Maintaining Your Contractor Certification

Basic renewal requirements

  • Pay the annual renewal fee.
  • Complete and report seven hours of annual continuing education. These seven hours (points) must be received at NGWA by December 31 for the year (see the next section below).
  • Maintain a high standard of work.
  • Sign and submit an affidavit each year verifying that you have no pending legal action against you for failure to properly construct wells or install pumps, and that you have maintained the qualified licenses to operate in your state.




In the last quarter of each year, renewal invoices are mailed to certified individuals to the address we maintain on file. In the event of an address change, please notify NGWA as soon as possible. If you have not received a certification invoice and believe this is in error, please contact NGWA immediately at (800) 551-7379, or (614) 898-7791 outside the United States, or via email at certification@ngwa.org

Continuing education points

Continuing education points (CEPs) are necessary because of the constantly changing technology and equipment in today's world. Every person in the workforce must continually learn about new products, techniques, rules and regulations, and ideas relative to their own job...or run the risk of being passed by the competition.

CEPs can be earned in the following ways:

  • Groundwater-related conventions/expositions/meetings — one point per day attended (state, regional, or national shows)
  • NGWA Delegates Meeting — one point per year 
  • Workshops, conferences, or training schools — one point per hour of instruction 
  • High school career day presentation — one point for each hour of presentation 
  • Groundwater Foundation McEllhiney Lecture — one-and-a-half points 
  • Writing an article for a groundwater-related publication — two points maximum (proof required) 
  • Community service — one point for each presentation (talks, films, slideshows, etc., regarding the groundwater industry) 
  • Participation in a groundwater-related webinar — one credit per hour webinar
  • Presenting of a groundwater-related webinar — two credits per hour of presented webinar
  • Documented attendance at industry safety meetings (OSHA, MSHA, initial or refresher training) — one point per hour, three points maximum per year
  • Others — acceptance of points will be determined by the coordinator when they are received 

NGWA offers both free and paid online training opportunities at the NGWA Learning Center. Each year, NGWA will offer a special priced 7-hour renewal bundle that certified individuals can take to complete their CEPs requirements. Additionally, many vendors offer free product training can found on the Product Training section of the NGWA Learning Center. 

If you participate in an activity that you feel is equivalent to one of the above, contact the NGWA certification coordinator at (800) 551-7379, or (614) 898-7791 outside the United States, to have it evaluated for credit.

An official CEP report form will be sent each year and points must be reported on the official form. Newly certified individuals must report CEPs beginning the first calendar year following their initial certification. For example, if you earned your certification in 2018, your first expiration date would be 2019. The first CEP report would be due to NGWA by 12-31-2019.

Watch this video to learn about reporting your continuing education credits for NGWA's Voluntary Certification Program. 


  • Decertification is automatic if the annual renewal fee is not paid each year or if you do not submit the necessary CEPs or signed affidavit.
  • The person being notified of pending decertification has one year to comply with all the requirements. A reinstatement fee is assessed at that time. There are no refunds of renewal or reinstatement fees if you fail to comply with all requirements. The deadline each year for renewal is December 31.
  • The certification logo remains the property of NGWA and must be surrendered if you fail to meet the certification renewal requirements.

Medical leave

  • Certified individuals who are in good standing may be placed on an “inactive” status for up to 12 consecutive months due to injury or long-term illness.
  • During this inactive time, the individual may not engage in any groundwater industry activity that is covered by the Voluntary Certification Program.
  • Once the individual comes off of medical leave, he or she will have an additional 12 months after being reinstated as “active” to fulfill all certification requirements such as fees, CEPs, and affidavits.
  • The certified individual will also be responsible for the current year’s renewal requirements during this same time period (i.e., two sets of forms, fees, CEPs). If such requirements are not fulfilled during the 12-month period, then the individual will be decertified and will be required to start the program all over again.

Complete the medical leave form.

Military leave status

Certified individuals who are in good standing may be placed on an inactive status for the duration of their deployment. During this inactive time, the individual may NOT engage in any groundwater industry activity that is covered by the Voluntary Certification Program. Once the individual comes off military leave, the individual has 12 months to fulfill the previous year’s continuing education requirements along with all current year’s requirements (fees, CEPs, and affidavit) to retain the certified status. If such requirements are not fulfilled during the 12-month period, then the individual will be decertified and will be required to start the program all over again.

Complete the military leave form.

Requesting retirement status

NGWA’s Code of Regulations defines retirement as “...those who have been active and who, as a result of retirement, disability, or other good cause, are no longer active in the groundwater industry....” The code goes on further to say that retired “...certified contractors/pump installers and MGWCs in good standing may maintain their certification designation without submitting annual renewal fees, continuing education points, or affidavits.”

NGWA realizes that certified individuals have made a long-term commitment to continuing education, personal achievement, and industry professionalism and may not want to “give up” the designation. Thus, NGWA adopted a policy concerning retirement, having started with the 2004 certification (calendar) year, individuals may declare themselves “retired” at renewal time.

Below you will find a list of common questions, with answers, surrounding this topic. If you have other questions that are not listed, please contact NGWA at (800) 551-7379 or (614) 898-7791 outside the United States.

Q: What will retired individuals be responsible for submitting annually?
A: Initially, the retired person will be expected to provide a signed declaration form stating that he/she is indeed retired from the industry. No fees, CEPs, or affidavit form will be required. After this first year, those who have stated they are retired will no longer pay fees, fulfill continuing education, or submit an affidavit.

Q: What will the record state after the person has made a retired declaration?
A: All individuals who declare themselves retired will be listed as “Retired in Good Standing” with the year of retirement printed afterward.

Q: Can retired individuals continue to use the certified logo designation?
A: No. Once a person has elected the retired option, the individual may only use the retired logo. Individuals must indicate their retired status as follows: John Smith, CWD — Retired in Good Standing.

Q: By declaring myself retired, am I eligible to participate in any kind of activity within the groundwater industry?
A: Yes. You may take part in any industry activity that interests you, as long as it is NOT the active construction of wells or the installation of pumps, activities covered by the Voluntary Certification Program.

Q: If I declare myself retired, can I reverse my decision and become active once again?A: Yes, if done so within three years from declaring the retired status. In October 2022, the NGWA Board of Directors approved a change to the certification policy which states, "Individuals retired in good standing who desire to reengage in the active construction of wells or installation of pumps, may reactivate the certification held at time of retirement, if done so within three years (36 months) from the date that their retirement declaration was signed by (1) paying the current renewal fee (based on their NGWA membership status), (2) signing an affidavit stating that they maintain the licenses and/or registrations necessary to qualify for legal operation in the states in which they conduct business and attests to the status of any legal action they may be the subject of relating to well construction or pump installation, and (3) submit seven continuing education points (CEP) earned during the last 12 months".

If you would like to declare yourself retired, please sign and date the retirement declaration form and send it back to NGWA so it is received by December 31.

Complete the retirement declaration form.