The CCMA Certification Committee was formed Oct. 24 at the annual conference in Riverside. Seven members were appointed, with George Eachus of Orange County being chosen as the chairperson. Since George's retirement on July 5, 2007, the committee has not designated another chairperson or adopted any formal structure, but it continues to serve at the pleasure of the CCMA officers for the purpose of developing a certification program for cadastral mappers in California. When an official certification program is finally developed and approved by both the CCMA membership and the CAA, details and materials will be available at this web site. Until then, news and updates are posted below.


May 2, 2007: The first draft of a voluntary, point-based certification program was submitted to the CAA Education Committee at the 2007 Central/ Southern Assessors’ Conference in Santa Barbara. The minutes from this meeting report as follows:

"Discussion was held regarding the letter of request received from the California Cadastral Mapping Association Certification Committee Chair, George K. Eachus, P.E., for review, discussion and guidelines of the cadastral Mapping Professional Certification Program, and consideration of forwarding an action item to the CAA Executive Committee. Some concerns were the absence of a test or demonstration requirement. General classifications used to cover areas in an assessor’s office, mapping, change in ownership, other areas which offer administrative advantage, specialization within the union environment and its implications, and certain definitions needed of terms within the proposal. There is, for example, an optional test for Recorder-Clerks, which some have taken. There is a difference between informal certification, personal certification and legally sanctioned certification. Another term may be advisable to use since the Assessor’s offices certification refers to “legal” certification. Support for professionalization, education and continuing education, and benefits for staff to achieve this level. It was observed that the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) has a cadastral mapping designation model that might be used. Although courses are offered out of state, the structure might be replicated. Job skills, job descriptions, job technical knowledge has changed and increased and certification makes sense. It is good for morale, but should not be too easy. Should work in conjunction with the State. Motion made by Mark, Second by Dan to distribute the CCMA proposed certification program to all 58 assessors to request review, comments and survey, any concerns there might be. Responses will be discussed and addressed at the next CAA Education Committee scheduled in August 2007 at Squaw Valley. Approved 5-0"


Aug. 21-22, 2007: The CAA met at a conference at Squaw Valley where Randy Worley, CCMA President 2007, presented the proposed certification program and answered questions from Assessors. The Assessors then discussed the issue and expressed their concerns and offered some suggestions on how we could proceed. The details are summarized in a letter from the CAA.


Oct. 17, 2008: The CCMA Certification Committee was called to a meeting at the annual conference at Sacramento by Bret Keesler of San Bernardino County. Jim Isbell (Kern) was appointed to replace Steve Wolfinger (San Luis Obispo), and Sal Duran (San Benito) was added to the group.
We discussed the IAAO certification program as a possible model, since the CAA had suggested it, but there is some question as to whether the IAAO will be supportive of the formation of a parallel effort that would compete with their own program. In order to model a program after theirs, we would have to obtain copies of its courseware and testing materials.
It was noted also that there are several counties in other states that have developed their own certification programs. Any of these could be possible models, and they should have no conflicting interest in withholding copies of courseware and testing materials for our review. Also, it was noted that the California Assessors' Administrative Services Association (CAASA) has developed a highly successful series of 'Change in Ownership' training classes, which were developed by several highly motivated members of their own group. Starting with their next course offered, they will conclude the course with a test that must be passed in order for participants to receive their certificate of completion for the course. According to Deborah Newlen (Kern), the point is to introduce a test in this manner so that statistics can begin to be recorded and someday presented to the CAA to demonstrate the effectiveness of the test.
Another notable aspect of the CAASA group is that their conferences begin at noon, then conclude at noon on the third day. We discussed that it might be a good idea in the future to extend our own conferences an extra day forward, with the extra time being devoted to certification training and/or testing (once we have a program in place). This could help to reduce or eliminate extra travel during the year for participants.
So for now, the Certification Committee will be researching the IAAO and other county/state models, and also working on breaking down the knowledge and skillset required for cadastral mapping in California Assessors' offices.