PACP Certification Keeps Contractors Up to Date

NASSCO certifications ensure proper training and standards across the sewer service industry.

Interested in Education/Training?

Get Education/Training articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Education/Training + Get Alerts

Look at any bid on a municipal sewer project, and chances are pretty good that you’ll see a specification for the Pipeline Assessment Certification Program, or PACP. 

The flagship certification for the National Association of Sewer Service Companies, or NASSCO, it is the gold standard of pipeline assessment, often a prerequisite among engineers and contractors across the industry. 

One of the first organizations to standardize inspection in the field of pipeline cleaning, inspection and rehabilitation, NASSCO is busy expanding their certification programs and updating existing courses to include new technology and processes. 

“We need to keep these programs up to date based on current technologies — keep them relevant based on the things that are actually being done in the industry,” says Ted DeBoda, executive director of NASSCO. “So it is important for the contractors and municipalities to keep their people informed and keep them up to date on the latest assessment techniques.” 

In addition to their long-standing pipeline assessment program, NASSCO is developing new courses for the Inspector Training and Certification Program, or ITCP, and is working on recertification requirements for MACP and LACP, the manhole and lateral assessment programs. 

“Everything that we do really has to fall back and support the mission to set industry standards specifically for rehabilitation and assessment of underground infrastructure and to ensure continued acceptance and growth of trenchless technologies,” DeBoda says. 

PACP is a two-day program offered by NASSCO; MACP and LACP can be completed in a third day of training. Each program has its own test to complete at the end of the classroom training. 

At this time, only PACP requires recertification, which can be completed online or live in a shortened, compact version of the full class. Soon, MACP and LACP will also require recertification. There is a one-year grace period after certification expires to complete the refresher.

“We want to make sure that not only are specifications done well so that the bar is set the same for all the contractors who are bidding on a project, but that it’s also specified right — that we’re using the right technology where it’s meant to be used,” DeBoda says. 

ITCP consists of two classes so far: CIPP and manhole rehabilitation. The classes, which were recently updated, go over technologies that are available, the best use for those technologies, and specifications. 

NASSCO is looking at developing more classes to fold into ITCP, including an injection grouting class that they are hoping to roll out toward the end of 2018. 

“One of the reasons why I have so much respect for the construction inspectors is because that’s the person who actually needs to read and understand the specifications that the engineer developed and make sure they’re being applied out in the field ... that the appropriate tests are being completed out in the field, and the contractor is taking the right samples and doing all the things that he needs to do,” DeBoda says. 

The base rate for PACP is $800 with an additional $175 for MACP and LACP. The training is sourced out to independent trainers, who may charge additional fees based on travel time and other expenses. The ITCP course is $995 for NASSCO members and $1,095 for nonmembers. 

Not only are these programs important for the standardization of the industry, but increasingly, they are required for jobs under bid. 

“Most of the CCTV or the condition assessment specs that we see require PACP,” DeBoda says. “That’s one reason why it works so well for the industry. It kind of feeds itself in that engineers will spec PACP because that’s what they’re used to looking at, so all the contractors will make sure that their people are all certified in PACP. 

“It has kind of been a self-perpetuating thing. … It is working so well for the engineering community, and contractors need it to bid on the job so we see a lot of engineers and operators taking the class. And that’s why it is so successful.” 

Also available on their site are webinars and manufacturer specifications as well as FAQs, tools, and articles, such as the jetter manual — a code of practice for jetting equipment. They are also working on a similar manual for trenchless technology. Some features are available only to members, but there are also resources open to the public. 

“If you don’t have anybody that’s PACP certified, you can’t bid on a PACP project. I mean it’s really that simple,” DeBoda says. “We’re seeing a lot of municipalities and engineers, in the same way with PACP, actually bidding out ITCP inspectors, so the inspectors that are on the job need to be certified in either CIPP or manhole rehab in order to inspect the job.” 

Another important aspect of PACP is software certification — an idea that hasn’t fully caught on among municipalities. 

“This is something that I would really like to see more municipalities have a better understanding of. We certify software for PACP,” DeBoda says. “As a municipality, if you bid a PACP job, you really don’t need to and should not specify a specific software. One of the benefits of NASSCO actually certifying PACP software is that when you bid a PACP job, you open up the bids to contractors that have any PACP-certified software.” 

NASSCO has a list of around 15 certified software providers, and any one of them can function interchangeably in a PACP-specified job. 

“Most contractors actually already have a PACP-certified software, and they don’t need to purchase or learn a new software. So it’s discouraging when we see CCTV contracts bid for PACP but specify a specific software because then they’re losing that benefit of opening up the bids and actually getting more competitive bids,” DeBoda says. 

With a commitment to push the industry since 1976, NASSCO’s certifications and training continue to be at the forefront of training and education for the industry. 

“It really does keep the field staff up to date, it keeps the engineers up to date, and it keeps everybody basically working from the same playbook.”


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.