Environmental Field Skills Certificate (EFS)


The Environmental Field Skills Certificate Program (EFS) is a very practical, field-based Environmental Monitoring skills training certificate program.  The EFS is delivered on-demand, in communities throughout North America, utilizing local sites and watersheds as the ‘classroom’.

Each NRTG course includes free, lifetime admission. Enrol once - come back anytime.

The 120-hour (three-week) EFS provides course participants with high-quality, in-demand Environmental Monitoring field skills, including Backpack Electrofishing Certification. EFS ‘graduates’ are qualified and capable to lead or assist with environmental monitoring and assessment of mining, hydro-electric, oil & gas, forestry, road construction, and other natural resource-related programs and projects.

Each day in the program, course participants are in the field learning important skills and procedures in a very realistic and practical setting, under the direction of experienced instructors and practitioners. 

NRTG's Environmental Field Skills Certificate Program is delivered in partnership with Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT), Merritt, B.C.  NVIT grants certification to all successful EFS 'graduates', and provides credit toward completion of their own two-year Environmental Resources diploma program.

We are also pleased to announce that our Environmental Field Skills (EFS) Certificate program is now accredited by BC’s College of Applied Biology (CAB). CAB will recognize graduates of the EFS program as meeting the core academic requirements for entry as an Applied Biology Technician.

An ‘Applied Biology Technician’ designation qualifies an individual as a B.C. provincially-recognized and certified technician and helps to expand their industry credibility.

Contact NRTG for further details.  



EFS graduates are qualified environmental monitors. Graduates of this program can perform environmental monitoring and assessments directly or as an Assistant to professional biologists, engineers, hydrologists, and other environmental professionals. 

Upon successful completion, EFS participants will be qualified and able to:

  • Observe, record and report environmental field data

  • Conduct standard environmental assessments and inventories for: air, water, plants and trees, wildlife, fish, and soil

  • Conduct backpack electrofishing surveys as certified technicians

  • Operate, calibrate and maintain a wide variety of environmental field equipment and ‘tools’

  • Identify and classify types of vegetation, wildlife, fish and soils

  • Conduct water quality and field hydrology procedures

  • Identify and interpret environmental field conditions

  • Identify site impact, and develop and implement site rehabilitation procedures

  • Conduct erosion and sediment control measures

  • Isolate an instream construction project and conduct a fish salvage

Course format:

The 120-hour (three-week) Environmental Field Skills Certificate Program is delivered Monday to Friday, over three consecutive weeks. The daily format can vary, as most everyday includes field training (which may involve travel to field sites).  The EFS delivery ‘season’ will vary by region, as the program requires suitable field conditions (leaves on trees, unfrozen soil and water, etc.). 

Course Customization:

This course can also be customized for an organization and/or community based on their needs.  In its standard format, this course is comprised of three, one-week modules:  

Week 1:  Essential skills; mapping, orientation, navigation, compassing/GPS, data collection, environmental monitoring

Week 2:  Vegetation/Forestry measurements/assessments, wildlife inventory/assessment, erosion & sediment control, environmental monitoring

Week 3:  Fish & fish habitat inventory/assessment, water quality monitoring, Electrofishing Certification

Each Weekly Module can be delivered independently or combined with another NRTG training program. For instance, this course could be delivered as a one or two-week course along with our RISC Archaeology & CMT Training for Crew Members or Cultural Resource Monitor course(s), or any other NRTG training program. 

Please contact us with your ideas and needs, and we'll work with you to design and deliver a specialized training program that meets your needs. 

Potential Students: 

Course participants typically include; existing environmental technicians, Aboriginal stakeholders, and resource workers. 


None.  A standard one to two-day First Aid course is required as a co-requisite to the Electrofishing Certification training. 

Personal Equipment Requirements:

Course participants are required to provide their own personal protective equipment. For further information, please contact NRTG.  

Course Fees:

Course fees will vary by course delivery location.  For further information, please refer to our Course Schedule.   

How do I Attend?

The EFS is available via our website schedule, or on contract to community groups. The EFS is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (providing suitable weather).  Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an ‘in-house’ or contract delivery of the EFS.  In either scenario, contact NRTG for further information.

If you would like to have the EFS delivered to your group or community, please consider the following:

  1. Contact us well in advance of your preferred course start date

  2. If applicable, secure program funding

  3. Recruit course participants (most NRTG courses have minimum enrollments of 8-10 participants)

  4. Coordinate course participant equipment, classroom facility, and contractual agreement with NRTG.

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