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FPMA GAC, et al,

This communication was sent to FPMA Allied members to address the concern of Uploading Attendance Spreadsheets and CEU providers. If you are a CEU provider this information is relevant to you as well.

Dear Valued Allied Member, CEU Providers, and other interested parties,

The FPMA has been in active discussions with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services since the attached newsletter from our DACS CEU Coordinator, Shawanna Henderson, was sent out early this year. I want to make sure that concerns are addressed with each and every one of you and that a clear vision of what you need to do as a Provider today and in the future.

As a Provider:

You must be an Approved Provider (you already are and nothing changes)
You must submit your program 3 weeks in advance of a class for approval (you already do that and know how to do it online)
You must create a class for your program and post it online (you do that already)
You must give the original Record of Attendance to the attendee at the end of the class (you already do that…make sure they don’t take a blank form, ever. Make them sign it in front of you or fill it out all the way.)
The attendee:

Must keep the Record of Attendance and submit it for renewal
Must make sure the information is complete and legible
Must never duplicate, recreate or otherwise make the original invalid (meaning copying it for others, white-out, etc.—doing so is a great way to get a trip to the bad place)

The longer-term goal of DACS is to give each certificate holder an immediately available view of how many CEU’s they have earned in real-time. The second part of the same goal is to have a better verification of sorts that the Record of Attendance was authentic. DACS has to wade through thousands upon thousands of Record of Attendance forms and there are plenty that are obviously faked. The process goal of DACS was and is to go as far as possible with online service(s). What happened with the Winter Bulletin was the first “reminder” of how to upload things to DACS online records. This spreadsheet and this “service” is not new and in fact, has been a button we could push or use for several years…if you wanted to. Other CEU areas have been using it to some extent and many without any issue. DACS thought the pest control world would also jump into the fray easily, so they sent this Bulletin. Read it carefully and you will see “FDACS is improving its process of CEU record submission. We are requesting…..” They are requesting participation and would like those of us who are willing to Upload Spreadsheet Attendees. It is an option that they are requesting this be done to help populate the database electronically and move towards real improvements on how this will look when we get deeper into this process.

FPMA has provided very significant feedback on how this affects Chapter 482 regulated folks. We understand that all of the other CEU programs for pesticide use may be different (Chapter 388 Mosquito Control, Chapter 487 and all of its categories) but Chapter 482 is a one-year CEU requirement and has significantly less appearances in the “trouble” area than the others. FPMA is also likely to be the largest CEU provider (or at least associated to most of them) by the numbers in the state, covering around 9 classes average across 16 regions with an Expo and Summer Conference component along with presence at UF SEPM, UF Fume School, FAMU and others. There is certainly a major chunk of education happening via this association’s members and we are important stakeholders in future discussions about how CEU’s will be processed now and longer-term. We are going to continue meeting with the Department to understand what we can do to help shape the outcome and to share what you think we can do.

The issue probably was blown out of proportion by communication lines and misunderstanding, but we are now clear on what the Department is requesting and what is required. You already know what to do and what is required. The request is there from DACS to do the Upload Attendance Spreadsheet as an option. Other folks are doing it no problem and the idea is supposed to make it simple by entering as little as a certificate number.

Progression on most of this is dependent on an already stretched IT department at DACS, plus with other issues taking priority ahead of this topic, so we may not see a fast line of action. Some of the ideas so far have included barcodes on your digital id card (think of e-ticket on airplane… you have your digital id card on your screen and we scan it with our Provider app and it is done instantly), other ideas have included the attendee doing this part (I like this better for sure) via a scan of a code at the meeting and of course more paper-related options. FPMA has made it clear that we don’t want to have our Providers in the line of fire for an error or omission (entering a wrong number could really screw someone’s world up, or not entering someone at all could also be an issue) and that liability is not something we can support. Suffice it to say, we are all working together on finding a way to make the certificate holder’s life easier and also protect the sanctity of the CEU. We will keep you advised.

Of course, DACS is an open communication doorway for all of us and they have encouraged anyone to contact them with questions or concerns. FPMA has your interests at heart and will also collect your communications on your behalf to convey when we meet with DACS.

If you have a question, comment or concern please let us know!

Sean Brantley and President Suzanne Graham

FPMA Government Affairs Committee Chairs

Stories to Watch

Add FL to the watch list of states to deregulate licensing laws. It could be disastrous if expanded to CH. 482.

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
​~Albert Camus