Watershape University


Certifications document a student’s progress through Watershape University (WU) and, ultimately, to the International Watershape Institute (IWI). Credentials can be obtained at multiple steps as the student progresses from a beginning student (“freshman”) to more advanced levels of training and expertise (“senior” and “post-graduate” levels). Credentials are acknowledged via wall certificates and digital badging that is verifiable at verify.watershape.org.

The Certified Watershape Company (CWC) validates that at least one person in a leadership position has achieved the Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF) status and is driving improvements within the company. The primary reasons for creating the CWC are:

Promote the companies through the WU website

Reward the companies by reducing certification expenses

Promotion takes place with our mapping system and homeowners seeking qualified firms to design, build and service their projects.

Certification expenses are capped at $600 per year for the entire company (plus $900 per year for the entire company if an employee is a member of the International Watershape Institute). In other words, companies are not penalized for certifying multiple employees – all employees are covered by a single $600/year annual CWC fee.


The Certified Watershape Company (CWC) certification may be used for contractor licensing and required continuing education in certain jurisdictions. The CWC certification requires at least one employee in a leadership role within the company to maintain their CWF certification; therefore, all Certified Watershape Companies (CWCs) have at least one CWF which supports licensing in the following jurisdictions:

Application Requirements

  • At least one employee in a leadership role within the company must complete the Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF) certification
  • Apply for Certified Watershape Company (CWC) status
  • Pay $600 Annual Fee below
  • Sign/Accept the WU Code of Ethics below
  • Sign/Accept the WU Standards of Practice below

Equivalent Classes

Watershape University was founded with a principle of accessibility — allowing students of all levels to obtain meaningful high-quality education at lower cost and reduced travel expense. Portability is a key component of access and is an important principle and reason for institutions to obtain and maintain accreditation such as IACET.

All Non-WU courses need to be pre-approved if you wish to use them as a substitute for education requirements. We will happily accept any third-party accredited program that achieves the same learning outcomes as Watershape University’s Essential Classes:

Please submit certificates of completion or transcripts from other institutions by uploading via your personal account on the University Portal here.

Exam / Assessment

  • There is no exam for the Certified Watershape Company (CWC) certification
  • Please answer the questions in the Application Form below


Is this certification accepted by PHTA?

Watershape University is completely independent of PHTA and has obtained approvals from licensing jurisdictions directly. PHTA has no authority over Watershape University and is not required to approve anything.

Will I still need a PHTA CBP to maintain my license?

No. Licensing authorities cannot single-source education and certifications. Continuing education, certifications, and licensing requirements can be obtained through Watershape University completely independent of PHTA.

If you have any other questions, please send an email to certification@watershape.org.

Certification Path

The Certified Watershape Company (CWC) certification requires at least one employee in a leadership role within the company to maintain their CWF certification.

Pathfinder Infographic

Click badges for details.

Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF)
Certified Watershape Foreman (CWF)