As more cities, institutions, and businesses develop sustainability and zero waste policies, they need trained personnel to properly manage their resources and programs. Resource management enables business to become more efficient, increase their bottom line, improve community relations and decreased their financial and environmental risks.
Currently there is no national professional certification standard to support state or provincial training programs for sustainable resource management industry. The Recycling Organizations of North America (RONA) has set out to change this with its recent adoption of "The Plan for National Standards for Certifying Sustainable Resource Management Training Programs and Professionals (the Plan). The process was initiated by RONA and the California Resource Recovery Association (CRRA), who collaborated on a federally-funded project to develop new resource management curriculum and a certification process. To access the Plan, click here:
A great deal of work has already been put into developing the Plan. Extensive research was conducted into existing training programs, such as SWANA, Reuse Alliance, and USCC, as well as state-based programs, including the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP). The first steps of the Certification Board will be to follow-up on research conducted into existing certification efforts, and build upon the jobs and skills analysis and student learning outcomes outlined in the Plan to devise a national standard that can be accredited by post-secondary institutions and meets ISO approval requirements. Board members will be developing criteria for state/provincial recycling training programs and a proficiency exam for certifying professionals.