What is the Landscape Industry Certified Program?
The NLA and Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) offers landscapers the Landscape Industry Certified Technician program. Landscape Industry Certified is an international hands-on testing program administered by 25 states and five provinces that recognizes proficiency in the landscape workforce, upgrades the status of the landscape professional and provides the public with a means of identifying qualified landscape professionals.
The NLA offers five exams in Hardscpape Installation, Softscape Installation, Irrigation, Turf Maintenance, and Ornamental Maintenance. To become Landscape Industry Certified, an applicant must pass a General Comprehension test, written test and Practical (hands-on) Problems.
Why Get Certified?
Certification is an easy choice for any landscape company that takes pride in quality workmanship and professionalism. Many landscape companies view the certification program as a tool that takes the company a step above the rest and has many benefits for the company, the employees, customers, and industry.
Certification at the company level establishes credibility and the motivation to constantly improve. By investing in employee’s certification, the company is involved and willing to put forth the extra effort to go above and beyond what is required to do business. This same professionalism can be seen in the projects the company completes. It can also be helpful in obtaining work on municipal jobs where certification is a requirement such Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Carson City Public Works, City of Reno, Sinnott Consulting, Mackay & Somps, Utah, etc.
The certification program can offer companies a built-in training program. As employees study for the exam and pass each element, they are being trained for job success. Landscape Industry Certified Technicians can walk away from the test with a great sense of accomplishment, confidence and pride, having proven their qualification and knowledge of the job they perform. They have shown to their team that they are willing to go a step above what is required or expected. All employers value employees with this attitude – quality employees want to work for companies that emphasize and encourage advanced training.
It is recommended that a candidate have a minimum of 2,000 hours of work experience to take the exam.
Preparing For the Test
Register as soon as possible! When you register, you will receive a copy of the test booklet. The test booklet outlines the test problems and exactly what you will be tested on at the test site. To allow sufficient time for study, persons should apply for examination well in advance of the test date.
Purchase and STUDY the Landscape Industry Certified Training Manuals. They’re full of valuable information for the test and are a great resource for the challenges you face everyday in your job. These Training Manuals will be available from the NLA Office. Training manuals produced by PLANET are highly recommended in order to prepare for the Landscape Industry Certified exam. These manuals are excellent study guides to prepare candidates for the Nevada Landscape Association exams. If certification is your goal, the manuals will help you achieve it. With easy-to-read text in English and Spanish, numerous illustrations and photos, and the latest industry information, these manuals offer the highest quality training material for landscape construction, maintenance, and irrigation technicians. The manuals are available in either the Installation, Maintenance, or Irrigation specialties. The manuals can be ordered directly off the Landscape Industry Certified application.
Set up individual test problems at work or in your own backyard. Do the problem from start to finish, practicing within the allotted time. Practice with someone else who is knowledgeable in that area and have him/her critique your work. If you really have no background in one particular problem, seek out an expert in that field.
Study in groups. Ask around in your area and see who else is interested in taking the test, set-up time to review the materials with each other. You will be surprised at how much you and other members of the study group will be able to share, and then when you take the test you will be prepared, you will know someone else on testing day, and afterward have someone to celebrate your hard work and success!
Attend training seminars or study sessions when scheduled. They not only give you an opportunity to ask the experts your questions, but those who attend do better on the tests. The Nevada Landscape Association offers training sessions prior to each test date. These dates will be be posted on our website as soon as they are scheduled.
Use your own experience. Most candidates have a number of years of on-the-job experience. While that won’t give you all the answers, it’s a solid start in the right direction.
PLANET requirements mandate that in order to maintain your Landscape Industry Certified status, you must re-certify every two years. PLANET now requires every certified technician or manager to obtain 24 CEU’s every two years. If you fail to obtain these CEU’s, you will lose your certification and will have to recertify. DON’T LOSE YOUR CERTIFICATION. The NLA is making it easier to obtain CEU’s to meet this new requirement. Those who volunteer on the NLA’s Landscape Industry Certified Committee or judge our next test will also receive CEUs. Throughout the year, we will continue offering CEU opportunities to our certified members. It is your responsibility to maintain a record of your re certification credits and submit them to PLANET. During the calendar year your certification is earned, no renewal is required. For more information, visit the PLANET’s online recertification center.
Each test is supported by a group of landscape professionals who contribute their time to judge the candidates during the test. If you are interested in judging the Landscape Industry Certified tests as a judge please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Testing Program Sponsors: