Certified Irrigation Professionals/Designers


Certified Irrigation Professionals

Certified Irrigation Professionals are people who are certified in IAL’s Certification Program in one or more of the seven areas of certification. The IAL is working towards a future for irrigation in Australia where all irrigation systems are:

  • developed by Certified Irrigation Designers
  • installed by Certified Irrigation Contractors or Installers
  • run by Certified Irrigation Operators or Managers, with
  • product advice from Certified Irrigation Retailers and Agronomists.

Certification is an industry-owned and managed recognition scheme. Recognition of skills and experience of personnel is essential if we as an industry are to be part of the solution of sustainable water use, rather than part of the problem of water shortage.

By becoming a certified irrigation professional, you’ll be helping to lift the skills, knowledge and standards of the whole industry – which in turn will help the irrigation industry control its own future and become more sustainable. There are personal benefits too – as a certified irrigation professional you’ll gain recognition for your skills and better prospects for your future career.

Certification is also bound by a Code of Conduct for Certified Irrigation Professionals  to ensure the ongoing integrity, knowledge and compliance with industry standards.   Should you have any complaints regarding work carried out by a certified professional, please review the Complaints Procedure for best approach to resolve your dispute.

To find out more about the IAL Certification programme please download this brochure.

To view online training visit the Upcoming Courses & Workshops page.

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What is Certification?

Certification is a voluntary, national program of industry recognition covering 8 occupations of designing, contracting, installing, operating, managing, retailing, providing advice and auditing.

Certification identifies the minimum skills and knowledge for people working in these occupations so as to perform their job to the satisfaction of water managers and customers.

Certification works regardless of irrigation system type, crop grown or region, for both rural and urban areas. The skills can even be negotiated to better suit particular industries.

Certification is the best opportunity to take the industry forward to a more sustainable future.

Certification is often confused with qualifications, accreditation and licensing. The two following tables will help you to differentiate between the each of these different but related concepts.

Type of credential Recipient Credentialing body Required or Voluntary Example Lifespan Consumer protection
Licensing Individuals Political body Required Driver’s licence Periodic renewal Can be withdrawn for misconduct
Accreditation Programs / organisations Association / agency Voluntary Quality assurance programs Periodic renewal Regular auditsCan be withdrawn for misconduct
Certification Individuals Association / Agency Voluntary IAL CIDCPA Periodic renewal Regular skills updatesCan be withdrawn for misconduct
Qualification Individual Training group Voluntary Degree/diploma No renewal None

Table 1 IAL standard definitions for professional development

Qualifications Certification
Qualifications are developed and awarded by training institutions Certification programs are developed and credentials bestowed by an industry associationStandards may be higher than those of a qualification
Qualifications can be gained by school leavers or new entrants to the industry Certification is for experienced people only
Qualifications are gained for life, there is no further learning required Certification is only renewed if a person is active in their industry, keeping their knowledge and skills up to date
Qualifications cannot be taken away Certification can be revoked if accepted industry codes or standards are not met

Table 2 How certification adds value to academic and vocational qualifications

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Benefits of Certification

Certification provides differentiation of irrigation professionals committed to best practice and professionalism of the industry at large. The ability to use certification to recognise and differentiate skilled and committed people will benefit:

  • Certified individuals expressing their commitment to excellence by participating in a process to assess their knowledge can be confident that they are doing the job right and this can bring advancement and recognition.
  • Certified Irrigation Designers can use a special logo on their letterhead and on designs. All certified personnel are listed on IAL’s national database.
  • Employers – knowing that staff members who are certified have the skills for the occupation.
  • Job seekers – certification can provide young people and other job seekers with national industry recognition of skills and knowledge, and improved career pathways.
  • Irrigation businesses – by insisting on using certified personnel they are practising sound risk management.
  • Project managers – one-step identification of skilled industry personnel. Some specifiers and purchasers are stipulating in their tender documents that irrigation system plans are to be signed by a Certified Irrigation Designer.
  • The irrigation industry – can grow more professional as a result of gaining, recognising and documenting the skills for each occupation. As more and more people become certified the level of professionalism in the irrigation industry will continue to improve.
  • The environment – will be better off as well-informed irrigation practice can reduce water use and prevent inappropriate run-off and deep percolation that can damage aquifers and waterways.
  • Consumers – will know when they use a certified irrigation specialist to install or run their systems, that those people have the skills to install or operate or manage a system efficiently, effectively and with least environmental impact.

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Certification Renewal

By requiring a regular re-certification process IAL is ensuring that certified personnel remain active in the industry and are keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date. People who demonstrate this by earning the required CPD points in the required timeframe will maintain their active status. Those failing to earn the required CPD points will be considered non-active.

There are two different, though similar, sets of CPD guidelines, one set for Certified Irrigation Designers which are assessed annually and another for all remaining certifications, assessed every two years.

IAL will conduct random audits of 5% of all CPD returns each year.

Please click here to find all the necessary forms and information