FAQ

The Certified Compost Operations Manager™, or CCOM™, is the first in a series of compost-manufacturing industry certifications designed to recognize the accomplishments and competencies of composting professionals. It is one of the first programs developed by the U.S. Composting Council® Certification Commission (USCC).

A CCOM™ designation gives organic recycling professionals recognition for having the highest standards of performance in the industry.

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   $79.00 $99.00
Practice test  $25.00 $45.00

 

Recertification

  USCC Member Non-USCC Member
Annual payment to stay current $100 annually
starting one year after achieving CCOM
$150 annually
starting one year after certification
Payments to accept PDHs $10 per PDH $15 per PDH


Recertification every three years requires remittance of 30 Professional Development Hours.

Membership in the USCC is NOT a requirement for eligibility.  You need to be 21 years of age or older. You must have a high school diploma (or its equivalent), 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.

The computer-based test includes 75 questions over a 100-minute total period including login, tutorials, and survey questions. It includes the 9 Knowledge Domains. See the CCOM™ 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

Yes. Keep your log-in and password, and you can log in and out as often as you would like. The USCC Commissioners will review your application once you complete it and submit it with payment of the application fee.  It’s all online, using electronic payment. 

The Certification Commission requires that all applicants have completed at least a three-day training course in compost operations. This is to ensure that all applicants have the basic understanding of compost manufacturing.

Candidates who have had additional training in areas such as Compost Facility Design, Safety, Management, and Odor Control and Operations are ideal candidates.  

Attending courses on other topics related to composting and organics recycling will be counted for maintaining certification (continuing professional development) but will not count as the training needed to qualify for taking the test the first time. Likewise, attending conferences and symposia on related topics will count toward continuing education, but not initial certification. 

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. 

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 have this knowledge, we believe that all organics recyclers should have introductory training before entering the field. This training can take multiple forms (see answer to the question above). 

Most likely you would not qualify to take the certification test if your experience is not composting-specific. The work experience required to qualify to take the test is two years of full time-of-work (or the equivalent) related to organics recycling, including a minimum of one year of full-time working in compost facility operations.  

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 USCC commends you for obtaining certification from another organization, the Certification Commission would not accept that as proof of meeting its prerequisites for the test.

While USCC would like to accept all individuals who want to take the test, our focus remains on creating and administering a valid and credible test relevant to the skills, knowledge and performance the CCOM™ professional demonstrates. The Certification Commission has not investigated the job task analysis studies or psychometric reports 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.

When will I find out if I’ve been accepted to take the test?

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: support@panpowered.com.

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 your application does not have what it takes to qualify, you will be informed why. The application fee is non-refundable.

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: apply@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 PAN, 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™ test is in English and will consist of 75 multiple-choice questions. The test is time limited and you will have 90 minutes to complete it.

There is no one training course that prepares you for a professional certification test. Future plans include development of an online course, organized around the 9 knowledge domains which define the scope of practice of a compost operations manager.In order to keep the certification legal and relevant to constant changes in knowledge, technology and business practices, the study course for CCOM™ will not “teach to the test.” Rather, it will be a review of what the professional ought to have mastered or gained through formal training, on-the-job training and other sources of professional development.

We also suggest that you are familiar with organics recycling codes of ethics and standards of practice, located in the CCOM™ Handbook.

Candidates who take the CCOM™ test will receive preliminary results within one day of completion of the CCOM™ test at the test center. Official results are sent within approximately four weeks of completing the CCOM™ test.

USCC 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@certificationUSCC.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spam-bots. You will need JavaScript enabled to view it. If you choose to call USCC, please know that you’ll get a call back in the order we are receiving all calls but this may take a few days.

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 CCOM™ Certification Handbook. It will be available here in October 2016.

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™) 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.