FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The Virginia Pest Management Association (VPMA) held its second Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) Prep Course and exam, May 16-17 in Richmond, Va.
Seven PMPs earned their ACE designation at the conclusion of this event, including: James Bruckelmeyer, BugStoppers; Nick Castaldo, PermaTreat Pest Control; Kristi Crutchfield, Superior Exterminating Co., Inc.; Mark Davis, RAMAC - Assured Environments; Jason Ferrell, Ferrell's Termite & Pest Control; Nicole French, ProTech Pest Control of Virginia; and Mark Male, PermaTreat Pest Control.
“The ACE designation is an honor earned by technicians that recognizes their years of experience and accumulated knowledge. It sets them apart as an elite group of pest management problem solvers,” said VPMA President, Jeff Johnson, ACE. Johnson earned his ACE in July 2010 and made it his priority as he began his term as VPMA President to double the number of ACEs in Virginia. During his two year term VPMA has helped 16 PMPs earn their ACE designations through the VPMA Prep Course and proctored exams, far surpassing his goal.
The ACE program is designed to benefit the practicing pest control professional. You do not need an advanced degree to participate, just a solid grasp of the practical aspects of applied entomology. To be eligible to apply for the ACE program, you must hold a current pesticide applicators’ license issued in the U.S., have a minimum of seven years of verifiable pest management experience, and must take and pass a test of his/her knowledge of structural pest control.
Created in 2004, the ACE program is currently undergoing a review to ensure that the content of the ACE exam is up-to-date so that it matches the actual knowledge required for certified pest management professionals to perform effectively. A panel of ten insect pest-control experts convened in Annapolis, Md., in May to review and improve the ACE program.
Two representatives from the Entomological Society of America, Chris Stelzig, Director of Certification and Richard Levine, Communications Program Manager, attended the VPMA Prep Course to discover how they can effectively promote and support ACE prep courses around the nation. While self-study is vital to becoming an ACE, prep courses provide clarification and reinforcement of the information that may be present on the exam.
ESA would like to see other state associations, universities and industry organizations follow VPMA’s lead and create ACE Prep courses of their own. Of the VPMA Prep Course, Chris Stelzig said, “The VPMA should be justifiably proud of the excellent ACE Preparatory Course they hosted in Richmond last month. The speakers did a great job of ensuring that the PMPs in attendance were well-prepared for the ACE exam the following day.”
If you want to become an ACE, VPMA plans on holding an ACE Prep Course and will proctor an exam each spring. The VPMA Prep Course, taught by Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Tech and Jim Fredericks of NPMA, will review each of the elements that may be covered on the exam. This course will reinforce your knowledge and give you the opportunity to clarify information you need help with. VPMA recommends individuals begin self-study approximately 6 months before taking the ACE exam. The VPMA Prep course can be a good way to kick-off your preparation, but is usually taken as a final refresher just prior to taking the exam. Individuals must make application to ESA 30 days prior to taking the exam.
For more information about the ACE Certification Program go to: http://www.entocert.org/ace-certification. Information about VPMA Prep Courses can be found at VPMAonline.com.