Professional Operator Credential Gains Ground

WEFTEC showcases Professional Operator designation.

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Editor's note: TPO Editor Ted Rulseh is attending WEFTEC 2016 in New Orleans. Here is a newsworthy topic from the show floor.

Mike Humes of Kelowna, British Columbia, and Christen Wood of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District were honored at WEFTEC as the latest recipients of the Professional Operator (PO) credential from the Association of Boards of Certification (ABC).

The aim of this national credential is to recognize operators for excellence and dedication and, eventually, to have a qualification that transcends state boundaries, so that operators can move from one state to another without reciprocity issues in certification.

Humes, who holds Level 3 wastewater operator certification in his home province, is operations foreman in the city of Kelowna Wastewater Treatment Facility. Wood is unit process manager for her district, based in Cuyahoga Heights and holds Ohio Class 4 wastewater operator certification.

In a presentation in the Innovation Pavilion at WEFTEC on Wednesday, Sept. 27, ABC president and CEO Paul Bishop noted that more than 100 operators nationwide now hold the PO credential. Among other requirements, operators must pass a national standardized exam, commit to continuing education and subscribe to a code of conduct to win the designation.

Wood observed that earning the credential “has really challenged me professionally. I had to brush up a lot on my skills, and that has really served me well. I encourage any of you to look into the program. The test was very applicable to what I do on a daily basis, and I was very pleased with the professionalism of the entire ABC organization.”

Mike Gosselin, PO, chair of the ABC Board of Directors and manager of the Wastewater Division in Kelowna, called the credential an excellent way to recognize operators who “every day work to protect public health and the environment. He praised colleague Humes for pursuing the designation: “His dedication to the profession has inspired operators at our facilities who are now looking to pursue this designation as well.

“I am a Professional Operator and I would like to invite all operators to join us in helping shape out future.”


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