EXPERIENCE CRITERIA 

Operator experience requirements

To qualify for PO certification, an applicant must document the required amount of operating experience relevant to the type of PO certification being sought, or if applicable, acceptable related experience.

OPERATOR ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

Class III and IV requires applicants to document 24 months of direct responsible charge (DRC) experience. DRC experience is a special type of experience, characterized by increased responsibility for system process/control decisions and system integrity.

APPROVED OPERATOR DUTIES

There are many duties that can qualify as approved operating experience within the PO program.

WATER TREATMENT OPERATING EXPERIENCE​​

  • Comply with drinking water regulations

  • Evaluate characteristics of source water

  • Laboratory Analysis

  • Monitor, evaluate, and adjust treatment 

  • Operate and maintain equipment

  • Security, safety, and administrative procedures

  • Standardize operating procedure authoring

  • Staff training

WATER DISTRIBUTION OPERATING EXPERIENCE​​

  • Asset management

  • Consultation on system design

  • Corrosion Control

  • Cross connection control

  • Install equipment

  • Laboratory analysis

  • Meter reading/customer accounting

  • Monitor, evaluate, and adjust disinfection

  • Operate equipment

  • Operational analysis

  • Perform maintenance

  • Security, safety, and administrative procedures

  • Public relations

  • System information/components

  • System/personnel management

  • Water quality protection

WASTEWATER COLLECTION OPERATING EXPERIENCE​​

  • Asset management

  • Evaluate and maintain equipment

  • Maintain/restore wastewater collection system

  • Maintain lift stations

  • Maintaining system records

  • Monitor/evaluate/adjust collection system

  • Operate equipment

  • Security, safety, and administrative procedures

  • Standard operating procedure authoring

WASTEWATER TREATMENT OPERATING EXPERIENCE​​

  • Evaluate and maintain equipment

  • Evaluate physical characteristics of wastestream

  • Laboratory analysis

  • Monitor/evaluate/adjust treatment processes

  • Operate equipment

  • Security, safety, and administrative procedures

Allowable substitutions for operating experience

In some cases, applicants who have more than the required experience or education may use that experience or training to meet the operating experience eligibility criteria. Applicants may substitute no more than 50% of the total operating experience requirement. No substitutions may be made for the DRC portion of the total operating experience requirement. 

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ALLOWABLE SUBSTITUTIONS: RELATED EXPERIENCE FOR OPERATING EXPERIENCE

Class I and Class II applicants may use related experience to satisfy the operating experience eligibility criteria. Related experience is credited at a rate of 50% toward the operating experience requirements.

SUBSTITUTION LIMITS

CLASS 1

Up to 12 months of related experience may be substituted for up to 6 months of operating experience.

CLASS II

Up to 36 months of related experience may be substituted for up to 18 months of operating experience.

ACCEPTABLE RELATED EXPERIENCE 

There are several acceptable related experience categories for each PO certification category:

*Must be experience obtained in a water/wastewater facility/system or in a facility/system similar to a water/wastewater facility/system.
 

**Duties of plant maintenance technologists accepted as "related" consist of maintenance of instrumentation, machines, mechanical systems, or electrical systems, plumbing, and pipe-fitting.

ALLOWABLE SUBSTITUTIONS:
POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION FOR OPERATING EXPERIENCE

Class II-IV applicants may substitute post-secondary education above and beyond the specified post-secondary education requirements to satisfy the operating experience eligibility criteria.

Post-secondary education may only be applied once. Post-secondary education applied to meet the operating experience requirement may not be used to meet the post-secondary education requirement.

CLASS II

A maximum of 675 contact hours of post-secondary education in a field directly related to the type of certification being sought may be substituted for up to 18 months of operating experience.

CLASS III

A maximum of 900 contact hours of post-secondary education in a field directly related to the type of certification being sought may be substituted for up to 24 months of operating experience.

CLASS IV

A maximum of 900 contact hours of post-secondary education in a field directly related to the type of certification being sought may be substituted for up to 24 months of operating experience.

Lecture

Contact

9400 Plum Drive, Ste 160

Urbandale, IA 50322

​​

Tel: 515-232-3623

info@professionaloperator.org

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