Sewage Enforcement Officers (SEOs) are certified in Pennsylvania by the State Board of Certification of SEOs. Once an SEO has attended pre-certification training and has successfully passed a state certification exam, he must maintain his certification by obtaining 15 continuing education credits each certification cycle.
A certification cycle is two-years long runs from October 1 to September 30. The current 2020-2022 cycle runs through September 30, 2022 for SEO’s already certified. Effective December 2020, those newly certified SEOs’ cycle will alternatively be a rolling 2-year cycle based on their initial date of certification. An SEO must have accrued at least 15 CEUs by that date or else risk losing his certification with the Commonwealth. Three (3) credits may be rolled-over from the prior cycle (effective Dec 20, 2020).
View the current SEO Certification and Training Program Guidance in DEP’s e-Library (effective Dec 20, 2020).
CEUs can be earned by attending DEP-approved conference — like previous PASEO Conferences — or, by attending DEP-approved training courses. DEP no longer offers the training directly to SEOs but rather relies on approved third-party providers like PASEO to develop & deliver content to the SEO community. You can find a list of all DEP approved training sponsors & approved training courses here.
The PA DEP Bureau of Clean Water has established a Learning Management System (LMS) for SEOs — the Pa. Clean Water Academy. This LMS provides on-line and in-class courses. All DEP approved training for SEOs can be accessed from the Pa. CWA. The Pa. CWA houses the SEO database where SEOs can check the status of their certification, their total credits, and their historical record of leaning. In the future, SEOs will be able to renew their certification on-line. Visit the Pa. CWA, You can even earn one free SEO credit by completing the “How to Use the CWA for SEOs” on-demand course located in the Pa. CWA.
Find more info on the Department’s webpage for “Sewage Enforcement Officers” on DEP’s website.
December 2020 update:
- Rollover credits have been reduced from seven (7) to three (3).
- A Department approved precertification soils course is now required, along with the precertification academy before becoming an SEO. The prospective SEO must pass the precertification soils exam and the precertification academy exam before receiving their certification.
- All currently certified SEOs who in the past have not successfully completed a Department approved precertification soils course have five (5) years from December 12th, 2020 to complete a Department approved soils course and pass the exam. Currently the Soil Hub precertification soils course is the only approved course to meet this requirement. Please visit the Pa Clean Water Academy for information regarding this course.
- SEOs’ certification cycles will change to a 2-year rolling certification, based upon their certification date. This will only affect newly certified SEOs and those SEOs changing from a lapsed to an active certification status. All current SEOs will maintain their 2-year certification cycle as October 1 to September 30 of even numbered years.
DEP sent an “all-SEO” letter on May 6, 2020 to sewage enforcement officers alerting them, in part, to the following:
[T]he end of the Sewage Enforcement Officer (SEO) certification cycle is June 30, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, including company closures, social distancing, and the uncertainty of how events will evolve in the future, the Department of Environmental Protection is extending the renewal date and the SEO Continuing Education requirement, currently required by June 30, 2020, to September 30, 2020. If any of your municipalities need proof of this extension, they can contact us or visit the SEO webpage. Please note that from now on your SEO certification cycle will be October 1 through September 30 of even numbered years.
Per September 2014 DEP guidance, the following items highlight the SEO CE Program:
Certification cycles are two years in duration and extend from July 1 of each even numbered year to June 30 of the following even numbered year. For example, a certification cycle begins on July 1, 2014 and ends on June 30, 2016.
An SEO is required to complete 15 CE credits during each certification cycle. SEO credits earned in excess of 15 credits within a certification cycle are carried over into the next cycle, but not to exceed 7 credits.
An SEO may complete as many CE courses as desired during a certification cycle. All courses taken are displayed on the SEO’s training report for historical reference but credits in excess of 22 will not be added into the “total credit count” on the report or carried over into the next cycle.
CE training requirements for all SEOs begin in the first complete two-year certification cycle following their certification. For example, an SEO that becomes certified between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2016, will be required to complete the CE training requirements by the end of the 2016-2018 certification cycle. In other words, the SEO must meet their first CE training requirements by June 30, 2018. If a newly certified SEO takes a CE course within the certification cycle in which he/she became certified, those CE credits earned will be carried-forward into the first full certification cycle and applied toward the 15 CE credit requirement.
DEP sent an “all-SEO” letter on March 2012 to sewage enforcement officers alerting them to changes in the continuing education program for the 2012-2014 cycle and beyond. Some of DEP’s changes contained in that letter include:
- The 15 continuing credits required from the 2010-2012 certification cycle is waived.
- Continuing education courses will now be offered by approved third party providers and an attendance fee will be attached. The fee will be determined by the provider.
- The Advanced Soils Course #109 is no longer a mandatory training course for certification renewal.
- Training reports will no longer be provided on a requested basis. An individualized training report will be mailed to you with your pocket card at the beginning of each new cycle. Please be aware you will need to keep track of your own continuing education credits during the cycle to make sure you take all 15 credits required.
- The SEO website, www.seotraining.org, will be taken off line effective June 30, 2012. Effective now, all up-to-date information will be posted on the DEP website.
- To answer all of your questions and concerns, a [DEP] email account and telephone number have been set up specifically for SEOs. Please contact RA-SEOtrng@pa.gov or 717-772-5157.