Recertification Guidelines for Genus-Level Taxonomic Proficiency

The successful completion of the taxonomic certification process  results in a certificate of proficiency in performing taxonomic identifications of freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates. This process includes passing an examination with a score of 95% for certification for a particular region and taxonomic group, and submittal of a certification fee. As part of this program, the certification credentials remain valid for a period of five years.

The Taxonomic Certification Committee (TCC), which oversees the TCP, recognizes that a practicing taxonomist, by virtue of his/her regular professional activities and duties, maintains the skill and understanding to perform at a high level of competency. The TCC also recognizes that, when taxonomy‐related activity has been drastically reduced or eliminated from the regular duties of a certified taxonomist, those skills can become less effective, compromising efficiency and accuracy.

In response to the reality that many taxonomists who were successfully certified during the first years of this program would be requesting recertification, the SFS‐TCC has established two options for consideration: specimen‐based recertification, which is similar to that taken for initial program certification, and petition‐based recertification, described below.

The applicant shall make the initial choice (of the two options, above) depending on her/his circumstances. Regardless of choice, a decision by the TCC to deny recertification of an applicant (whether due to a failed specimen‐based test or unacceptable written petition) cannot be challenged. The only recourse in the event of such a decision by the TCC is for the candidate to take and pass a specimen‐based test again, and at the going cost for that test. In the case of a rejected recertification by petition, the applicant has only one recourse, which is to take the specimen‐based test at the regular test fee.

Note that individuals opting for the petition process must complete submittal within two years of the expiration of the applicant’s certification.

Costs for Recertification by Petition

See the Fees and Payment Options page.

Procedures for Recertification by Petition

If the recertification applicant chooses the written petition option, she/he must provide in electronic format the appropriate information pertinent to the seven criteria in the petition, summarizing the applicant’s professional, academic, and/or research activities during the initial 5‐year certification period (and beyond, if that certification had expired). Responses should include appropriate detail. All information provided by the applicant, both within and attached to this petition, shall remain confidential.

During the evaluation process, the applicant’s petition package will be shared only with the TCP coordinator and the sub‐committee of TCC members directly involved in the review and decision process. If the applicant has any concern regarding the sensitive nature of any part of this petition, she/he is encouraged to state such, in writing, and included in a cover letter accompanying the petition package at the time of its submission to the TCC Coordinator.

One or more members of the TCC subcommittee involved in the review of an applicant’s petition may contact the applicant or their references to verify information provided in the petition. The sub‐committee reserves the right, after cursory review, to return the application immediately to the applicant, with explanation of deficiencies, to provide the applicant opportunity for a more complete and/or clarified presentation of her/his credentials.

The TCC sub‐committee will consist of five members and a simple majority vote is required for a final decision on any given application. The decision of TCC subcommittee members reviewing an applicant’s petition will make recommendations to the TCP coordinator, who will then convey the decision to the applicant. The TCP coordinator shall remain the point of contact regarding all certification and recertification matters, not individual TCC members. Please do not communicate directly to TCC members regarding this process. The review process will be completed and a decision made within 60 days of the submission of a complete petition.

Download the Recertification Petition