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Home Education Certification Program Certification and Recertification Guidelines

Certification and Recertification Guidelines

GENERAL INFORMATION

The Articles of Incorporation of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing state that it will exert its influence towards the betterment of standards and ethics.

To this end, the Society’s Professional Activities Committee, after several years of careful study, developed a program for certification of photogrammetrists. This program was approved by the American Society of Photogrammetry (ASP) Board of Direction at its meeting in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 1975. On March 28, 1991, the ASPRS Board of Directors approved a proposal made by the National Photogrammetrist Recognition Committee of the Professional Practice Division to modify the original program to include two new categories of certification: Mapping Scientist, Remote Sensing; and Mapping Scientist, GIS/LIS. The Board approved a recertification program that assures that certified persons keep up with the technology that is rapidly changing. The Board on October 28, 1997 approved a modification to the program adding a requirement of a written examination effective January 1, 1998.

In May 2006, the ASPRS Board of Directors approved the Provisional Certification Program recommended by the Evaluation for Certification Committee (ECC). Students preparing to graduate in spatial science programs may apply for Certification and become “provisionally certified” until they complete the on-job experience requirement. Provisionally certified individuals will have a specified period of time to achieve the on-job experience at which time, they will become fully certified as outlined below. The ECC has re-designated provisional certification as the Geospatial Intern program.

On January 1, 2013, the ASPRS professional and technologist certification programs each received accreditation from the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB). CESB voted to approve accreditation for the professional Certified Photogrammetrist (CP), Certified Mapping Scientist/Remote Sensing (CMS/RS) and Certified Mapping Scientist/GIS-LIS (CMS/GISLIS) programs, along with three related technologist certification categories – Photogrammetric Technologist, Remote Sensing Technologist and GIS/LIS Technologist. During the review process leading to accreditation, CESB required ASPRS to make a few minor changes to the Programs, including: shifting the continuing education requirement from the previous proprietary points-based system to Professional Development Hours (PDH); increasing the PDH requirement from 75 hours to 100 hours for the professionals and 50 hours to 60 hours for the technologists; re-designating the “provisional” certifications, designed to assist students during their transition to professional status, in order to avoid using the term “certified;” and isolating any training related to the Program.

There is a distinction between certification and licensure. Simply stated, ASPRS certification is official recognition by one’s colleagues and peers that an individual has demonstrated professional integrity and competence in their field. As such, the ASPRS voluntary certification program is considered "specialty certification." It is not a substitute for licensure as, for example, a Land Surveyor. Licensing is a legal act on the part of states to protect the public health, safety and welfare. It is a procedure by which various state and local governments require the licensing of certain professions, practices, trades, etc. under formal statutes and ordinances to protect the well-being of its citizens. Licensure may be required by your local state, county, etc. whether or not you secure certification.

The program as approved is entirely voluntary. It applies equally to persons associated with the several subdivisions of photogrammetry and the mapping sciences, which by Society definition includes aerial photography, photogrammetric photographic interpretation, geographic information systems, remote sensing systems, and land information systems. However, in accordance with the Society’s Code of Ethics, persons certified should decline to undertake any work within, or related to the fields of photogrammetry and mapping sciences that is outside their range of competence.

Information on how to apply for certification, requirements, educational credits, and administrative review procedures are outlined below.

PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

A growing number of scientific and technical disciplines depend on photogrammetry and the mapping sciences for reliable measurements and information. It is in the interest of those who provide photogrammetric and mapping sciences services, as well as the user of these services, that such information and data be accurate and dependable. The ASPRS Certification Program has as its purpose the establishment and maintenance of high standards of ethical conduct and professional practice among photogrammetrists, mapping scientists, technologists, and interns.

The primary objectives of the programs are:

  1. To identify and recognize those persons who, after careful, appraisal by their peers, and after passing a written examination are considered to have met the requirements established by the Society for certification.
  2. To provide a basis for weighing the validity of allegations and complaints that involve practicing photogrammetrists and mapping scientists, and for taking appropriate action in connection therewith.
  3. To encourage persons as yet   not fully qualified to work towards certification as a goal of professional achievement.
  4. To encourage certified   persons, through the recertification process, to continue their professional achievements as rapid change in technology occurs.

The ASPRS Certification Program is voluntary and open to all qualified individuals, whether or not they are members of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.

The program is applicable to persons associated with one or more functional areas of photogrammetry and the mapping sciences. Work at professional and technical levels in each of the areas is outlined in the Classification Chart for Photogrammetry and the Mapping Sciences.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

In view of the wide variety of skills and disciplines studied and practiced by photogrammetrists and mapping scientists, the ASPRS Certification Program is based primarily on evidence of demonstrated professional capability. Within prescribed limitations it does permit experience to be substituted for education and vice versa and requires a written examination. Following are basic requirements for:

Certified Photogrammetrist (ASPRS)
A professional who uses photogrammetric technology to extract measurements and make maps and interpret data from images. The Photogrammetrist is responsible for all phases of mapping and other mensuration requirements, which include planning and supervising survey activities for control, specifying photography or other imagery requirements, managing projects for mapping or other mensuration requirements and interpretation.

  1. Six years of experience in photogrammetry, three years of which were in a position of professional responsibility demonstrating professional knowledge and competence.
  2. References from four persons who are holding, or who have held, responsible positions in photogrammetry and have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal qualifications.
  3. Declaration of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the ASPRS.
  4. Successful completion of a written examination.

Certified Mapping Scientist, Remote Sensing (ASPRS)
A professional that specializes in analysis of images acquired from aircraft, satellites or ground bases, or platforms using visual or computer-assisted technology; analysis is used by various specialized disciplines in the study of natural resources, temporal changes, and for land use planning; or as a professional who analytical techniques and sensor systems.

  1. Three years of experience in photogrammetric and/or cartographic applications, all of which have been in a position of responsibility that demonstrated knowledge and competence in planning and application.
  2. Three years of specialized experience at a professional level in remote sensing and interpretation of data from various imaging systems and/or design of remote sensing systems.
  3. References from four persons who are holding or who have held responsible positions in the mapping sciences and remote sensing and have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal qualifications.
  4. Declaration of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the ASPRS.
  5. Successful completion of a written examination.

Certified Mapping Scientist, GIS/LIS (ASPRS)
A professional involved in GIS/LIS systems design and/or systems application of data base management and computer programs that allow for the utilization of spatially referenced data bases for solving user analysis requirements. Such a professional is responsible for the integration of data needs and the development of correspondence between and the utilization of various spatial systems of often-different generic origins that are used to solve requirements.

  1. Three years experience in mapping sciences or photogrammetry in a position of responsibility demonstrating professional knowledge of and competence in mapping science and mapping procedures.
  2. Three years of professional experience in the Geographic or Land Information Systems, during which professional knowledge and competence in those systems were demonstrated.
  3. References from four persons who are holding, or who have held, responsible positions in the mapping sciences and in the Geographic or Land Information Systems area and have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal qualifications.
  4. Declaration of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the ASPRS.
  5. Successful completion of a written examination.

EDUCATIONAL CREDITS

When computing the number of years of experience under basic requirements, credit may be taken, in lieu of actual job experience, for degrees in engineering, or in the natural or physical sciences, on the following basis:

Type of Degree Years of Credit
Bachelor's 1/2
Master's 1/2
Doctorate 1/2

 

PROFESSIONAL RECERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Anyone who has been certified by the ASPRS is certified for life unless there is cause to remove the certification for malpractice or violation of the Code of Ethics of ASPRS. The Society has a Recertification Program to assure that a certified person has maintained or improved on the skill and knowledge that allowed for certification. The Society will maintain an ACTIVE CERTIFICATION LIST that requires recertification every five years. Certified persons will appear on the Active Certified list for as long as their certification is in force.

Recertification applicants are required to fill out the Recertification application to show the type of activity that they have practiced and their professional involvement in the mapping sciences. They must also have four references who have knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal involvement in the last five years. Each applicant must earn one-hundred (100) PDH based on the following criteria that will be reviewed by the evaluation for Certification Committee.

RECERTIFICATION GUIDELINES

Recertification is based upon a “Continued Professional Development Qualification” rating system of Professional Development Hours (PDH) of credit. Recertification applicants are required to fill out the Recertification Application to show the type and duration of activity that they have practiced and their professional involvement in the mapping sciences. They must also have Four References who have knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal involvement in the LAST FIVE (5) YEARS . Each applicant must have completed and documented 100 Professional Development Hours (PDH) or PDH Credits based on the following criteria which will be evaluated by the Evaluation for Certification Committee.

Click to download Recertification CEU Tracking Spreadsheet

Evaluation Activity for Recertification Criteria Maximum Number of PDH Allowed Within Last 5 Years Documentation Requirement
Minimum Continuing Experience: Applicant has been active in providing services within their certified discipline, or has been in the academic arena involved directly with those subjects. 3 years of the past 5 years actively providing services 25 PDH Credits Document Position(s) Description(s) and dates
Applicant has contributed and participated in activities of service to the profession and community (see list below) See items 1 – 10 listed below for PDH Credits 20 PDH Credits Document Titles with   Referencing
Published Papers   and/or professional manuals (see list below) See items 11-13 listed below for PDH credits 20 PDH Credits Document time spent, titles with full referencing
Applicant has attended workshops/classes or instructed in directly related subjects 1 PDH per hour attended (0.1 CEU = 1 PDH) 50 PDH ( or 5 CEU) Document Course, Titles, and Date
Applicant has attended technical conferences and other professional meetings sponsored by ASPRS, ISPRS, SPIE, and other appropriate professional organizations. 1 PDH per hour of technical session attendance 40 PDH Document Meeting Titles and Dates
Applicant has actively served on ASPRS Committees. Officer, Division Chair, Region Officer, Chapter Officer, or related support. 5 PDH Credits per Year

See list below for PDH Credits

25 PDH Credits Document Activity and Dates

The following are the maximum allowable ASPRS PDH Credits
for those activities that may be used for recertification
(PDH credits during the past 5 years)

(1) Holding office [e.g., committee chair, vice chair, secretary, board trustee]
5
(2)  Committee Member 3
(3)  Meeting/Conference Chair or Vice Chair  10
(4)  Session Moderator at Technical Conference  5
(5)  Author or co-author of a conference technical paper, poster session paper or panel session  3
(6)  Adjunct teaching a formal class in an academic setting [when not applicant’s primary occupation] (maximum of 5 PDH credits per year) 10
(7) Workshop Instructor (2 PDH credits per course for a maximum of 4 credits per year)  12
(8)  Examination Committee Contributor (2 PDH credits per instance for a maximum of 5 per year)  10
(9)  ASPRS Certification exam proctor/panel (2 PDH credits per instance for a maximum of 4 per year 8
(10)  Community/Career extra curricular, i.e., Pro Bono involvement (geomatics-related), e.g., Public Agency (geospatial) Advisory Board, Citizens Advisory Group, (5 PDH credits per activity)  10
(11)  Author/editor of published geospatial-related book  15
(12)  Author (not prime) of one or more chapters of a published geospatial-related book  5
(13)  Author/Co-author of a peer-reviewed, published paper (5 PDH credits per paper)  20

The application must be specific with clear documentation (activity and date(s)) so the Evaluation for Certification Committee can properly evaluate applicant's activities. The application and the references are the only criteria needed for recertification. (Applicant may be asked by the Committee to submit additional information or phone interview).

INACTIVE/RETIRED CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS

Certified Professionals who do not become recertified are automatically placed in either an Inactive or Retired status. Individuals in either category are not permitted to use their seal to sign plans or otherwise indicate in any way that they are active Certified Professionals. An online searchable list of all active Certified Professionals in each category is maintained.

Individuals whose Certified status is Inactive or Retired for a period longer than one (1) year following Active status may apply for recertification provided that, in addition to the standard recertification criteria (outlined above), they take and pass the examination in their respective certification area.

TECHNOLOGIST CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Certified Photogrammetric Technologist (ASPRS)
A technician who performs or supervises technical photogrammetric tasks to extract spatial data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

Certified Remote Sensing Technologist (ASPRS)
A technician who performs or supervises tasks to interpret, manipulate, extract, process and convert remotely sensed data from photographic or digital imagery and other remotely-sensed data.

Certified GIS/LIS Technologist (ASPRS)
A technician who integrates a variety of spatial data sets into a GIS format designed for graphic output or analysis.

Requirements:
These requirements apply for all Technologist categories:

  1. A total of three years experience, of which two are in the specialty category.
  2. Four references must be submitted from persons knowledgeable of the applicant's work experience and personal conduct.
  3. Applicant must submit a non-refundable application fee. The Application includes a declaration of compliance with the Code of Ethics of the ASPRS.
  4. The successful completion of a written examination following peer review and approval.

EDUCATIONAL CREDITS, Technologists

An Associate, or higher education degree can be counted as one-half year towards total time.

TECHNOLOGIST RECERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

To maintain active certification, all Certified Technologists must apply for recertification every three (3) years.

TECHNOLOGIST RECERTIFICATION CRITERIA

Technologist Recertification is based upon the same PDH requirements as described in the Professional Recertification Guidelines, although the requirements are for the applicant’s professional and personal involvement in the LAST THREE (3) YEARS, and each applicant must have completed and documented sixty (60) Professional Development Hours (PDH) or PDH Credits.“

Recertification applicants are required to fill out the Recertification Application to show the type and duration of activity that they have practiced and their professional involvement in the mapping sciences. They must also have Four References who have knowledge of the applicant’s professional and personal involvement in the LAST THREE (3) YEARS.

The application must be specific with clear documentation (activity and date(s)) so the Evaluation for Certification Committee can properly evaluate applicant's activities. The application and the references are the only criteria needed for recertification. (Applicant may be asked by the Committee to submit additional information or phone interview).

GEOSPATIAL INTERN PROGRAM

An applicant seeking Geospatial Intern recognition must be an active student preparing to graduate with educational training in the spatial sciences from an approved institution of higher education, and must follow the Basic Requirements as previously outlined for Certified Photogrammetrist, Mapping Scientist, or Technologist; the exception being the required on-job experience. Applicants must submit the appropriate Application and Fee with one (1) reference from their academic advisor or relevant faculty member. An Official Copy of the applicant’s current transcript must accompany the application; the transcript must validate that the applicant has successfully completed a minimum of two (2) courses in the spatial sciences (photogrammetry, remote sensing, or GIS/LIS). The application requires a declaration of compliance with the ASPRS Code of Ethics.

Applications, fees, and the reference will be submitted to ASPRS Headquarters for consideration by the appropriate peer review committee. Applicants will be notified following peer review, and individuals passing peer review will be given the opportunity to take the appropriate examination within six (6) months following their notification date. Examinations will be administered in a proctor-controlled environment.

Upon successful examination completion, the individual will receive Intern-level recognition as one of the following:

  • Photogrammetrist Intern
  • Remote Sensing Mapping Scientist Intern
  • GIS/LIS Mapping Scientist Intern
  • Photogrammetric Technologist Intern
  • Remote Sensing Technologist Intern
  • GIS/LIS Technologist Intern

In the case of Photogrammetrist or Mapping Scientist, the individual will have ten (10) years from the date of examination to complete the six (6) year experience requirement. In the case of Technologist, the individual will have five (5) years to complete the three (3) year experience requirement. Exceptions to the length of time for completion of the experience requirement will only be granted for active duty military service.

When the Work Experience requirement is complete, the Applicant must provide written documentation and three (3) references to ASPRS Headquarters, who will forward the experience summary and references to the Evaluation for Certification Committee. Applicants meeting all of these requirements will become certified for the specified time period of their certification.

HOW TO APPLY

Persons interested in applying for certification or recertification, should follow this general procedure; (for Intern recognition, see instructions above).

Step 1:

Read carefully the section entitled "Classification Chart for Photogrammetry and Mapping Sciences."

Step 2:

Determine separately the number of years of actual job experience attained in functions that are classified as being at the professional level, and in functions at the   technician level.

Step 3:

Read the preceding sections ("Basic Requirements" and "Educational Credit"); ascertain that actual work experience, with or without educational credit, meets conditions listed under "Basic Requirements."

Step 4:

If applying for initial certification, download an application for Photogrammetrist/Mapping Scientist OR Certified Technologist and reference forms or contact ASPRS Headquarters: send an email to certification@asprs.org or call (301) 493-0290, ext 101 or fax your request to (301) 493-0208.

Step 5:

If applying for recertification, read carefully the Section on "Recertification Guidelines" and be sure to complete the Application for Recertification and the reference forms. NOTE: When describing experience, applicants are advised to be complete. The Evaluation Committee evaluates the application data and does not assume data not presented)

Step 6:

Provide names and addresses of at least four persons to whom you have sent a copy of the Confidential Reference Form. Fill out the Confidential Reference Forms with the person’s name and complete address on the top left side and forward to the respective references. Request said references to supply, from their own personal knowledge, facts with reference to your character and information concerning your professional qualifications, and to mail the completed reference form, with their name, address, and any accompanying letters to the Society. (Please note: Geospatial Intern applications are subject to modified requirements – see instructions above.) (NOTE: References are often the source of delays in the evaluation process. The process cannot start until the references have all been received.)

Step 7:

Return your completed application form (Intern OR Certified) to the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, together with the application fee   indicated below. Make checks payable to the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing and mail to:

ASPRS Certification Program
5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 210
Bethesda, MD 20814-2160


ASPRS Certification Application Fees

Type of Application

ASPRS Members

Non-Members

Initial Certification

$275 (US)

$400 (US)

Geospatial Intern

  1. Initial Application
  2. Final Application

 

$150 (US)
$150 (US)

 

$200 (US)
$300 (US)

Recertification

$150 (US)

$275 (US)

Initial Certification, Technologist

$150 (US)

$275 (US)

Recertification, Technologist

$100 (US)

$150 (US)

(NOTE: The fees charged defray administrative costs of the Certification Program. Fees are not refundable in the event of non-certification.)

Step 8:

Be prepared to furnish additional background information if requested by the Evaluation Committee.

Step 9:

Upon notification of approval by the Evaluation Committee, you must take a written examination within six months of approval.

PREPARING for the EXAMINATION

Matrices illustrating the mix of examination questions, by specialty area, have been prepared for applicant review. Please note that workshops on preparation for certification are offered via webinar and during most ASPRS Conferences

The purpose of the workshop is to prepare individuals who are planning to sit for the ASPRS Certification exams. The workshop begins by explaining the purpose and form of the exam. Key topical areas are identified which an applicant should be aware of prior to taking the exam. Basic concepts and sample questions are reviewed to show how these topics will be tested on the exam. Finally, the workshop identifies resources which examinees should be aware of to utilize in their preparation for the examination.

Workshop Topics:

  • Purpose of the exam
  • Photogrammetry
  • Remote Sensing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Other topical areas of importance in preparation for the exam

Suggested Texts for Review:

  • The Manual of Photogrammetry, 5th edition, Chris McGlone, editor 2005.
  • Remote Sensing and Image Interpretation, 4th edition, Lillesand and Kiefer, 2000.
  • Elements of Photogrammetry: With Applications in GIS, Wolf and Dewitt, 1999.
  • The Manual of GIS, Marguerite Madden, editor, 2009.
  • Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and Airphoto Interpretation, 5th edition, Avery & Berlin, 1992.

Many texts on surveying can be excellent review material.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

The structure for administering the ASPRS Certification Program consists of two major elements:

  1. The Evaluation for Certification Committee, which reviews, then approves, or rejects all applications for Certification, Recertification,  or Geospatial Intern
  2. The Professional Conduct Committee, which investigates allegations and complaints involving practicing photogrammetrists, mapping scientists, and technologists and recommends appropriate action to the Board of Directors.

The Society’s Professional Practice Division monitors and develops policy guidelines for the program. The Board of Directors is the final authority on matters involving certification and professional conduct.

Applications for Certification and Recertification will, upon receipt at ASPRS Headquarters, be reviewed for completeness. When the required references have submitted Confidential Reference Forms, they are combined with the application. Applications found to be in order are sent to the Chair of the Evaluation Committee, whose membership includes representation from each major functional area of photogrammetry and the mapping sciences. The Committee will meet as required to take action on all bona fide applications.

Applicants for certification, recertification, and geospatial intern will be notified of action by the Committee as soon as possible.

AWARD OF CERTIFICATION, RECERTIFICATION, AND GEOSPATIAL INTERN

Successful applicants for certification will be awarded an engrossed certificate. Those certified by the Society may display the certificate and use one (or more as appropriate) of the following designations on business stationary and cards:

  • Certified Photogrammetrist (ASPRS)
  • Certified Mapping Scientist, Remote Sensing (ASPRS)
  • Certified Mapping Scientist, GIS/LIS (ASPRS)
  • Certified Photogrammetric Technologist (ASPRS)
  • Certified Remote Sensing Technologist (ASPRS)
  • Certified GIS/LIS Technologist (ASPRS)

Certificates for Geospatial Interns will have “Intern” added to the title:

  • Photogrammetrist Intern
  • Remote Sensing Mapping Scientist Intern
  • GIS/LIS Mapping Scientist Intern
  • Photogrammetric Technologist Intern
  • Remote Sensing Technologist Intern
  • GIS/LIS Technologist Intern

Successful applicants for recertification will continue to be listed on the Active Certified Rolland will be awarded a certificate to show that the applicant has maintained skills in the technology.

SEALS AND STAMPS

An embossing seal and rubber stamp which contains the name and certification number may be ordered from ASPRS by mail or FAX. There is a nominal fee for each.

Certification and recertification are for individuals only. The designation of "Certified" may not be used in such a manner as to indicate that a business firm or agency is certified as an entity.

The use of a seal or stamp is not authorized for those individuals holding the status of “Intern” or by those whose status has become “Inactive” or “Retired.”

Note: ASPRS certification seals and stamps can only be authorized by ASPRS and manufactured by ASPRS-approved vendors. Unauthorized seal or stamp production is a violation of copyright law and the ASPRS Code of Ethics.

RESERVATIONS

The Society reserves the right to change or amend the requirements for certification and recertification, the educational credits, or the administrative fee structure for review and evaluation if and when deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors.

The Society further reserves the right to revoke a certification or recertification if, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, the person concerned has violated or shown flagrant disregard for the Code of Ethics of the Society.

Since the program is entirely voluntary, the Society assumes no responsibility for any loss or disadvantage, real or imagined, which may be alleged to have resulted from a disapproval of an application for certification, recertification, or revocation of the certificate once given.

By submitting their application, the applicant acknowledges that the Society will apply the internal standards adopted by its Board of Directors in evaluating the applicant, and that it may reject any applicant who does not meet its minimum standards for certification or recertification. In consideration of ASPRS acceptance and processing of an application, the applicant agrees to waive any and all claims of liability or responsibility against ASPRS and to indemnify and hold harmless ASPRS, its directors, officers, committee members, employees, agents and representatives against any and all such injury, damages, or claims made by or on behalf of any person, partnership, association, or corporation. Applicant further acknowledges that ASPRS, its directors, officers, committee members, employees, agents or representatives are not liable to the applicant, or to any other person, partnership, association, or corporation, in any way for any injury, damages, or claims alleged to be based upon or arising out of the approval or disapproval or the issuance, withdrawal, or termination of any certification or recertification issued by ASPRS.

Revision Date: January 14, 2013

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Home Education Certification Program Certification and Recertification Guidelines