Continuing Education

CEM Continuing Education Requirement

The Certified Environmental Manager (CEM) continuing education requirement was enacted to enhance the technical skills and regulatory knowledge of CEMs through education and training relevant to the investigation, assessment, and remediation of environmental releases.

During the two-year certification period, continuing education must be earned to maintain certification into the future. The NDEP, Bureau of Corrective Actions Certification Program (Certification Program) measures continuing education in contact hours or professional development hours (PDHs).  One "contact hour" is one clock hour of learning time. Training and educational credits measured in Continuing Education Units, or CEUs, earned through an accredited program or institution will be appropriately accounted and credited to the new certification requirement, in equivalent contact hours.

To recertify, a CEM must demonstrate completion of a minimum of 24 PDHs during the recertification period.  The first full recertification period under this new continuing education requirement will be March 2023 through March 2025.  Use the CEM Renewal Form to record completed PDHs you obtained along with additional renewal information requested and email it to the Certification Program at cert_info [@] prior to your CEM renewal date. The Certification Program will notify CEMs of their standing upon review of the completed recertification forms we receive.

The Certification Program will be pro-rating the newly adopted continuing education requirement for renewal of certification as a CEM. CEMs expiring between January 1 and September 30, 2023, will not be required to demonstrate completion of PDHs to be eligible for renewal. Those renewals that come due after September 2023 will be required to complete PDHs as summarized in the table below. This schedule has been adopted by the Certification Program in recognition of the historical March/September annual testing cycles.


Current CEM Expiration

Required PDHs for Renewal

Jan. 2023 through Sept. 2023


Oct. 2023 through March 2024


April 2024 through Feb. 2025


March 2025




Modifications to the continuing education requirement may be made at the discretion of the Certification Program for CEM’s active duty in the armed forces of the United States and CEM’s experiencing physical disability, illness or other extenuating circumstances that affects their ability to complete the required PDHs.  Proof of these circumstances will be required for review before exceptions are made.

CEMs can earn PDHs through the following activities:


 Associated # of PDHs

Completing in-person or online industry training courses, seminars, workshops, conferences, conventions, and webinars1,2

1 PDH for each hour of attendance

Actively participating in technical or professional societies

4 PDHs per organization per year

Teaching a course for the first time or teaching a course previously taught if substantial time was spent updating material

2 PDHs for each hour of instruction

Completing accredited college courses with a passing grade of a C or better

3 PDHs for each credit hour earned

Publishing professional papers

8 PDHs for each published paper 


  1. 8-hour Hazwoper refresher training is eligible for PDH credit annually.
  2. For on-line instruction/training/presentations through YouTube or other recording platforms, you will be required to provide documentation that provides detail of the course content and description.



Ineligible Continuing Education

  • Books or book reviews.
  • Work hours.
  • Independent pre-course study and review.
  • Contact hours earned in the previous renewal cycle. To ensure continuing education is ongoing, we do not carry over PDHs from one renewal cycle to the next.
  • Previously attended training courses*, seminars, workshops, conferences, conventions, etc. with wholly similar content will not be approved for continuing education credit for multiple renewals. *8-hour Hazwoper refresher training can be used every renewal period

Non-Compliance with Continuing Education

Failure to comply with the continuing education requirements by the date of renewal could jeopardize active CEM status and result in consequences including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Requiring additional continuing education by a certain date within the grace period (the CEM would be considered active for a defined period after their due date passes assuming completion of continuing education requirements within a specified timeframe).
  • Temporary inactive CEM status (the CEM would not be considered active until the continuing education requirements are met).
  • Expired CEM status based on attempts to renew after the grace period (the CEM would need to reapply and retake the exam).

PDH Recordkeeping

CEMs are responsible for maintaining records to support the completion of their PDHs. These records may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Course description/activity.
  • Sponsoring organization.
  • Location.
  • Duration.
  • Instructor’s name.
  • PDHs earned.

Examples of adequate records include:

  • Attendance verification record in the form of completion certificates or email correspondence associated with an online course evaluation form.
  • Course summaries.
  • Conference agendas and details of the sessions with proof of attendance.
  • For pre-recorded on-line instruction/training/presentations through YouTube or other recording platforms, you will be required to provide documentation that provides detail of the course content and description.

CEMs should retain these records after providing them in the recertification paperwork and make them available to the Certification Program upon request.


Example Training Resources

The following is a partial list of continuing education sources that provide classroom, web-based modules and pre-recorded presentations on topics related to environmental investigation, assessment, and remediation. Professional development resources will be added to this list as they become available, and the Certification Program becomes aware of them.

Contact the Certification Program with any questions regarding qualified training activities, as the Certification Program has final authority with respect to approval of courses and associated PDHs.


Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program


Many topics related to characterization, remediation, project management, etc.

EPA Cleanup Information
Many topics related to characterization, remediation, project management, etc.

Lessons Learned from Using HRSC at LUST sites

Evaluating Remediation Workplans (presented by Tom)

LUST Corrective Action Training

Emerging Cleanup Tech

Conducting Slug Tests and Improving Results

Dragun Corporation
Robust Conceptual Site Models

Developing a Site Characterization Plan

National Water Quality Monitoring Council
Passive sampling devices for environmental monitoring: Tips for a successful study

National Ground Water Association
Hydrogeology 101 (warning: profanity)

H2A Environmental, Ltd.
LNAPL Baildown testing

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