meet at least one of the minimum requirements spelled out in the agreement. Submitting to DEC completed instructor forms containing qualification information, including instructor resumes and references.
- Informing DEC of the time and place of courses and exams, and allowing DEC to attend and monitor courses as it deems appropriate.
- Meeting the conditions in the agreement, including those for using the Be Green service mark.
Are there any regulations or fees associated with Be Green?
No, there are no regulations or fees for participating in the program. This is a voluntary program and Course Providers can decide whether or not to participate by entering a service mark agreement. The agreement contains conditions a participant must follow. If the Provider does not follow the conditions, the Department would have the ability to terminate the agreement and the Provider would no longer be able to offer Be Green courses or use the service mark.
Do people who take a Be Green courses get an organic certification or license and does it certify a pesticide applicator?
Be Green is not a certification or accreditation program and does not result in a license to practice organic land care. Be Green is also not a pesticide applicator certification program. It is a program in which a qualified business or Course Provider can be licensed to use the Be Green service mark, if they meet certain conditions accepted by the DEC and enter a service mark agreement with DEC. The Be Green basic training course and exam offered by a Course Provider are an essential part of the conditions a business must meet to enter an agreement.
How strictly does a Course Provider have to follow the suggested subjects, time frames and outline order?
All subjects in the outline need to be covered. A Provider can add subjects or emphases pertinent to their specialty, such as care of trees and shrubs. The time frames and order are DEC's best assessment of how much time each topic needs and how to structure the day, but we realize that different instructors may have different ways of presenting the material. We anticipate that Course Providers will use the timeframes and order in the agreement as a guide, but will adapt it using their professional judgment. DEC will use the course acceptance requirement and occasional monitoring of the courses, to ensure that the required topics are covered appropriately.
Since course topics are spelled out in the agreement, does DEC look over course outlines?
Yes. Providers must submit their detailed course agenda to DEC for review. DEC provides course application forms, as part of the agreement, for Providers to fill in the details of the courses and instructors. Providers must wait, before offering the course to the public, for notification of DEC acceptance of the course. If DEC determines that a course is deficient in any way, we will tell the Provider so, and why. A revised course outline must be accepted by DEC before the course can be offered.
Can I request DEC pesticide applicator certification credits for my Be Green course?
A Course Provider can apply for DEC pesticide credits, but DEC will approve credits only for appropriate segments of the course. Be Green course subjects that do not deal with pest management may not receive credits. Be Green courses are not automatically pesticide applicator certification courses. Therefore, the Provider must apply for credits under the separate DEC pesticide credit application process.
For pesticide applicator certification, DEC administers the Basic Education exams. How is Be Green different?
Be Green Course Providers must administer the exam themselves. The exam must be one-half hour in length. For each exam, at least ten questions must be selected from DEC's list of questions (which will mailed to each Be Green Course Provider), Course Providers should supply 5 to 10 more questions of their own. DEC will review the exams, when the Provider sends them in with the course application.
If I offer the full-day course, do I have to offer continuing education courses as well?
Course Providers must offer Be Green Organic Yards NY Continuing Education courses. This fulfills an important part of the Be Green program, by providing ongoing education in Be Green practices to Be Green Businesses, which must take these courses on a biennial basis. The Course Provider must offer a minimum of four hours of instruction for each continuing education course and select topics for the course agenda from any of those covered in DEC outline for the basic training course. New topics can also be proposed, subject to NYSDEC review.
What if the course I offer is longer than one day?
The full day is a minimum time requirement. You may offer more instruction and longer courses if you wish, as long as you meet the Be Green requirements.
Does the Course Provider also have to be the instructor?
No. The Course Provider would offer the course and can be an instructor, if qualified, but does not have to be an instructor or directly employ them. The Provider must ensure all instructors meet the qualifications outlined in the agreement.
Are there any limitations on how much a Course Provider can charge?
How do I let DEC know who passed and who failed the exam at the end of my course?
Within 10 days of having offered the course, the Course Provider must send DEC a complete roster with specific identifying information (as spelled out in the agreement) for each attendee and whether or not they passed the exam (by answering 75% of the questions correctly). DEC will then send out Be Green identification cards to those who passed.
How will I get the word out that I offer Be Green courses?
Your usual advertising channels would be available and you may use the Be Green service mark for activities consistent with the service mark agreement. DEC will post a list of all Be Green Course Providers on the Department website.
If I can use the service mark, can I also use the DEC symbol?
No, the service mark agreement allows use of the Be Green logo only. The DEC symbol cannot be used by Be Green Course Providers for Be Green services, such as promoting their courses.
IF YOU HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE LET US KNOW AT BeGreen@gw.dec.state.ny.us.