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Environmental Landscape Certification (ELC)

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The Environmental Landscape Certification (ELC) program was developed for SCLTA by Clemson University through a grant from the SC Forestry Commission. This certification is intended to serve the SCLTA membership and others by increasing professional knowledge and competence.

Goals of Certification

To demonstrate commitment to responsible environmental stewardship

To create an opportunity for continued self learning

To raise the standard of performance for the green industry

Target Audience

Landscape installation and maintenance contractors

Municipal, commercial and private grounds workers

Property and estate managers

Landscape designers / Public tree managers

 

Obtaining Certification

Certification is awarded by SCLTA to individuals who:

* Possess a current SC Category III Ornamentals and Turf pesticide applicators license or equivalent professional certification (arboriculture, irrigation, plant/nursery operations, etc.)

* Successfully pass a written test based on required reading and plant identification information presented in the ELC study manual.

The study manual contains seven chapters (Landscape Design, New Tree Establishment, Established Tree Maintenance, Turfgrass, Business Practices, Pest Management, and Planting and Pruning Techniques) and a Plant Identification section on CD.

- The exam format includes multiple choice and true/false questions

- There are a total of 157 questions on the exam (82 on the manual and 75 plant identifications.

- Minimum score required to pass each section is 80%.

Testing will be scheduled at least one time each year and will be administered by SCLTA. Every effort will be made to coordinate testing dates with the Fall Field Day and/or SCLTA Annual Conference. SCLTA reserves the right to cancel an exam date if less than 5 people are pre-registered.

Test scores will be sent in writing within 30 calendar days of the exam date. Documentation of a current SC Category III Ornamentals and Turf pesticide applicators license or equivalent professional certification (arboriculture, irrigation, plant/nursery operations, etc.) must be provided by the applicant prior to awarding ELC status. All certification requirements must be completed and documentation provided within 12 months of test date or retesting will be required. Certification will then be awarded and all records will be maintained by SCLTA.

 

Individuals who obtain certification will receive the following:

* A signed certificate suitable for framing

* Name listed on the SCLTA website under ELC Professionals

* Use of the ELC logo window sticker identifying the certified individual

 

Individuals not passing the exam the first time will be allowed to re-take at no charge at the next available exam date. In all other cases the participant must pay the full exam fee to retake the exam. Individuals who do not show for testing as scheduled will have only one more opportunity to take the exam at no charge at the next available exam date. No refunds will be given.

 

Maintaining Environmental Landscape Certification

Ten (10) hours of authorized environmental landscape education activities are required per individual over a three-year period to maintain certified status. The continuing education credit (CEC) requirement will be due in the month of December at the end of the three-year cycle.  One (1) educational contact hour equals one (1) continuing education credit. Sign-up sheets will be provided at the end of each educational event. ELC certified professionals are responsible for signing in at events in order to get CECs. Records of CECs will be maintained by the Executive Director.

 

Each ELC Professional must maintain a current SC Category III Ornamentals and Turf pesticide applicators license or equivalent professional certification (arboriculture, irrigation, plant/nursery operations, etc.) within the 3-year period.

 

Authorized educational events currently include:

  • SC Landscape & Turfgrass Association’s Annual Conference (January)
  • SC Nursery & Landscape Association’s Annual Conference (February)
  • SCNLA / SCLTA Fall Field Day (October)
  • Other programs sponsored by SCLTA may be approved

 

ELC professionals will be contacted in August of each year to notify them of their total number of CECs to date.

 

Recertification Process:

A recertification renewal letter and form will be sent in August of the year of expiration. Renewal forms must be completed and returned with recertification fee of $30 before December 31st (sample form attached).