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Professional Certification Titles

Levels of WQA Certification: 

Core Level

Certified Water Specialist (CWS) is recommended for individuals involved in sales, installation, and/or manufacturing of water treatment products, or who manage a water treatment business. The Advanced level CWS certification, CWS-II through CWS-VI, is achieved through additional testing. NOTE: CWS-II through VI will be discontinued as of May 1, 2015. Title holders will be grandfathered into the new program and titles as described in the Certification Policy Changes, below.

Certified Installer (CI) certification is recommended for individuals responsible for planning, installing, and/or servicing water quality improvement products.

Certified Sales Representative (CSR) is recommended for individuals responsible for sale of water quality improvement products. NOTE: As of May 1, 2015, this certification will be re-titled as Certified Water-treatment Representative (CWR).

Certified Service Technician (CST) is recommended for individuals responsible for servicing and repairing water quality improvement products. NOTE: The coursework for this title will be available in April 2015. Exams will be available in June 2015.

Advanced Level

Master Water Specialist (MWS) will be available for CWS title holders as of May 2015. Candidates must demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise in the field by completing the Advanced coursework in WQA's Modular Education Program, passing two advanced level exams, and attaining a minimum of 1 year active field work experience.

Master Service Technician (MST) will be available for CST title holders beginning the summer of 2015. Candidates must demonstrate an appropriate level of expertise in the field by completing the Advanced coursework in WQA's Modular Education Program, passing two advanced level exams, and attaining a minimum of 2 years active field work experience.

WQA's program tests and certifies only individuals, not dealerships or companies. WQA membership is not required for certification.

Certification Policy Changes as of April, 2015:

  • Beginning in April 2015, WQA will offer advanced-level certifications—Master Water Specialist and Master Service Technicians—and four core titles, Certified Water Treatment Representative, Certified Water Specialist, Certified Installer and Certified Service Technician.

  • Eligibility for certification will require completion of the Foundational and appropriate Core curricula in WQA's Modular Education Program (MEP).

  • All Certified Installers will retain their titles and may work through the MEP program to Certified Service Technician and from there to Master Service Technician. In addition, they may pursue through the MEP any other core certification title.

  • All current Certified Water Specialists, level I, will retain their title and  may work through the MEP program to Master Water Specialist. In addiition, they may pursue through the MEP any other core certification title.

  • Certified professionals holding the titles of CWS-V and CWS-VI will be redesignated as Master Water Specialists

  • CWS-II, CWS-III and CWS-IV will be redesignated simply as Certified Water Specialists. All Certified Water Specialists will be able to work through the advanced curriculum of the new MEP program to achieve the Master Water Specialist title

  • Current Sales Representatives (CSR) will be retitled as Certified Water-Treatment Representatives (CWR). They will be able to pursue any other core certification title through the MEP.