The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is pleased to announce the world's first certification program for ecological restoration practitioners and practitioners-in-training. Certification is intended to encourage a high professional standard for practitioners who are designing, implementing, overseeing, and monitoring restoration projects throughout the world.
"As more and more countries invest in ecosystem and ecological restoration to meet climate and conservation targets, the need for certified practitioners only increases. SER is eager to meet this growing need with our new program," said Bethanie Walder, SER Executive Director.
The program includes two levels of certification: Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners (CERPs) and Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioners-in-Training (CERPITs). Both certifications are based on five key requirements:
Familiarity with and understanding of SER foundation documents about ecological restoration
References to demonstrate character and skills
Compliance with the SER Code of Ethics and disciplinary policy
SER's certification program is a credentialing program, it guarantees that certified practitioners meet a certain set of minimum requirements, but it does not audit the quality of any individual's work. Certification will require both an understanding of the science of ecological restoration and a minimum of five years of actual, on-the-ground practice as well. Certification will be valid for 5 years from the date of approval and may be renewed if sufficient continuing education credits are obtained. The continuing education requirement will encourage practitioners to continuously engage in and actively contribute to the advancement of the field of ecological restoration while also enhancing their skills and knowledge.
Investment and support for ecological restoration is growing rapidly all across the globe, but standards are minimal. SER's certification program provides numerous benefits to the field. Most importantly, the SER certification program is designed to improve the quality of ecological restoration projects on the ground. The program has multiple other benefits as well. Academic institutions with ecological restoration degree programs can use the knowledge requirements to evaluate curricula so that graduates will have the core competencies specific to the field. The certification program will benefit individuals by increasing professional status through formal recognition of their training and experience. Finally, employers, agencies, organizations, and the general public will benefit by easily being able to identify those practitioners who meet the high standard set by SER.
"We are excited to participate in SER's new certification program and to help further professionalize this field. In this era of increasing ecological change, credentialed professionals to help address today's emerging issues in restoration will be critical. SER's certification program will help us deliver higher quality restoration on the ground, to the benefit of the environment and practice as a whole. We see ecological restoration as an increasingly important core service that our company can provide, and being able to demonstrate competence through the certification program will be important to our clients." said Paul Davis, Head of Ecological Services at GZA.
Click here for additional information about the certification program.