CA Urban IPM Apprenticeship FAQ

The California Urban IPM Apprenticeship hosted an informational webinar in April of 2024 and responded to the following frequently asked questions. Please review the webinar recording at

Q: Is this a competitive entry program?

A: Anybody can participate and complete the apprenticeship. However, not everybody will receive funds to participate in the activities of the IPM evaluation shadow sessions with Dr. Thomas Green or the IPM Symposium in March 3-5, 2025. The Alliance Team will review applications using a CDPR approved rubric to determine applicants that will be first offered funds to participate. We anticipate emailing applicants on Monday, June 17th with information regarding the funds.

Q: Do you need to be certified (Pest Control Applicator) or licensed (Qualified Applicator License) to apply?

A: Licenses are not required for program participation. However, individuals with professional backgrounds in pest control, landscaping, building and grounds management or similar occupations will be strong applicants.

Q: Will this program offer preparation for the CDPR Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) and Qualified Applicator License (QAL) exams?

A: While some of the topics presented during the webinar series will overlap with material covered in the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) Qualified Applicator Certificate (QAC) and Qualified Applicator License (QAL) exams, none are specifically geared towards exam preparation.

Q: What should I do if I miss a webinar?

A: Apprentices can review the webinar recordings on the GSC website and complete the post-quiz questions online. Apprentices are required to make up missed webinars and cannot be absent for more than two webinars.

Q: Is this program relevant to facility managers?

A: Yes. This course will cover three sectors: IPM for pest control operators, IPM for facilities and IPM for landscapes.

Q: How long is each webinar?

A: Each webinar will last 1 hour and 30 minutes including an hour presentation with a Q&A and post-webinar quiz questions. The CDPR has approved the first six webinars for Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB) has approved five of the first six webinars for CEUs. Webinars on September 25, 2024 and January 29, 2024 will not qualify for CEUs from the SPCB. On June 30, 2024, we will submit CDPR CEU applications for the last six webinars starting on December 18, 2024.

Q: Can someone outside of California participate? Is the program free to both California and non-California residents?

A: Yes. Funding from the CA Department of Pesticide Regulation enables free access to apprenticeship webinars, shadow sessions and the IPM Symposium in-person workshop on March 3, 2025. Additionally, the Apprenticeship program will produce a video recording of the IPM Symposium session. Only California residents, however, are eligible for travel, lodging, meal and registration fee reimbursement to attend the shadow sessions and the IPM Symposium. Non-California residents will need to self-fund if they wish to attend these events.

Q: Can I still receive the certification if I live outside California or the United States and am unable to attend the in-person components?

A: You will not receive a certificate of completion for the entire program if you miss the in-person sessions. However, each monthly webinar has a certificate of completion to share with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the California Structural Pest Control Board to receive CEUs. You can talk with the Sustainable Communities Development Specialist, Ryan Anderson, if you want to explore a Green Shield Certified evaluation outside of the state of California at

Q: What is the state of the market for IPM evaluations? What career opportunities are available for graduates of this program? Are there relevant regulations requiring evaluations?

A: New regulations and community expectations have increased the demand for sustainable pest and weed control in California. However, California has a very short list of available IPM evaluators. This program will increase the number of evaluators in California to help meet this demand. The apprenticeship program will also host a workshop at the 2025 IPM Symposium designed to connect apprentices with potential clients/employers.

Q: Is this program intended for professionals who are already in the industry or individuals who are newer? Is there any prerequisite knowledge or experience required for this program?

A: The apprenticeship is intended for pest, building and grounds-management professionals to develop the required skills to evaluate, improve and implement outdoor and indoor IPM programs. Programming is aimed at professionals already in the industry, but newcomers are also welcome.

Q: Is there a mentorship component offered through the California Urban IPM Apprenticeship? 

A: Applicants selected for full participation will have the opportunity to shadow Dr. Thomas Green on an on-site evaluation as well as conduct their own evaluation while part of the program. There is also an in-person workshop at the 2025 IPM Symposium which is designed to connect program participants with potential clients/employers.

Q: What is the required time commitment? 

A: This two-year apprenticeship includes:

  • 12 educational webinars between June 2024 and May 2025. Each webinar will last one hour and 30 minutes.
  • Opportunity to shadow GSC’s founder, Thomas Green, during an on-site IPM evaluation for a local facility, structural or landscape management service provider (6-8 hours for the evaluation, 4-8 hours reviewing and/or contributing to the report).
  • A one-day structural and landscape IPM workshop at the IPM Symposium in San Diego on March 3, 2025.
  • Conducting a structural or landscape IPM evaluation of a California pest service provider, facility or landscape (6-8 hours for the evaluation, 4-8 hours developing the report).

Q: Will the apprenticeship be helpful for landscape professionals?

A: Green Shield Certified introduced one of the first sustainable landscaping standards in the nation of GSC for Landscapes in 2023. The apprenticeship program plans to train a couple of evaluators to conduct GSC for Landscapes evaluations. The webinars that will cover outdoor IPM and sustainable landscaping include (1) “Essential components of an effective IPM program – Policy, training, recordkeeping and stakeholder engagement.” Presented by IPM Institute’s Ryan Anderson on July 31, 2024. (2) “Monitoring, soil testing and site assessment techniques to identify and assess pest and weed pressure in outdoor environments.” Presented by Dr. Doug Soldat from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on September 25, 2024. (3) “How to maintain resilient greenspaces to manage invasive and ornamental weeds.” Presented by Ryan Anderson on January 29, 2025.

Q: I work for an open space district that manages pests in wildlands, structures, rights of way, recreational preserve space and agricultural lands adjacent to urban spaces. Will this opportunity have good content for me?

A: The webinar series will cover both indoor and outdoor IPM topics. The three webinars covering outdoor IPM and sustainable landscaping will focus on management of municipal, school and urban forest preserve greenspaces. None of the webinars will feature experts for the management of agricultural land or large-scale natural areas such as state and federal parks.

Q: Will there be a credential or certificate of completion for the apprenticeship, and will it be associated with the UC system? 

A: Yes. Participants who complete the entire program will receive a printed certificate from GSC and UC IPM. Also, each monthly webinar has a certificate of completion to share with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the California Structural Pest Control Board to receive CEUs.

Q: Will there be test questions?

A: Each webinar is accompanied by 10 quiz questions and 3 participation questions. Participants must achieve a grade of 70% or higher on each quiz in order to receive certification.