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Renewal Training, Course Approval, DEC Approved Trainers

Certification Renewal

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Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator certification is valid for five years from the date of initial certification (or prior renewal). The certificate expiration date is listed on the operator certification card. Certificates are renewed by completing DEC-approved training courses to receive renewal training contact hours. Renewal training completion certificates, along with the renewal application must be submitted to New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) for review and approval. The number of hours required to renew depends on the operator certification grade.

A contact hour equals 60 minutes of training related to the operation, maintenance, or management of a wastewater treatment plant or collection system.

The Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Certification Manual (PDF) lists out the contact hour requirements to renew for each of the certificate grades. The manual also provides an overview of the renewal procedures.

For renewal forms, an explanation of application fees and contact information, visit the NYWEA website (leaves DEC website).

Renewal Training Courses for Operators

All renewal training must be approved by DEC as per the regulations in Part 650.8 (leaves DEC website).

Some training courses are pre-approved for an assigned number of renewal training credits. The summary of approved distance learning courses for operator renewal (PDF) includes the number of contact hours approved for each course and contact information for the training organizations. After completing these courses, you will receive a completion certificate that must be submitted to NYWEA along with your renewal application.

Other training programs are submitted to DEC by the trainer for DEC approval. The contact hours must be relevant to the operation, maintenance or management of a wastewater plant. It is suggested that the organization or trainer providing the renewal training should receive approval prior to conducting the course or seminar. Training provided by professional associations, equipment representatives/vendors, consulting firms/engineers, or an in-plant training coordinator/officer may be acceptable for renewal contact hours. The sponsoring organization must apply (see instructions below) using the "Request for Approval of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Renewal Training" (PDF) application form.

If you are a trainer seeking approval and contact hours for a renewal training course, please fill out the Request for Approval of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Renewal Training (PDF)application form and return it to the address listed on the form or email We recommend that you allow at least one month for review by DEC before the start date of the training. If approved by DEC, the applicant will receive an approval letter with the number of contact hours the course was approved for and a Renewal Training Course (RTC) number that needs to be printed on the course completion notices provided to students upon completing the course.

DEC provides an example renewal course training sign-in roster (PDF) meeting our requirements, which trainers may use for their courses.

After completing the training course, the course instructor is responsible for providing the completed "Participant Roster" form to DEC. The organization or instructor is also required to issue a certificate or letter of completion to each student which has the following information:

  • Student's Name
  • Training Course Title
  • Dates of Training
  • Location of Training
  • Sponsoring Organization
  • Name of Course Instructor
  • Number of Contact Hours Assigned by DEC
  • Course Approval Number Assigned by DEC

DEC Approved Trainers

DEC requires an approved trainer to oversee all in-house training offered by a municipality.

The trainer is responsible for ensuring that all in-house wastewater training meets basic instructional objectives and that the program(s) have been approved by DEC.

The requirement to become a DEC approved trainer includes completion of a basic instructional technology (Train-the-Trainer) program.

Application Process for DEC Approved Trainers

  1. Complete a 12-hour, or longer, basic instructional technology course or Train-the-Trainer program.
  2. Send the a copy of the instructional technology course completion certificate and a letter requesting to become a NYSDEC Approved Trainer to NYSDEC, Bureau of Water Compliance, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3506.
  3. NYSDEC will review your request and, if approved, will send you a letter with your assigned, unique trainer number (TR###). Use this trainer number on all requests for training course approval.