Erosion and Sediment Control
30 Minute Presentation
Eighteen Years of Lessons Learned: The University of Minnesota Erosion and Stormwater Management Certification Program
The University of Minnesota Erosion and Stormwater Management Certification Program was created in 2002 to provide comprehensive construction stormwater training for project managers, contractors, inspectors, and designers in the construction industry. The program was created in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to provide certification to MnDOT employees and contractors.
The program has now grown to provide training on many aspects of water regulations. It offers courses to a broad range of participants that require training under Minnesota's construction, industrial, and municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. The program has continued to partner with MnDOT and the MPCA, and a large part of the success of the program is due to these partnerships as well as partnerships with other state and local agencies, cities and counties, and with private companies. Since its creation, the program has trained over 38,000 attendees, and it routinely educates over 3,000 attendees per year.
The program offers both certification trainings and workshops. While workshops provide educational opportunities for its attendees, there is no formal certification or exam at the end of the workshop. The majority of the courses the program offers are certification trainings. These trainings provide a certification upon course completion and achieving a passing score on a written exam. This certification remains valid for 3 years, upon which time the attendee must renew his or her certification with a refresher class that provides updates on regulations and technology. At the end of the 2019 training season, 8,255 individuals held at least 1 certification from the program.
Throughout the past 18 years, the program has learned many lessons about what works to create and maintain a successful stormwater training program. This presentation will focus on the importance of creating and maintaining partnerships within agencies and companies as this has been essential to the program's success. Additionally, it is imperative that the program provides quality content that is presented in an effective manner. Since the program provides training and workshops on a variety of erosion and stormwater topics to people with varying job responsibilities, it is essential that the instructor know the audience and be able to modify content in order to best train for different learning styles. This presentation will also cover different educational strategies that we have used in order to engage the different types of attendees.