Surface Water Identification Training and Certification (SWITC)

Who Should Attend | Upcoming Workshop Dates | Registration Info |
Venue and Lodging | Course Schedule | 
What to Bring | Instructors |
Professional Development Hours


About the Workshop

The Surface Water Identification Training and Certification (SWITC) Course is offered by the North Carolina Division of Water Resources (DWR) and NC State University (NCSU) to comply with N.C. General Statute 143-214.25A. This statute requires DWR to train and certify staff of the North Carolina Forest Service (NCFS), the Division of Water Resources (DWR), and local delegated programs (on this website, click “List of Local Governments Administering State Riparian Buffer Rules).

Certification from this training course is required in order to make a legal determination of stream origins and identify surface waters subject to buffer rules enacted by the NC Environmental Management Commission. Staff within NCFS (who are also Registered Foresters), DWR, or local delegated programs who take the course and pass both the written and field tests will be certified to make determinations of stream origins subject to the buffer rules. Please note that completion of this course by those individuals not part of DWR, NCFS, or local delegated programs will result in a “Certificate of Training” but does not authorize legal determination of stream origins for buffer rules. However, we strongly encourage these individual to take part in this course in order to help understand the stream identification methodology and improve communication with DWR, NCFS, and delegated programs regarding buffer rules.

For additional information and resources, including a list of certified professionals, please visit NC DEQ’s website.

Who Should Attend

This course is recommended for the following groups of individuals:

  • Environmental and Forestry Consultants
  • Engineering Consultants
  • Landscape Architects
  • Regulatory Professionals whose work involves riparian zone and stream issues
  • Environmental Staff from non-delegated programs

Upcoming Workshop Dates

May 14-17, 2019 (Full for Regular Registration & DWR Registration)

North Carolina State University
125 Weaver Labs
3100 Faucette Drive
Raleigh, NC 27695

Get on the Waitlist!

October 15-18, 2019 (Full for Regular Registration)

North Carolina State University
Edward Booth Learning Lab
4000 Chi Road
Raleigh, NC 27603

Get on the Waitlist!


Registration Information

NOTE: A limited number of openings are available at no fee for DWR & NCFS employees who attend the training program “in connection with the employee’s official duties” (per NC General Statute 143-214.23). Applicants who have not received no-fee status will have the opportunity at that time to withdraw their registration (by email to Niki Maher at or to proceed with payment of the course fee if they wish to attend the class.


Regular Fee – $575.00 ($500.00 Early Bird Registration)

NOTE: Due to the increased number of no shows and demand for this workshop, payment must be received one(1) month prior to the start date of the workshop to secure your seat in the class.

Payment Instructions

We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express for payment of your registration fee. Or you may send us a check made payable to NCSU – BAE. Mail to:

Campus Box 7625
Raleigh, NC 27695
Attn: Brittany Santore

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation requests should be sent to for processing. The cancellation request must be submitted at least twenty-one (21) days before the date of the workshop to receive a full refund. Cancellation requests made between twenty-one (21) day and seven (7) days before the date of the workshop will receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative processing fee. Any cancellation requests made within seven (7) days of the workshop will be ineligible for refund. Attendee substitutions from within the same company may be made at any time at no cost. Please send an email to requesting a substitution.

Severe Weather Cancellation and Refund Policy

In the event of severe weather, this workshop may be postponed or cancelled at the discretion of the workshop instructors and coordinators. If the workshop is postponed, you may receive a refund if you are unable to attend the newly scheduled date, time, and location. Please contact if you are unable to attend the re-scheduled workshop. If the workshop is cancelled, you will receive a full refund. If the workshop is postponed or cancelled, the workshop instructors and coordination staff are not responsible for participants not meeting their PDHs or CEUs requirements with their various professional licensing boards.

Venue and Lodging

Workshop Location
Weaver Labs                                                         J. Edward Booth Training Center
3100 Faucette Drive                                              4000 Chi Road
Raleigh, NC 27695                                                Raleigh, NC 27603
View Campus Map                                                 View Campus Map


Holiday Inn Raleigh Downtown Capital – 320 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603; Phone: 919-832-0501

Doubletree by Hilton Brownstone – 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27605; Phone: 919-828-0811

Holiday Inn Express & Suites – 3741 Thistledown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606; Phone: 919-854-0001

*** Ask for NC State University rate at the suggested hotels when you make your reservation.

Course Schedule

Below is a sample schedule of the workshop to demonstrate the topics that will be covered. Actual schedules may vary from class to class.

Day 1
7:30 am Registration
8:00 am Classroom Lecture
12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm Field Site (transportation provided)
4:30 pm Evening Lecture and Lab (snacks provided before/during)
7:00 pm Adjourn
Day 2
8:00 am Classroom Lecture
12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm Field Site (transportation provided)
5:00 pm Adjourn
Day 3
8:00 am Morning Field Site (meet @ classroom, transportation provided)
12:00 pm Lunch (on your own – vanpool to convenient location)
1:00 pm Afternoon Field Site (transportation provided)
5:00 pm Adjourn
Day 4
8:00 am Review, Final Questions
8:30 am Classroom Test
9:30 am Field Test: 1st Location (transportation provided)
12:00 pm Lunch (boxed lunch provided)
1:00 pm Field Test: 2nd Location (transportation provided)
3:30 pm Course Evaluations
3:45 pm Adjourn

What to Bring

Participants should bring the following materials with them to each day of the workshop:

  • Waders/boots
  • Rain gear
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray

Our Instructors

  • Our Instructors are from the following agencies:
    • NC State University Dept. of Biological & Agricultural Engineering
    • North Carolina Division of Water Resources
    • NC Forest Service

Certification List

Please visit NC DEQ’s website below to see a table that lists program participants who have successfully passed the Surface Water Identification Training and Certification (SWITC) Exam.

Certified Professionals List

Professional Development Hours

The following professional development hours (PDHs) are awarded after successful completion of the workshop:

  • 25 credit hours for  professional engineers and land surveyors (approved by the NC Board of Examiners for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors)
  • 10 credit hours for landscape architects (approved by the NC Board of Landscape Architects, course #11120)
  • This training is pending approval for contact hours with the Society of American Foresters.
  • Other professionals may appeal to their respective boards to obtain professional education credits.

This training is endorsed by the NCSU Forestry and Environmental Outreach Program