About CTAG

Vision Statement

CTAG is an engaged group of state lead agency, pesticide safety education programs, and tribal certification programs that can rely on each other for collaboration, eliminate duplication of effort, and maximize the utility of existing solutions.  CTAG will help programs address emerging and evolving issues in a nimble way.  It is a mechanism to create a culture of innovation, cooperation, and educated responses nationally.

Mission Statement

To identify, discuss, and provide guidance on matters and processes associated with the certification and training of pesticide applicators, with the objective of ensuring that best practices are developed and implemented to the benefit of the pesticide applicator community and programs.

The CTAG will investigate the issue, identify sources and extent; identify challenges to resolution; explore potential solutions and identify best practices; document potential solutions and distribute gathered information; and facilitate the collaboration of programs nationwide.

These efforts will be conducted in a manner that respects the differences between state, territorial, and tribal programs and optimizes their diverse ingenuity. CTAG aims to leverage collective ideas, work for the benefit of all that are involved in certifying and training pesticide applicators, promote safe and effective pesticide use, and foster the stewardship of those that work with or around pesticides.

Goals & Objectives

Identify and assess emerging national or regional issues.
Objective 1a.
Provide a forum for SLAs, PSEPs, Tribal programs, and EPA to bring an issue for discussion of importance on a national or regional level. CTAG members will engage with SLAs, PSEPs and tribes from the USDA region being represented. Issues will be prioritized in a collaborative and timely way.
Objective 1b.
Form workgroups with national representation for prioritized issues to characterize issues, processes that could address, or deliverables that could be developed..
Objective 1c.
Workgroup assesses issue and develops a project, guidance document, concept document or issue paper to be considered by the CTAG and if accepted, by critical partners (e.g. EPA, AAPCO, ASPCRO, AAPSE, TPPC, NPSEC).
Liaise with EPA, AAPCO, SFIREG, AAPSE, ASPCRO and TPPC to learn about and share interests related to applicator certification and training.
Objective 2a.
Have a current CTAG Board member attend AAPCO, SFIREG, AAPSE, ASPCRO, and TPPC to liaise on matters of mutual concern.
Objective 2b.
Have EPA report on certification and training activities happening at the regional and headquarters levels.
Be transparent about CTAG Mission, Goals, Membership and Activities
Objective 3a.
Share information through the CTAG website, and through liaisons
Objective 3b.
Follow a prescribed process for addressing issues, and document activities and workgroup topics and progress, posted to the  website and available to the public.
Create an engaged and collaborative culture for assessing issues.
Objective 4a.
Actively listen to understand the breadth of the issue and seek or add regional perspectives to the conversation (not only “my state”).

Objective 4b.
Think futuristic – where do we want to be and what are the different ways to get there to maintain as much national consistency as feasible.
Objective 4c.
CTAG respects the individuality of state certification programs, university pesticide safety education programs, and tribal programs.

Structure of CTAG

CTAG will be comprised of 13 voting members, for three-year terms:

  • 1 SLA and 1 PSEP from each USDA Region (8)
  • 4 At-Large members: 2 PSEP and 2 SLA (4)
  • 1 Tribal representative (1)

Two co-chairs will lead CTAG (1 PSEP and 1 SLA). CTAG voting members will select the co-chairs, who will serve staggered, two-year terms.

To begin, the CTAG Advisory Committee will function to select initial CTAG membership from applicants.  Initial CTAG members will be assigned staggered terms (this will be explicit in the solicitation).  Going forward CTAG will solicit for and choose its new members. The Executive Secretary will send out solicitation for members and will receive applications to present to CTAG.

Ex-Officio Members

CTAG has three recognized Ex-Officio members: its Executive Secretary, an EPA headquarters staff person, and an EPA regional representative.  Ex-Officio members will not vote on decisions, but their participation and engagement is essential, welcomed, and valued. Given specific discussions, other entities may be invited to attend and participate in CTAG discussions.

  • CTAG has a paid Executive Secretary to administer and facilitate CTAG functions under the EPA Cooperative Agreement that funds and supports CTAG’s work. The Secretary is a non-voting position.
  • CTAG encourages active participation by representatives from EPA headquarters and an EPA region. 


Relationship With EPA

The Certification and Training Assessment Group provides a collaborative platform for the state, territorial, and tribal certification and training programs to develop best practices and options for issue resolution.  EPA and CTAG will work together in a mutually respectful, professional and productive manner.

As Ex-Officio members of CTAG, EPA’s headquarters staff and a regional staff member will participate in CTAG meetings, share information, assist in clarifying issues, and collaborate on issues of mutual concern.  CTAG will hold one of two yearly meetings in close proximity to the regional representative whenever possible.

EPA will update CTAG on relevant activities and will facilitate cross communication within EPA.

Measuring Success

Annually CTAG’s co-chairs will review activities of the previous year, make recommendations for improvement, assess whether relevant issues were addressed, and evaluate participation and inclusiveness related to program size, geographical representation, and experience.  They will reach out in a mentoring fashion to newer and less experienced members to ensure they have the opportunity for professional growth and gained experience.  Their efforts will support CTAG’s work and will also allow CTAG to help foster stronger, more experienced programs in the states.

The CTAG Executive Secretary will prepare an annual summary report: membership, meetings, and activities underway or accomplished.  The summary report will be shared with EPA, AAPCO, SFIREG, AAPSE, ASPCRO, NPSEC, and TPPC.

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