NCAZO Zoning Officials Professional Development Maintenance Program
The Zoning Officials Certification Program is a voluntary certification primarily for local government zoning officials in North Carolina sponsored by the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials (NCAZO) with the assistance of the School of Government at Chapel Hill.
To maintain the purpose of the certification program and keep the level of competency and proficiency among zoning officials and those who are involved in zoning and planning processes, and to promote the continuing professional development of zoning officials, the Certification Committee recommended to the Board of Directors that a certification maintenance program be established. With the ever-changing profession, and to stay abreast of innovation in land use laws, construction, environmental laws, and development trends, there is a need to ensure that certified zoning officials expand their knowledge. At the March 2009 workshop held in Durham, North Carolina, the Board of Directors approved the maintenance program submitted by the certification committee.
In summary, the required hours of continuing education will be eight (8) hours every two years for all Certified Zoning Officials that have successfully completed the certification course. The eight (8) CM hours will begin immediately after the students have taken and passed the certification course and exam. This becomes their certification date. Sessions for maintenance must be designed to meet zoning and related land use fields. Topics such as investigative techniques, enforcement equipment, personal safety, mapping and GIS, office practices, conflict and difficult situations, public record law, flood plain, and field enforcement are among the various issues the Certification Committee and the Board of Directors approve and prepare for presentation at workshops and conferences.
The Chair of the Certification Committee shall be responsible for maintaining records of maintenance hours for each Certified Zoning Official. Questions about approved providers or sessions for approval may be submitted to any Certification Committee Member and that Committee Member shall forward questions to the entire committee for review and approval. Any individual may appeal the decision of the committee. An appeal form will be mailed or emailed to them upon request.
Honorary and Retired Certified Zoning Officials will be exempt from the maintenance requirement. Any Certified Zoning Official that does not obtain the minimum hours of credit will be notified in writing from the Certification Committee Chair that the individual will no longer be recognized as a Certified Zoning Official. If the individual wishes to become a Certified Zoning Official, they must successfully complete and pass another certification course.
Effective January 1, 2014, all NC Certified Zoning Officials that have received certification from the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials and the School of Government (or former Institute of Government) are required to be regular members of the NCAZO. If any person holding CZO status is dropped for failure to pay annual dues or fails to join NCAZO by January 1, 2014, that person will be placed on an “Inactive CZO List”. If the person (CZO) remains on the inactive list and fails to be reinstated before their Credit Maintenance Hours expire, their CZO status will be rescinded. In order to regain their CZO status, they will be required to take the CZO Course and pass the required exam.
For a more in-depth understanding of the Certification requirements and maintenance process, please visit the NCAZO website to review the Certification Policy Manual.
As we strive for more knowledge and experience in the zoning field, we always welcome ideas on how to make the courses better and more informative as well as look for ideas for sessions that relate to the various jobs zoning and other officials sometimes are required to do. Our door is open and we welcome you to provide constructive suggestions and input.
For a listing of Certification Committee members, please go to the “Contact Us” page and select Committee Members under Institute of Government Contacts.
The Certification Committee
2020 CZO Reporting Forms: Mid-Winter Workshop | Annual Conference
If you have any questions about this program, contact any of the Certification Committee Members and they will be happy to assist you.