FAQ's for TNEPSC
1a. When and where is the next Level 1 or Level 2 workshop?
A current workshop schedule with space availability can be found on this TNEPSC website under each course in Training Sessions.
1b. How can I get directions to where the workshop will be held?
Directions are available on the website under Locations in the Course Locations List.
2. Do I need to take the 1-day Level 1 Fundamentals course before taking the 2-day Level 2 Design Principles course?
Yes, the Level 1 course must be taken before Level 2. Level 2 course material assumes that engineers and landscape architects have working knowledge of the current TDEC Construction General Permit (CGP) requirements and process, fundamental understanding about hydrologic and erosion concepts, and a familiarity with implementing TDEC-recommended best management practices (BMPs) associated with a soil erosion and sediment control plan required in developing a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). All Level 2 students must demonstrate Level 1 proficiency by first successfully completing (passing) the in-class Course Completion Certification Exam.
3. Does the Level 1 “Fundamentals of Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control” course satisfy the General Construction Permit requirements for inspector training and certification?
4. Do the Level 1 Fundamentals and Level 2 Design Principles courses provide those responsible for preparing a SWPPP with the required fundamentals and engineering technology needed to design erosion prevention and sediment controls for construction sites in Tennessee?
5. What kind of exam is given for Level 1 workshops and how do I prepare for successful completion of it?
Registration and attendance at a Level 1 workshop are required for taking the exam that is given immediately at the end of the day’s presentation. The exam questions are multiple choice and true/false, open book, and test knowledge of basic concepts covered in the Level 1 presentations. The success rate for all participants is very high. The minimum passing score is 75%. Workshop participants are encouraged to make marginal notes and to ask questions during the Level 1 presentation.
6a. How will I know if I passed the Level 1 Certification of Completion Exam? How and when will I be notified about exam results?
Successful participants are expected to achieve a minimum proficiency on the exam (seeQ#5). Exams will be graded and Certificates of Completion will be mailed out to successful participants normally within 2 to 3 weeks after the workshop. A list of participants who have taken and passed the exam is available from the linkage, ESPC Level 1 Certification List, on this TNEPSC website.
6b. If I do not pass the Level 1 exam, do I have any further options?
Yes. In the unlikely event that you do not meet the minimum exam score requirements, you have two options to satisfy the exam requirements:
1. Retake the exam only at any future scheduled Level 1 course at no extra cost. Should you take this option, you need to make prior arrangements with the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center.
2. Retake the Level 1 course and exam by registering for any future scheduled Level 1 course at the regular workshop cost.
If you do not pass the exam you would receive a notification letter in lieu of a Certification letter describing these options and other information for making arrangements.
6c. When does my Level 1 Certification expire?
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) currently limits the EPSC certification to three (3) years, ending December 31 of the third year. For example, if you successfully completed the Level 1 course and exam in July 2012, your certification expiration date would be December 31, 2015. The expiration date is indicated on your certification card.
6d. How do I maintain my TN EPSC Certification? What do I do if my Level 1 Certification has expired?
Certified Level 1 individuals are required to maintain their certification by taking a half-day refresher class (Recertification course) before the expiration date. Recertification may also be achieved by retaking the Level 1 course. 4.0 PDHs are earned by attending the Recertification course and 8.0 hours are earned by attending the full-day Level 1 course.
If you allow your Level I Certification to expire, you are required to take the Level 1 Fundamentals course and certification exam in order to be recertified.
7a. Is there an exam for the Level 2 workshop?
Yes, Level 2 course participants who attend both days are eligible to complete a take-home exam. A “Successful Completion” certificate is awarded to students who pass the exam. The exam is handed out at the end of the second day and is to be completed and mailed back per instructions, normally within two (2) weeks. Students who have successfully completed the Level 2 Design Principles Course are listed under EPSC Level 2 Completion Listing on this TNEPSC website.
7b. What type of questions are on the Level 2 exam and h
ow should I prepare for completing the exam?The take home exam, usually contains seven (7) questions that cover the material presented in the 2-day course. An outline of the topics covered in the Level 2 course is shown in the Level 2 >> Agenda under this EPSC homepage dropdown link. Topics include site hydrology and peak flow determination, including Rational method and SCS TR-55; open channel hydraulics;, site drainage controls; soil erosion and site stabilization (RUSLE 2); sedimentation principles; sediment basin requirements and design;, and stormwater control requirements and design.
7c. If I attend the 2-day Level 2 course, but do not pass the written exam, what are my options?
First, you will receive 16 hours of PDH credit regardless of the outcome in the Completion Exam outcome. If you do not successfully complete (fail) the take-home exam, you would have an opportunity to re-take the exam by making arrangements with the EPSC course coordinator (Kellie Caughorn) for a time and place where Level II is being offered in the future (see Level 2 >> Registration Form). If you elect to just re-take the exam, there is no extra charge, but it you want to re-take both the Level II course and exam, you would need to go through the normal Level II registration process. If you fail the exam the second time, you will be required to attend the Level 2 course again before being eligible for re-taking the exam.
7d. How will I know if I passed the Level 2 Certification of Completion Exam? How and when will I be notified about exam results?
Successful participants are expected to achieve a 70% proficiency on the exam. Exams will be graded and Certificates of Completion will be mailed out to successful participants normally within 2 to 3 weeks after the exams are due. A list of participants who have taken and passed the exam is available from the linkage, ESPC Level 2 Certification List, on this TNEPSC web site.
7e. How do I maintain my Level 2 Successful Completion listing status? How often do I need to maintain my Level 2 Certification Listing status? What do I do if my Level 2 Completion status has expired?
Although TDEC has not indicated a time limit for Successful Completion status, acquired by attending the 2-day Level II course and passing the written exam, your name will be listed on this website’s Level 2 “Successful Completion” listing link and will remain in effect until the end of 2016 after the current Construction General Permit (CGP) expires on May 23, 2016; until the end of the year of any later CGP reissuance date; or until further notice by TDEC.
If you do not find your name registered under the Level 2 Successful Completion listing or have been notified that your Level 2 status has expired, contact the EPSC course coordinator, Tim Gangaware (865-974-2151) for information and instructions to renew your status.
7f. lf I already took the 2-day Level 2 – do I need to retake this workshop again in order to maintain my listing?
If you took the Level 2 workshop prior to July 2005, the pre-2005 course material has been significantly updated and your name may be removed from the Level 2 Listing, as there have been two new TDEC Construction General Permits (CGPs) and a new TDEC Handbook issued since 2005. If this occurs, you would need to retake Level 2 course in order to reinstate your listing.
If you took the Level 2 course after July 2005, but prior to Fall 2011, you are “grandfathered” in until the end of 2016, but are encouraged to retake Level 2 to learn about the new SWPPP and design requirements promulgated by the 2011 CGP and the updated (August 2012) TDEC Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for controlling stormwater at construction activities.
8. Can I obtain Professional Development Hours (PDH) credit for attending Level 1 and 2 workshops?
Yes. Level 1 course participants earn seven (7) PDH hours for attending the entire day. Sixteen (16) PDHs are earned by those who attend both days of the Level 2 workshop. A letter confirming PDH credit hours from the University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center will be mailed to you within a couple weeks following each workshop.
9. Can I earn full PDH credits if I don’t successfully pass either Level 1 or Level 2 exam or choose not to take either exam?
Yes. You will be issued a letter and certificate indicating that you have earned 16.0 Professional Development Hours (PDH) by attending and participating in this course.
10. Can field experience, educational background, or other training substitute for the Level I Fundamentals course?
No. The Level 1 course covers up-to-date Tennessee Construction General Permit (TN CGP) requirements, as well as several recommended and required erosion control and sediment control BMP practices contained in TDEC’s 2012 Tennessee Erosion & Sediment Control Handbook. All Level 2 registrants must demonstrate successful completion of the Level 1 Course Completion Certification Exam. Certification in another state does not qualify for, and is not equivalent to, Tennessee’s Level 1 Fundamentals and Certification for Inspection, or as a prerequisite for the Level 2 Design Principles course because of differences in permit and design criteria/performance requirements. Also see FAQs #1 and #2.
11. How do I prepare for taking the Level 2 courses?
No special preparation is necessary. Just bring a pen or pencil. A hand-held calculator and laptop would be helpful in the Level 2 Design Principles course. In the Level 1 course, you will be provided with a Course notebook. The notebook contains all TDEC and fundamentals course slides, TN-CGP permit requirements, example permit forms, and a CD of the August 2012 TDEC Fourth Edition of the Tennessee Erosion & Sediment Control handbook for stormwater planning and design for construction activities. In the Level 2 course, you will be provided with a manual of all presentation slides, a collection of useful software CD, problem examples, technical resource materials, and other handouts.
12. How do I register for the Level 1 and 2 courses?
You may register on-line or by faxing or mailing a downloaded registration form. Registration instructions and details are provided on the Level 1 and Level 2 registration forms in this TNEPSC web site. Early registration and pre-payment are strongly encouraged to guarantee your space. Confirmed registrants may also bring a check to the workshop made out to the University of Tennessee. Registration forms must be received at least 5 working days prior to the workshop to be guaranteed a seat.
13. How can I pay the registration fee? Do you take credit cards?
You can pay with a personal or company check made out to the University of Tennessee. You may pay cash at the workshop, but do not send cash through the mail. You may request that we invoice your company. You may also pay by MC or Visa. When registering, check the credit card box and a form will be sent to you, within 24 to 48 hours.
14. If for some reason I cannot attend the workshop that I registered for will I lose my course fee?
Different options are available:
1. In the event you are unable to attend the workshop for which you registered and have made pre-payment, attendee substitutions are allowed and encouraged. Please contact Kellie Caughorn (865-974-2151) as early as possible prior to the workshop if there will be a substitution to ensure proper course credit to the attendee and intended certificate holder.
2. Full refunds will be given for cancellations requested within five (5) working days prior to the workshop. Alternatively, transfers may be requested to another scheduled workshop for a nominal re-processing fee.
3. If an emergency arises at the last minute due to weather, health, or family matters and you cannot attend a workshop, call Kellie Caughorn (865-974-2151) as soon as possible before the workshop begins so that your seat may be freed up to accommodate other waiting workshop participants. If you have already made pre-payment, you may re-register for and attend another scheduled workshop for a nominal re-processing fee.
4. Due to heavy demand for limited workshop seats, no refunds will be issued to “no-show” registrants who do not notify us. See registration details elsewhere for cancellation or no-show policy and penalties.
15. How will I know if my registration has been received and processed and if I am enrolled for a workshop?
Confirmation of registration will be by email or fax within 5 days of registration form receipt. If you have not received confirmation within 5 days, you should contact Kellie Caughorn via telephone (865-974-2151), fax (865-974-1838), or to email click here.
16. Why aren’t the Level 1 courses offered prior to the Level II courses?
The Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TN-WRRC), who coordinates the Level 1 and 2 courses for TDEC, offers both courses in different state locations (usually Knoxville, Chattanooga, Nashville, Jackson, and Memphis) on a rotating basis several times each year. Because of greater demand for Level I courses by local governments, contractors, engineers, inspectors and others, these are offered more frequently at more locations throughout the state. Would-be workshop participants should check with the Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control webpage (Registration Information) or contact us at (865) 974-2151 or email (click here) for the current training schedule.
17. Will there be follow-up workshop courses related to the current Level 1 and 2 workshops?
Yes. The Tennessee Water Resources Research Center (TN-WRRC) is working with the Tennessee Department of Conservation and Environment (TDEC) to develop and offer specialty and other training courses to follow up both Level 1 and 2 workshops. Check this webpage for training workshop details and schedule. TN-WRRC encourages and welcomes inputs from contractors, engineers, inspectors and operators, developers, state and local officials and other interested parties or individuals on suggested erosion prevention, sediment control, Phase II stormwater management workshop topics and locations.
18. Could any scheduled workshops get cancelled?
In event that only a few people are registered for either of the Level 1 or 2 courses less than a week prior to the scheduled workshop date, the workshop would likely be cancelled. Those who have registered will be notified directly and be given an option to either have their registration fee refunded or have their registration transferred to another scheduled workshop at no cost. People planning to attend a scheduled workshop are encouraged to register as early as possible to minimize the need for cancellations.
19. What options are available for completing the course if a person has reading deficiencies or any other special needs?
Prior to registering for the Level 1 workshop, you, or a representative of your organization, should make arrangements with the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center workshop coordinator, Kellie Caughorn (865-974-2151) for assistance.