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State Accreditation of Floodplain Administrators

State Accreditation of Floodplain Administrators

State Accreditation of Floodplain Administrators

In its regular session of the 84th General Assembly (2003), the Arkansas legislature passed Act 745, which requires the appointment of a floodplain administrator in a municipal or county government and authorizes the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (formerly the Arkansas Soil & Water Conservation Commission (ASWCC)), to require accreditation of said floodplain administrators.

Accreditation is Different than Certification
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD) has been given authority to manage the accreditation program, which requires floodplain administrators in Arkansas to pay an accreditation fee and complete eight hours of commission-approved continuing education.

Certification as a floodplain manager in Arkansas is a trademarked process developed by the Association of State Floodplain Administrators (ASFPM). The program is administered locally by the Arkansas Floodplain Management Association (AFMA), which requires a passing exam score and 16 hours of association-approved continuing education for the biennial renewal process.

Who Must be Accredited?
Arkansas law (?14-268-106) provides that individuals serving as the primary floodplain administrator for a municipal or county government must be accredited annually by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD). Accreditation is required even if the floodplain manager joins AFMA and becomes a certified floodplain manager (CFM®).

Who Must be Certified?
Certification as a floodplain manager (CFM) in Arkansas is strictly a voluntary and selective process. The trademarked certification program was adopted by AFMA to raise and maintain the professional standards of those individuals that manage floodplains, wetlands and / or watersheds within the state of Arkansas. Typically these are the same individuals that serve as the primary floodplain administrator for a municipal or county government (those who must be accredited), however, a number of engineers, hydrologists, surveyors and other professionals from the private sector have chosen to raise their professional standards in floodplain management by obtaining certification. These individuals do not have to be accredited by the state of Arkansas.

Continuing Education Requirements
Individuals serving as the primary floodplain administrator for a municipal or county government must obtain eight hours of NRD-approved training in the one-year period between July 1 and June 30. If you believe that you already have (or will have) training that may satisfy the accreditation requirements, please contact Whit Montague (501-682-3969) at the NRD for verification.

The NRD conducts a number of free accreditation workshops throughout the state to fulfill the continuing education requirements of municipal or county government floodplain administrators. A list of these and other events that qualify for continuing education credit under the state accreditation program can be found at NRD Training and Workshops.

The CFM program administered by AFMA has more stringent continuing education requirements than the state accreditation program. As such, CFM automatically meet the state accreditation continuing education requirements. The accreditation form must still be submitted annually, however, to verify the current municipal or county government floodplain manager and their certification status.

Accreditation Renewal
Annual renewal of accreditation under the provisions of ?1803.1 of Rules Governing the Natural Resources Division Accreditation Program is a three-step process:

  • The floodplain administrator must submit a renewal application form (this is typically sent to the floodplain administrator from the NRD).
  • The floodplain administrator must submit the required fee.
  • The floodplain administrator must complete the required continuing education.

Accreditation Fees

  • Initial Accreditation $30
  • Accreditation Renewal $20

In recognition of a community?s commitment to floodplain management by supporting a CFM, the NRD does not require CFMs to pay the $20 accreditation renewal fee. The CFM, however, must still complete the accreditation paperwork and apply for the accreditation.

Mailing Instructions
An accreditation renewal form will be sent to each floodplain administrator several months before the June 30 expiration date. A list of pre-approved training sessions, including several free one-day workshops conducted by NRD, is mailed with the renewal form to aid accredited floodplain administrators obtain continuing education before the renewal deadline.

After reviewing the form for accuracy, attach an accreditation renewal fee and identify the continuing education event completed or about to be completed. Mail the application to the NRD at the following address:

Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s
Natural Resources Division (NRD)

Floodplain Administrator Program
P.O. Box 6139
Sherwood, AR 72124-6139

You will receive a confirmation from NRD via email or the USPS.

Related Links
Act 745
Rules Governing the ANRC Floodplain Administrator Accreditation Program
Conference & Workshop Schedule
Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) Program
Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Division (NRD)