Wednesday, February 17, 2016

EPA Approves Online Refresher Course for the Lead Renovator (RRP) Certification

On February 17, 2016 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final ruling which revised its 2010 Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) Rule, including approval for online refresher training for Certified Renovator renewals.

Per the final ruling:
On January 15, 2015, EPA proposed to eliminate the hands-on requirement in the renovator refresher course. Over 140 comments on its proposal were received. Comments both supported and opposed the proposed change. After carefully weighing the issues at stake and considering the concerns raised by commenters, the Agency is promulgating a modified version of the proposal. 
Specifically, EPA will allow renovators to take a refresher course without hands-on training once every other certification. Once a renovator takes the refresher course without the hands-on training, their next refresher training must include hands-on training. The certification from the refresher course without hands-on training will last for 3 years. 
Taking the course without hands-on training is optional but once a renovator takes the course, their next refresher course must include hands-on training and be taken within 3 years of their previous certification. The certification from taking a course with hands-on training will last for 5 years.
This update modifies the previous version of the rule which required hands-on training to be conducted for refresher training, however it was not approved without stipulations. In summary:

  • Certified Renovators can now take an online refresher course every other renewal period
  • Online refresher courses will only be valid for 3 years, versus 5 years with in-person training
Zack Academy is currently offering both training options for RRP renewal:
While many contractors are relieved to have this convenient online option available, many are still sticking with the in-person renewal course for this first renewal period. This may be due to their hesitation with using an online learning format, or concerns of the availability and convenience of in-person classes in three years from now, when there may not be as many training providers left in the business. Cost is also a factor, as some in-person classes are actually cheaper than the online option, and yet valid for two additional years.

In another argument for the value of the hands-on version of the course, we have also received feedback from several students who forgot many of the requirements and techniques they learned in their initial Lead Renovator course five years ago, who found the in-person hands-on RRP refresher training invaluable. With the EPA stepping up their enforcement of the rule, forgetting important paperwork or worksite requirements can be very costly.

Excluded States

EPA-Authorized states that operate their own lead painting programs do not currently accept the online refresher option. This includes: AL, DE, GA, IA, KS, MA, MS, NC, OK, OR, RI, UT, WA and WI.

Learn more about the online refresher option at Zack!