Safety & Training

Certified Excavator Program

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Join the Thousands of Certified Excavators throughout New York

Learn how to protect yourselves, your co-workers, and your community.
The UDig NY Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices (CEP) has set a new standard for training New York State professional excavators in the proper procedures of excavation.

When a person has successfully completed the CEP, they are certified by the one-call center for five (5) years*, demonstrating a fundamental understanding of the Safe Digging Best Practices that should be used for safe excavation in accordance with the Common Ground Alliance Best Practices and New York State Code Rule 753.

The program is an interactive course that may be taken in-person or online. This certification combines various learning styles, including audio, visual, and hands-on exercises that allow participants to apply their knowledge into situations and obstacles that could be encountered in the field. Not only do participants establish or refresh their in-depth knowledge on the law and best practices of safe digging to prevent damages to underground facilities, but also to brand themselves or their companies.

*Certifications are good for five (5)-years as long as the individual successfully attends one (1) free renewal class each year between the year certified and the expiration year. Free qualified renewal for our Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices include the following class types: Code Rule 753 Basic Presentations, Damage Prevention Conference & Expo sessions (see session descriptions), Excavator Training with Meal, and Certification Renewal Class. Renewal classes can also be requested and hosted privately (non-public registration) per company. Contact your local Field Representative for more information on private classes.

Need a Reason to Become a Certified Excavator? We’ve got some reasons for you.

Becoming a certified excavator means you have the knowledge and expertise in safe digging best practices and Code Rule 753. Let your clients, your colleagues, and your competition know with the Certified Excavator Program (CEP) label on your business or resume. Nothing says “I’m the best” like a third-party endorsement. You and/or your business can use this certification as a brand and extract maximum marketing advantages, including specialized marketing materials UDig NY offers to companies that are certified and display an exemplary level of safety in the field.

Make the sales process about quality, expertise, and results.

To many, it’s hard to understand how your work is superior to what they can get from your competitors. Our rigorous in-depth certification training allows you and/or your company to boast expertise and steer conversations away from price tags. This certification will allow you to discuss approach, solutions, and safety expertise to protect your community, your employees, yourself, and customers. Don’t allow your work to be commoditized or your competitive advantage be reduced to an hourly rate.

Give them that confidence with this certification.

Even with lower prices and better customer service, consumers need to have confidence in your business. We recognize that more money doesn’t necessarily mean more ability. Show your potential employers and customers that you value their best interest – safety.

Set a standard in the industry.


Program DetailsTransforming One-Call Education

The UDig NY Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices is a different way to learn the requirements set forth in New York State Code Rule 753 and the Safe Digging Best Practices that should be used for safe excavation in accordance with the Common Ground Alliance Best Practices. By using experience and actual challenges faced in the field, the course is designed to assist professionals with how to proceed safely and correctly, in spite of the obstacles; because we know that no system is always perfect. There is never complete control in the one-call process by any one (1) party, and therefore, we are teaching professional on how to control how they respond to what they encounter.

The program is an interactive course that may be taken in-person or online. Whether you take the course in-person or online, the course is split-up into three (3) sections.

  1. Introduction, Overview, and Guidelines
    This section is a discussion-based review of the guidelines of the law and best practices for safe digging. The in-person course utilizes an instructor to facilitate discussion, while the online course uses audio/visual components and questions to invoke thought.
  2. Make Your Mark for Safety and Putting Your Knowledge to Work
    Section two (2) is designed to be a group activity for in-person classes. The class walks through designed job scenarios that are likely to be seen in the field. Each scenario has an obstacle that they must determine how to overcome, using their knowledge from their own experiences and from section one(1). We have turned this section into an interactive scenario online, where students receive one (1) scenario to work through, much like a video game.
  3. Evaluation
    The final section of the course, section three (3), is the exam and evaluation. The exam for both the in-person and online course is taken individually by each class participant using UDig NY’s learning management software — 4iQ. By using 4iQ, UDig NYhas the capability to collect feedback during all phases of learning, and then leverage it to enhance comprehension and effectiveness. An evaluation of the course is also given to each participant.

Other Information

  • Time: Four (4)-hour course
  • Class size: Limited to 25 participants, per class, to ensure an intimate and enhanced learning environment (in-person course only).
  • Cost: Course fee is $25 per person. This covers the cost of materials, labor, and venue.
  • Provided course materials (in-person course only):
    • iPad(s)
    • Earbud(s)
    • Pen(s)/paper
  • Length of certification: Valid for five (5)-years with free annual renewal.*
  • To explore annual renewal opportunities, click here.
*Certifications are good for five (5)- years as long as the individual successfully attends one (1) free renewal class each year between the year certified and the expiration year. Free qualified renewal for our Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices include the following class types: Code Rule 753 Basic Presentations, Damage Prevention Conference & Expo sessions (see session descriptions), Excavator Training with Meal, and Certification Renewal Class. Renewal classes can also be requested and hosted privately (non-public registration) per company. Contact your local Field Representative for more information on private classes.