Credible Data - Training and Testing

Credible Data - References

Credible Data is a program that classifies surface water monitoring performed by watershed groups, state agencies, schools, local volunteers and other organizations. Ohio EPA uses the data submitted under the program in ways prescribed by State law.

All training and testing requirements are specified in OAC rule 3745-4-03. See the training summary table [PDF 18K] and descriptions of the training modules [PDF 19K] for an overview of the training needed to obtain Qualified Data Collector (QDC) status. Under OAC 3745-4-03(A)(3)(f), in lieu of the training set forth in paragraph (A)(3) of this rule, an applicant may serve a six-month apprenticeship under the mentorship of a level 3 QDC in the same specialty.  Accepting the apprenticeship as fulfillment of level 3 QDC qualifications shall be at the discretion of the director.  If accepted, the applicant must take and pass the level 3 test for the specialty following completion of the apprenticeship.  For more information, please see the Six-month Apprenticeship Path for QDC Approval guidance.


Healthy Water Healthy People (HWHP)

Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education is a State sponsor for this program. HWHP offers surface water workshops that meet the training requirements of Level 1 training. More information is available here.

Under the credible data rules, any similar training program for water related educational or voluntary monitoring may also be acceptable (but trainers must apply for Credible Data approval).

Midwest Biodiversity Institute (MBI) and EnviroScience periodically offers training opportunities covering aspects of stream and river assessments.

  • 2019 Qualified Data Collector Trainings:

  • 1-Day Level 2 Macroinvertebrate Training (Macroinvertebrate Aggregate Index for Streams method)
  • QHEI / Biocriteria Training* (Training description)
    Note: Based on trainee input, this course was revised into two different versions. The two-day course will focus less on biocriteria and provide additional QHEI assessment field time. The three-day course will provide the full biological criteria background and rationale (on the first day) and the QHEI assessment information and field practice (last two days).
  • Primary Headwater Habitat/HHEI Training* (Training description)
  • Chemical Water Quality/Flow/Study Plans/DQOs/QA & QC (Training description)
  • Project Study Plan Workshop (1/2 day).  (Designed primarily for Level 2.)

Periodically we have offered lakes sampling training (approximately 5-6 hours). This Level 2 training is comprised of classroom and field sessions on measuring Secchi depth, taking Sediment Stick readings (for lake tributaries), and recording lake conditions information. In the past, Ohio Lake Management Society has also provided training sessions. All trainees (for sessions administered by Ohio EPA, Division of Surface Water) must be approved Level 2 or Level 3 Chemical Water Quality Qualified Data Collectors (or at least have already submitted an application) prior to signing up for these sessions. Future training sessions may be scheduled based on demand.

Contact us to register for the lakes training.

In this video, volunteers participating in the Credible Data program can learn how to collect bacteria data.