FAQ

The USCC Certification Commission is offering two credentials, the Certified Compost Operations Manager™ (CCOM™) and the Certified Composting Professional™ (CCP™). Certified Compost Operations Manager™: Understands all aspects of composting operations, from feedstock arrival through marketing and uses, including environmental controls and the larger context of organics recycling and waste management. See Appendix A for a detailed list of expected knowledge.

Certified Composting Professional™ (CCP™): Has a similar knowledge base as the CCOM™, but has gained that through a variety of work and training experiences, instead of at a compost manufacturing facility. Consultants, equipment providers, educators, program managers and even regulators could all earn a CCP™.


CCOM™ and CCP™ Brochures

Certification Commission Fees

CCOM™ Certification

  USCC Member Non-USCC Member
Application fee  $79.00 $99.00
Certification test fee $349.00 $449.00
Retesting fee (if you do not pass your first try) $79.00 $99.00
Practice test  $25.00 $45.00

 

Recertification

  USCC Member Non-USCC Member
Annual payment to stay current $100 annually
starting three years after achieving CCOM
$150 annually
starting three years after certification

For more details on maintaining your certification, go to https://certificationsuscc.org/Recertify/Recertification

Membership in the USCC is NOT a requirement for eligibility. You need to be 21 years of age or older and must have a high school diploma (or its equivalent) to be eligible for the CCOM™ and CCP™ certifications. A minimum of 3-day instructor-led course in compost operations, and a minimum of the equivalent of two years of full-time experience related to organics recycling, including a minimum of one year of working full-time in compost facility operations for the CCOM™ certification.

The Commission requires that all CCP™ applicants have completed at least Five (5) days of training in composting operations and compost use. This must include at least one training of 3 days (or longer) in compost operations, which must include hands-on activities and/or a field trip. If the training course is less than 5 days, the CCP applicant must document an additional one or two days of training in any aspect of compost facility management.

The computer-based test includes 75 questions over a 105-minute total period including login, tutorials, and survey questions. It includes the 9 Knowledge Domains. See the CCOM™ and CCP™ Certification Handbook for more information.

The certification must be renewed every three years. A recertification reminder will be sent to you approximately 90 days before your certification expiration date. Please see the Recertification Page for more information

Not currently. While we are transitioning from the old database that was lost to ransomeware and the new database the USCC is purchasing, we are using Google Forms, which do not have a "save and return" function.  

Once we are loaded into the new database, expected to be complete by spring of 2019, each applicant will be able to create a personal profile which will allow saving an application in process and returning to finish it.

The Certification Commission requires that all applicants have completed at least one training course in compost operations that is three days or longer. This is to ensure that all applicants have the basic understanding of compost manufacturing. If you are unsure if a particular course would satisfy this requirement, please contact us at admimnistrator@certificationsUSCC.org. We maintain a list of courses that meet this prerequisite. If you are applying for the CCPTM and did not take a 5-day training course, you will also have to document two additional days of training related to compost operations. These could be in any of the nine knowledge domains (Appendix A)

If I’ve taught professional compost management programs, will this satisfy the 3 day requirement of organics recycling training?

Yes. If you have taught 3-day (or longer) courses related to managing composting operations, then this satisfies the training requirement. If the curriculum is less than 3 days, then that does not meet the training requirement

EXAMPLE: An applicant spent 100 hours developing a composting-facility-management training course that is offered over 3 days. The applicant may count that as meeting the 3 day training prerequisite.

EXAMPLE: An applicant has taught the same one day professional composting operations training program three times over the past three years. That does not count toward the 3 day or more professional organics recycling training prerequisite.

Yes. If you have taught 3-day (or longer) courses related to managing composting operations, then this satisfies the training requirement. If the curriculum is less than 3 days, then that does not meet the training requirement.

EXAMPLE: An applicant spent 100 hours developing a composting-facility-management training course that is offered over 3 days. The applicant may count that as meeting the 3 day training prerequisite. 

EXAMPLE: An applicant has taught the same one day professional composting operations training program three times over the past three years. That does not count toward the 3 day or more professional organics recycling training prerequisite. 

At this point, the answer is no. Compost operations management requires knowledge of specific content that is primarily learned through both formal courses and work experience. In order to be sure that operations managers and composting professionals have this knowledge, we believe that all applicants should have basic training before earning certification. This training can take multiple forms (see answer to Question 4 above).

Perhaps. You wouldn’t qualify for the CCOM™ but you may well qualify for the CCP™ credential. That depends on the exact nature of your work. The work experience required to qualify to take the CCP™ test is 4 years of full time work (or the equivalent) supporting composting operations. For example, this could include doing site plans for composting facilities, providing equipment solutions, assisting regulatory compliance, or teaching courses related compost manufacturing.

I’ve been diverting and collecting organics and delivering them for composting for more than 2 years. Can I apply for the Commission’s test?

No. The Commission’s Scope of Practice Study focused on tasks of compost operations managers and the test is designed for the managers of composting operations and those who support these facilities. We hope to develop certification for organics collectors and haulers in the future.

That’s probably not the depth and variety of experience and knowledge it will take to qualify, then pass the CCOM™ test. The CCREF Scope of Practice Study, upon which the certification program was built, focused on tasks of compost operations managers, and the test is designed for the managers of composting operations. The prerequisites for the test are experience in organics recycling, including working at a composting facility for at least one year.

Probably not. You need to have also worked on the operations side for the equivalent of one full year.

While the Commission commends you for obtaining certification from another organization, we are not accepting that as proof of meeting the Commission’s prerequisites for the test. The primary goal of the Commission’s test is to validate the Commission’s application process and test for compost operations manager and professionals in supportive roles to compost operations/facility management. While the Commission would like to accept all individuals who want to take the test, our focus must remain on creating a valid and credible test. The Commission has not investigated the validity of certifications from other organizations as evidence for having the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities needed by compost operations managers.

On the application you will provide the details of your training and work experience. You must provide sufficient details so that if audited your information can be verified. Specifically, you need to obtain a Work History Verification Letter from each of your employers. This is required to show you meet the work experience requirements for the credential you are applying for. Please see Appendix E for a sample Work History Verification Letter. It is your responsibility to upload these letters into the CCOM™/CCP™ application portal, where there will be clear instructions to guide you.

Upon submitting your application, you will receive an e-mail confirming the Commission’s receipt of your application. If you do not receive this within one business day, please immediately send an e-mail to: adminstrator@CertificationsUSCC.org.

In two to four weeks after submitting your application, the Commission will notify you by email that you have met CCOM™ eligibility requirements and can take the test. If you are accepted, you will be provided information about how to schedule your test. If you application does not have what it takes to qualify, you will be informed why. The application fee is non-refundable.

Once a candidate gets a confirmation email from the Certification Commission that they are qualified and accepted to schedule a time and day to take their test. That same email provides instruction to access the test scheduling system provided by PSI Services, the official test delivery partner of the Certification Commission. In the online scheduling area, you can view and select from more than 600 test centers and view and select open times and dates at the test center you choose. That means you can take your test any week of the year.

Not a full representation of all test sites

The CCOM™ and CCP™ test is in English and will consist of 75 multiple-choice questions. The test is time limited and you will have 75 minutes to complete the questions. Total test time is 105 minutes, including time for log-in, orientation, and post-test feedback

Refer to section 5.4 on page 10 of the CCOM™ and CCP™ Handbook which talks about test prep. Test prep materials are under development but are not yet available. Go to www.CertificationsUSCC.org and click on “stay connected” to get notice when the prep materials are available.

Candidates who take the CCOM™ or CCP™ test will receive preliminary results via email within 24 hours of completion of the test and official results with the paper Certificate within four to eight week.

The Commission has developed its certification program for you and we want to be responsive to you! If you have ideas or comments on the application process or things we should consider as we develop the policies, procedures and pre-requisites for our test, please send us an e-mail at: director@CertificationsUSCC.org.

While there is no direct connection with any training in this certification, it’s necessary to know the 9 Knowledge Domains.

We encourage you to explore various, preparation resources to meet your specific needs.

For additional help, please see the Certification Handbook

Compost Operation Training Courses, and our Resources Page.

 

We are here to help!

Feel free to contact us at any time via e-mail at Administrator@certificationsUSCC.org. You can also call us at 301-897-2715 or write to us at:

Certification Commission
11130 Sunrise Valley Drive – Suite 350
Reston, VA 20191

Also, check out our Certified Compost Operations Manager™ (CCOM™) and Certified Composting Professional (CCP™) Handbook.

Contact USCC

Please thoroughly review our FAQs, if you have any additional questions email USCC.

The mission of the USCC Certification Commission is to develop and administer national, valid, credible, vendor-neutral certification programs for organics recycling professionals which enhance the profession of organics recycling facility management and in turn benefit the community business and environmental outcomes. The initial development of the CCOM™ was by the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation thanks to a grant from the 11th Hour Project.