The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), a 501 c 3 organization, funded the research, test creation and initial development-phases of the first credential, Certified Compost Operation Management (CCOM™) Certification, with a grant from the 11th Hour Project, a Schmidt Family Foundation.
The USCC, the national trade association of the compost manufacturing industry, assumed the responsibility for final development, launch and operationalization of the certification business.
The certification business will follow the standards and best practices for professional certification programs as established and enforced by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO/IED 17024: Requirements for bodies operating certification of persons). The leadership and governing panel for the certification business is the Certification Commission.
The purpose of the Certification Commission is to define, develop and operate a professional certification enterprise which provides competency measures and competency assurances for every role and function in the composting industry.
In support of the mission of the Certification Commission, designated Commissioners oversee the process and have three primary objectives:
1. Build and Deliver Professional Certifications.
The Certification Commission provides a total, certification journey experience that will enhance the profession of organics recycling facility management, and in turn, benefit their community's business and environmental outcomes.
The Commission brings together the necessary stakeholders to develop and administer a national, valid, credible, and vendor-neutral credentialing program for organics recycling professionals.
The Commission researches and builds each certification program based on data from the field that reflects the knowledge, skills, performance and expectations for the roles and functions for each certification designation.
The initial certification program attracts and serves composting operations managers. The Commission intends to build and deliver certifications for entry-level positions, advanced positions and specializations, state-specific specializations, and subspecialties — all based on research and conversations regarding needs and requirements for professionalization anywhere in the composting industry.
2. Keep USCC’s Leadership and Certification Management Community Informed.
The Certification Commission mentors, trains and guides the certification program and project teams as they learn and then adopt certification business best practices in their projects.
The Commission proves a variety of regular updates ranging from monthly status of enterprise programs to an annual report on the Commission’s progress in building and delivering professional certifications. At the same time, they attract and establish dialogue with thousands of certification candidates and their employers.
3. Serve as USCC’s Authority on Certification and Recertification Business Practices.
The Certification Commission sets the standards, provides certification program processes and tools, and serves as the leading advocate and model for professional certification practices. Through backing by the USCC Board of Directors, the Certification Commission gains:
- The authority it needs to promote compost industry-wide professionalism and change effectively.
- Independence that sustains objectivity, financial accountability, and legally-defensible certification programs.
- Oversight that keeps the work of the Commission aligned with both the business strategy of the USCC (membership-driven) and strategy of the Commission (certification candidate-driven).
- Legitimacy as it fosters an effective, industry-wide approach to professionalism through certification programs, specializations, certificate of learning programs and other credentials-centered operations, such as accreditation of training providers and administration of Professional Development Hours (PDHs).