Lead Accreditation & Certification Program Overview
How did the Lead Accreditation & Certification Program begin?
California's lead accreditation and certification program began in June, 1994. At that time, new childhood lead poisoning prevention legislation (codified in Health and Safety Code 105250 et seq.) required the California Department of Public Health (CDPH, formerly Department of Health Services) to create a program to certify lead-related construction trades-people and accredit lead-related construction training providers. Final regulations establishing this program took effect April 5, 1995. Revisions to these regulations that established work practice standards for lead-related construction and amended the previously established accreditation and certification requirements went into effect in January, 1999. These regulations were updated in April 2008.
What kind of work do the regulations apply to?
The Title 17 regulations governing accreditation and certification apply to lead-related construction work done in residential and public buildings. Some examples of public buildings include schools, day-care centers, museums, airports, hospitals, stores, convention centers, government facilities and office buildings.
Lead-related construction work is defined as...
- ..."any construction, alteration, painting, demolition, salvage, renovation, repair, or maintenance of any residential or public building, including preparation and cleanup, that, by using or disturbing lead-containing material or soil, may result in significant exposure of adults or children to lead."
These regulations apply only to the lead-related construction industry. They do not apply to the general lead industry, such as battery manufacturers and radiator repair shops, etc.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation means that a training provider meets regulatory requirements and has been approved by CDPH to offer lead-related construction courses. To be accredited, training providers must have qualified instructors and adequate training facilities. Their courses must provide information about the health effects of lead poisoning, sources of lead, as well as how to identify and reduce lead hazards. Accredited training providers may be approved to offer the following training:
- Supervision & Project Monitoring
- Sampling Technician
- Continuing Education
Do training providers have to be accredited?
Yes. Training providers must be accredited if they wish to offer courses leading to State certification. Training offered by non-accredited providers is not valid training for certification.
What is certification?
Certification means that CDPH has evaluated and approved a person's qualifications to perform lead-related construction work in residential and public buildings. CDPH evaluates applicants to make sure they have completed State-approved training and have relevant experience and education to perform lead work.
CDPH grants five kinds of certificates:
- Lead Inspector/Assessor
- Lead Project Monitor
- Lead Sampling Technician
- Lead Supervisor
- Lead Worker
Each certificate has different training, education, and experience requirements. Certificates are granted to individual people, not to companies or businesses. Candidates for full lead Inspector/Assessor, Supervisor, and Project Monitor certification must also pass a State certification exam (in addition to the "end of course" exam).
Certificates are non-transferable and must be renewed through CDPH annually. Certified individuals must complete seven hours of State-approved continuing education every two years to renew their certificates.
The fee for each certificate or renewal requested is $75. All fees are non-refundable. There are no fee waivers.
Certification normally takes from 20 to 60 days to complete, although delays may occur if an applicant submits an incomplete application.
Is certification required?
There are currently many situations which required lead-related construction professionals to be certified. For more information on this, see Is Certification Required for the Work I Do?
- State law requires certification for anyone doing lead hazard evaluations (inspections), lead clearance testing, lead abatement project design or lead abatement work, in residential and public buildings in California.
- State law requires certification for workers conducting lead abatement activities in public elementary and pre-schools or public daycare centers.
- California OSHA regulations require training and certification for lead-related construction workers and supervisors who are exposed to airborne lead at or above the 8-hour permissible exposure limit (PEL) of 50 μg/m3.
- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires certification for those conducting pilot lead abatement projects.
- Lead inspections that are done to comply with the federal real estate disclosure rules must be done by State certified inspector/assessors.
Does California recognize certificates or training from other states?
No, lead-related construction certificates from other states are not valid in California. Likewise, only lead-related construction training taken from one of California's accredited training providers can lead to certification in California. Some of California's accredited training providers offer training outside California. Currently, the only training conducted outside of California by a CDPH-accredited training provider that is valid in California is Continuing Education, if the specific class is pre-approved by CDPH.
Do other states recognize California's training and certificates?
Yes, many states that do not have their own accreditation and certification programs will recognize training and certificates from California. Check with your state for their policy on this question.
Is California's Program the same as the U.S. EPA model program?
No, the EPA Model Accreditation & Certification Program, finalized in August 1996, is somewhat different from California's. Based on EPA's final model, California has revised parts of its program, although significant differences remain. California's program is now at least as protective as EPA's model.
How can I contact the Accreditation & Certification program?
California Department of Public Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch
Lead-Related Construction Unit
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Building P, Third Floor
Richmond, CA 94804-6403
Lead-Related Construction Information Line
1-800-597-LEAD (1-800-597-5323) (outside California: 510-620-5694)