The Environmental Professional Intern (EPI) program is an entry-level certification for environmental students and environmental professionals who are just beginning their careers and is an optional first step towards obtaining QEP status. The EPI credential is an opportunity for students who anticipate entering the environmental field, or for graduates who have entered the field within the last five years, to demonstrate personal knowledge of general environmental science.
The EPI credential signifies to potential employers and others that an individual has demonstrated a comprehensive ability to apply their technical education.
The EPI certification is valid for a period of seven years. This period allows for the opportunity to obtain the five years of environmental work experience and ample time to complete the requirements for full QEP status. After seven years, EPI status expires and is not renewable.
EPI Mentoring Program
The EPI mentoring program matches interested EPIs with Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) in a related field, geographic area and/or interest. The program offers the availability of a QEP mentor for up to a seven year period to provide the EPI with professional guidance and introduction into a network of senior, well-respected environmental professionals. EPI_Mentoring_Guidelines
Requirements for the EPI
The EPI is available to college or university seniors who are working towards a technical baccalaureate or masters degree in physical, earth or natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics; or individuals who have received a baccalaureate/masters degree in one of the above mentioned disciplines and have just entered, are anticipating entering, or have less than five years of qualifying environmental work experience.
Individuals can submit an application to take the general EPI exam no sooner than the last semester/final quarter of their junior year. A completed application must be submitted to IPEP with a US$35.00 application processing fee. For EPIs, there is an examination fee of $60.
Applicants approved to be admitted into the EPI exam process will take Part I of IPEP's standard QEP certification exam, which is the General Environmental Science written exam, no sooner that the last semester/quarter of their senior year. Approved candidates have 12 months to be examined after receiving notification of being approved to take the exam. Find more information about the exam here.
What happens when I pass?
Individuals passing the EPI exam are given the designation "Environmental Professional Intern" (EPI). An EPI certificate is valid for a period of seven years (this period allows for the opportunity to obtain five years of environmental work experience and ample time to apply for full QEP status by taking and passing Part II of the exam). During this time the availability of a QEP mentor is offered to each EPI on a voluntary basis. After seven years, EPI status expires.
EPIs pay a reduced IPEP Annual Renewal fee of US$75.00 per year, with the first year dues prorated.
EPIs may apply for full QEP certification status when they have obtained five full years of environmental work experience acceptable to IPEP. At that time, an EPI must submit a QEP application and an examination fee of US$150.00 in order to apply to take Part II of the QEP exam, which is the specific practice area section. If the work experience as submitted on the application is not acceptable to IPEP, the examination fee will be returned with a letter explaining the deficiency.
What happens if I fail?
If an EPI fails to obtain a passing score on her/his first attempt at Part II of the QEP examination, it can be taken once more, provided that it can be completed within the seven year period in which the EPI certificate is valid. If the re-test cannot be taken within that valid period, or if taken and failed a second time, the candidate will be informed via letter that her/his EPI status has been terminated and that if she/he wishes to continue to pursue the QEP certification, she/he must complete the full QEP application and testing process again.