Navigate the menus below to get answers to your most frequently asked questions about the NGICP.
- What is green infrastructure?
- What is NGICP?
- What are all of the GI types that NGICP covers?
- Why was NGICP created?
- Who governs NGICP?
- What are NGICP’s missions and objectives?
- Who is the certifying body?
- What is the certification process?
- What does it mean if a person is NGICP certified?
Stormwater management practices that protect, restore, or mimic the natural water cycle are referred to as green infrastructure (GI). Some of these practices use trees and vegetation (i.e. rain gardens and green roofs) while others do not (i.e. rain barrels and permeable pavement). However, all green infrastructure does work to capture and store precipitation near where it falls so it can be managed in a way to deliver environmental, social, and economic benefits.
The National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP) is a certification program that offers a credential for GI installation, inspection, and maintenance workers that verifies that they have the required knowledge to build, inspect, and maintain sustainable GI systems. It is meant to be an entry-level certification that focuses on knowledge that is important for all three of these groups of workers to possess to carry out their job tasks properly.
What are all of the GI types that the NGICP covers? The NGICP covers the following GI types:
- Bioretention (includes rain gardens, curb cuts/curb extension, stormwater planters/tree boxes, tree trenches, and bioswales/vegetated swales)
- Permeable pavements (porous asphalt, pervious concrete, pervious pavers)
- Rainwater harvesting (rain barrels and cisterns)
- Rooftop detention practices (green roofs and blue roofs)
- Dry wells
- Stormwater wetlands
The NGICP was created to promote skilled individuals who will install, inspect, and maintain green infrastructure (GI) systems and also support community-based job creation, and establish national standards for individuals seeking to work on GI projects. The driver for this joint effort was DC Water’s amended federal consent decree (2005 consent decree, amended in 2016) to construct large-scale GI to manage combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the District of Columbia, and the Green Jobs Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DC Water and the District of Columbia. The consent decree is a legal agreement between DC Water, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Additionally, demand has been growing for a national program to provide credentialed green infrastructure construction and maintenance professionals. The white paper, The Need for National Green Infrastructure Training and Certification, provides more background on this need.
The NGICP Certification Council (previously called Governing Body) has been granted the authority by WEF to establish the NGICP governance and structure, including development of policies and procedures. Since these components are in place, the Governing Body has now transitioned to the NGICP Certification Council, which will be responsible for the sustainable operation of the NGICP.
NGICP’s primary objectives are to:
- Provide a pool of skilled workers to construct, inspect, and maintain GI to support the long-term performance of these systems
- Support efforts to catalyze sustainable employment within local communities
- Create career opportunities with livable wages through GI investments
The certifying body is Water Environment Federation (WEF), which is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 33,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. The NGICP Certification Council will be the group under the WEF Stormwater Institute that will be awarding the certifications.
The certification process involves the following steps:
- Meeting the eligibility criteria
- Attending a GI training course in your region
- Submitting a certification application form and fees
- Taking the exam and receiving a passing grade
For more information, please read the Certification Policies and Procedures Handbook.
The NGICP certification exam is designed to validate whether or not a person has the foundational knowledge needed to properly perform tasks in constructing, inspecting, and maintaining GI. A certified person has an understanding of the objectives of green infrastructure, the way that different GI practices should function, and the critical tasks involved in constructing, inspecting, and maintaining these practices.
- Why should I apply to become NGICP certified? What will it do for me?
- What are the eligibility requirements to apply for the NGICP?
- How do I get started?
The NGICP certification is a green infrastructure-specific credential that will signify that you possess the foundational knowledge needed to properly perform construction, inspection, and maintenance tasks for GI.
The credential helps you to stand out among other GI job seekers. Employers will know that you have a solid background knowledge of GI and that you are ready to apply that on a job site. GI project owners will be assured that having certified workers install, inspect, and maintain their GI practices will improve the efficiency, performance, and longevity of their GI investment.
The eligibility requirements include a high school degree (or equivalent) and completing a GI construction, inspection, and maintenance training program.
The NGICP currently is under development. The first opportunity for individuals to become certified will occur through the Operational Pre-test, which will be offered only through NGICP partners in December 2016. In 2017, partners will be offering regional exam dates.
The NGICP will be rolled out nationwide in 2018. Details will be available on this site as they are finalized.
The NGICP is intended to be a tool to help utilities identify and use skilled workers to construct, inspect, and maintain GI. The program is being developed by the NGICP partner organizations who are a coalition of stormwater leaders from across the country. This group welcomes input from other utilities to help ensure that the program meets the needs of many different GI programs.
For more information visit the For Utilities page.
Utilities and utility professionals can provide input through the Program Partner Organizations into the NGICP strategy, technical development, and training. Learn more on the For Utilities page.