(1) To be approved as a training
provider, the provider must first apply to the department for approval and
demonstrate in writing, using the department's form, that:
(a) training is one of the provider's principal programs;
(b) the provider offers training appropriate for water and wastewater
treatment operators; and
(c) that the provider does not have a vested interest in selling or
marketing any product or service related to water or wastewater treatment other
(2) Based on the written submittal, the department may, in writing, approve
the provider for educational offerings under this rule for up to two
years. The department may revoke its
approval of the training provider, in writing, for good cause, after notice and
an opportunity for an informal conference with the department.
(3) An approved training provider shall provide the following documentation, maintain the following records, and make such information available to the department upon request:
(a) Attendance registration forms must be maintained. The provider shall keep registration forms on file for at least two years. The registration forms must state:
(i) the provider's name;
(ii) the title of the course;
(iii) the date and location of the course;
(iv) the name of the person monitoring attendance at each course;
(v) each attendee's name and operator number;
(vi) the water or wastewater treatment system where each attendee is employed;
(vii) the number of continuing education credits (credits) earned by each attendee; and
(viii) whether the course is facility-based training.
(b) A notice of a course sponsored by an approved training provider must be sent to the department two weeks before the course begins, along with the training announcement required under (3)(c). The provider shall keep a copy of this notice on file for at least two years. The notice must be on the department's form or an equivalent form requiring the same information. The notice must include:
(i) the name of the training provider;
(ii) the title of the course;
(iii) the number of contact hours;
(iv) the class(es) of certificate(s) for which the course is approved;
(v) any prerequisites;
(vi) the name(s) of the instructor(s) and their qualifications for teaching the course as provided in (4);
(vii) location and date of the course;
(viii) fee or membership required; and
(ix) the provider's contact person for the course.
(c) The provider shall prepare a training announcement for each course announcing the availability of the course. The provider shall send a copy of the training announcement to the department along with the notice required in (3)(b) and shall keep the training announcement on file for at least two years. The training announcement must state:
(i) the classes of certification for which the course is approved;
(ii) the number of credits available;
(iii) a specific agenda;
(iv) identity and qualifications of the instructor(s); and
(v) date(s), location(s), and fee.
(vi) In addition, the training announcement must clearly inform attendees that they will receive credit only if the attendee holds the class of certificate for which the course is approved.
(d) The training provider shall provide each attendee with a form on which attendees can evaluate the course. The course evaluation form must, at a minimum, provide attendees with the opportunity to state how the course might be improved, whether the course imparts knowledge that is useful to attendees and attendee's evaluation of instructor(s). The training provider shall keep course evaluations on file for at least two years.
(e) The training provider shall distribute to each attendee a continuing education credit report form provided by the department to be filled out by the attendee.
(i) Attendees shall fill out the form by providing:
(A) their name;
(B) certification class and type;
(C) system operated;
(D) address; and
(E) instructions for applying credits earned.
(ii) Attendees shall return the credit report form to the training provider. The provider shall complete the form adding information concerning:
(A) course title, location and date;
(B) subject of training including whether credits are available for more than one class of certificate;
(C) number of credits earned by each attendee; and
(D) whether the course is facility-based training.
(iii) The provider shall verify the information by signing the form and shall send the completed and signed form to the department within two weeks after the end of the course.
(iv) The department shall count continuing education credits taken by a certified operator in the month of June of each even-numbered year toward satisfying the operator's continuing education requirements for the next continuing education two-year period only.
(v) For continuing education credits taken during a continuing education two-year period to count toward satisfying a certified operator's continuing education requirements, those credits must be reported on credit report forms received by the department by June 15 of each even-numbered year. If credits sufficient to satisfy the continuing education requirements are not so reported, the certificate of the operator may be suspended or revoked as set forth in ARM 17.40.213.
(vi) The department shall keep the credit report forms on file for at least two years.
(f) The provider shall keep copies on file of any written instructional materials or exams used in the course for at least two years.
(4) In order for a course to qualify for credits, all instructors must:
(a) have at least four years' practical experience in the subject matter to be presented;
(b) have experience as a professional trainer in the subject matter to be presented;
(c) be selected or recommended as an instructor by a nationally known water or wastewater organization;
(d) be professional or technical staff of the department or another Montana state or federal agency with expertise in the subject matter to be presented; or
(e) be approved by the department based on instructor's education and experience in the subject matter to be presented.
(5) The training provider shall determine, subject to department approval, the number of credits available and to what class(es) of certificate(s) credits apply in accordance with ARM 17.40.213. The provider shall include this information in the training announcement as required in (3)(c) of this rule.